Religious leaders criticize targeting of Muslims over proposed 9/11mosque

Washington, Sep 8, (ANI): Christian, Jewish and Muslim leaders held an emergency summit in Washington to condemn "the derision, misinformation and outright bigotry" about American Muslims over the proposed Islamic Community Center that is to come up near Ground Zero

The meeting was held amid growing concerns of the US Government and the top American military commander in Afghanistan over plans by pastor Terry Jones to burn copies of the Koran on the anniversary of the September 11 attacks.

"This is not America," said Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, the emeritus Roman Catholic archbishop of Washington, accompanied by three dozen clergy members and religious leaders at a packed news conference at the National Press Club.

"America was not built on hate." The "anti-Muslim frenzy" and attacks at several mosques are dangerous signs for America and its universal image of a multi-religious country, he said.

General David H. Petraeus warned on Tuesday that any video of Americans burning the Koran "would undoubtedly be used by extremists in Afghanistan - and around the world - to inflame public opinion and incite violence, endangering the lives of American soldiers."

A US State Department spokesman called pastor Jones' plan "un-American."

Several clergy members in Washington and Florida said that there were efforts to dissuade Jones from proceeding with the event, but that he appeared unlikely to relent.

The religious leaders in Washington said in their statement, "We are appalled by such disrespect for a sacred text that for centuries has shaped many of the great cultures of our world." (ANI)

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