EU`s Ashton `condemns` US Quran burning

The European Union roundly "condemns" plans for a mass burning of the Quran in Florida, USA, a spokeswoman for EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton said on Wednesday.

Last Updated: Sep 08, 2010, 19:22 PM IST

Brussels: The European Union roundly
"condemns" plans for a mass burning of the Quran in Florida,
USA, a spokeswoman for EU foreign affairs chief Catherine
Ashton said on Wednesday.

"The High Representative respects all kinds of
religious beliefs and this is not the right way to go," the
spokeswoman told reporters after an evangelical pastor
insisted the ceremony to mark the ninth anniversary of the
September 11 attacks would go ahead.

Authorities have their hands tied unless the pastor,
Terry Jones, actually sets fire to the Muslim holy book on
Saturday at the Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville,
Florida, as vowed.

However, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has
already condemned the "disgraceful" stunt while the White
House added its voice to warnings that the move could trigger
outrage around the Islamic world and endanger the lives of
US soldiers.

The move comes against a backdrop of Islamophobia
driven by plans to build an Islamic cultural center in New
York close to Ground Zero, the site where the World Trade
Center stood before being destroyed in the 2001 attacks.

Saturday`s anniversary coincides with festivities for
Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan,
a time of prayer and fasting for nearly 1.5 billion Muslims
worldwide.

PTI