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US pastor says he will never burn Quran

A controversial US pastor, who drew global outrage for his plans to torch copies of Quran, has vowed that he will never do so, even if a mosque is built near Ground Zero, the site of the 9/11 terror attacks.

world Updated: Sep 12, 2010 14:28 IST

A controversial US pastor, who drew global outrage for his plans to torch copies of Quran, has vowed that he will never do so, even if a mosque is built near Ground Zero, the site of the 9/11 terror attacks.

"We will definitely not burn the Quran, no," pastor Terry Jones of Florida told NBC.

"Not today, not ever," he said when pressed whether his planned move to burn 200 copies of Quran on the ninth anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks may take place at a later date.

He explained that it would not happen even if a Islamic centre and mosque is built near Ground Zero, NBC reported.

Jones had earlier yesterday suspended his plans to burn copies of the Quran, claiming that he received a pledge from a Florida Imam that the planned Islamic cultural centre would be moved elsewhere. However, the Imam refuted his claim and said the "deal" existed only in Jones' mind.

"Even though we have not burnt one Quran, we have gotten over 100 death threats," Jones told NBC.

"We feel that God is telling us to stop, and we also hope that ... maybe that will open up the door to maybe (we will) be able to talk to the imam"

The pastor's threat to burn copies of the holy Quran had stirred outrage in Islamic world, with Kings and Presidents of Muslim nations joining hands to condemn his plans and asking US President Barack Obama to intervene to stop it.

Obama, on his part, said, the pastor's move could lead to "recruitment bonanza for al-Qaeda."

In his Eid greetings, Obama said this year's Eid is also an occasion to reflect on the importance of religious tolerance and to recognise the positive role that religious communities of all faiths, including Muslims, have played in American life.