US pastor calls off Quran burning

Pastor Terry Jones, head of a small church in Florida, told reporters that he has cancelled his plan of burning the Quran, which had sparked outrage across the world, following assurances that a planned Islamic centre and mosque near Ground Zero in New York would be moved to some other place.

Though his claim of relocating the mosque to a separate place was quickly refuted by the officials of the Islamic Centre, the Pastor said he was heading to New York over the weekend to discuss with Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf about the new location of the mosque.
Even as the issue now appeared to be moving towards a new controversy, with claims and counterclaims over shifting of location of the mosque, there was evidently a great sigh of relief world over, including Obama Administration which had earlier said such an action would definitely hurt the recent American efforts to change its image in the Muslim world.
Earlier, US Defence Secretary, Robert Gates, called Jones asking him to call off the Quran-burning as this would endanger US troops abroad.

"We are cancelling the event because they have agreed to move the ground zero mosque," Jones told reporters in Florida and claimed that his announcement was based on several conversations with Imam Muhammad Musri, a Florida Muslim leader.
But Rauf denied of having made such a commitment.

"I am glad that Pastor Jones has decided not to burn any Qurans. However, I have not spoken to Pastor Jones or Imam Musri. I am surprised by their announcement. We are not going to toy with our religion or any other. Nor are we going to barter. We are here to extend our hands to build peace and harmony," Rauf said in a statement soon thereafter.

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