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Plan to burn Quran 'un-American', says US

The Obama administration has said the decision by a Florida Pastor to burn the holy Quran on September 11 is "un-American" and warned that such actions could endanger US' interests in Afghanistan and elsewhere.

world Updated: Sep 08, 2010 09:24 IST

The Obama administration has said the decision by a Florida Pastor to burn the holy Quran on September 11 is "un-American" and warned that such actions could endanger US' interests in Afghanistan and elsewhere.

Hoping that the Florida Pastor would not commit the act which he had announced, State Department spokesman PJ Crowley said the US is aware of the adverse implication this would have on Americans overseas civilians, diplomats and military.

"We think that these are provocative acts, they are disrespectful, they're intolerant, they're divisive, and we're conscious that a number of voices have come out and rejected what this pastor and this community have proposed.

We would like to see more Americans stand up and say that this is inconsistent with our American values. In fact, these actions themselves are un-American," Crowley said.

"The pastor says that he's contemplating these actions to combat radicalism. In fact, these actions, if they take place – we hope they don’t – will actually feed radicalism," he said.

At the same time, Crowley said, people around the world need to also understand that America is not represented by one pastor or his 50 followers.

"We are a nation of 300 million people. The vast majority of Americans are standing up this week and saying that these contemplative actions are inappropriate, they’re abhorrent, and this should not happen," he said.

General David Petraeus, Commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan, has said that such as act potentially put soldiers at risk.

"For any American who is travelling, any diplomat in posts around the world, these actions, whatever their motivation, potentially put American interest and American lives at risk," Crowley said.

"This is a divisive potential act of disrespect of one of the world’s great religions. And while we support – and those of us are who are constitutionally charged to defend our freedoms, including freedom of expression, this is an action that has potential serious ramifications.

It is a statement of intolerance that we believe is contrary to our values and how we conduct ourselves day in and day out here in the United States of America," he said.

Arguing that burning the Holy Quran is inconsistent with the values of religious tolerance and religious freedom that are innate to Americans, he said there are far better ways to commemorate 9/11 and the religious bigotry that that event represents than to commit yet another act of what he would consider to be religious radicalism.