UPDATE: The AP just updated its report on this 2 minutes ago:
- Under immense pressure, Pastor Jones has cancelled his plan to burn the Koran; but
- the Ground Zero mosque’s mastermind, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, said he was surprised by the announcement that a deal was reached to relocate the mosque, and that he would not barter.
Fellowship of the Mind’s intrepid roving reporter Steve just alerted me to this breaking news:
The pastor is cancelling his plan to burn the Koran this Saturday, in exchange for the Ground Zero mosque’s relocation!
Antonio Gonzalez of the Associated Press reports from Gainesville, Florida:
The minister of a Florida church said he has canceled plans to burn copies of the Quran/Koran because the leader of a much-opposed plan to build an Islamic Center near ground zero has agreed to move its location. The agreement couldn’t be immediately confirmed.
The Rev. Terry Jones said Thursday that Americans oppose the mosque being built at the location and that Muslims do not want the Quran burned. He said instead of his plan to burn the books on Saturday to mark the ninth anniversary of 9/11, he will be flying to New York to speak to Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf about moving the mosque.
“We are, of course, now against any other group burning Qurans,” Jones said during a news conference. We would right now ask no one to burn Qurans. We are absolutely strong on that. It is not the time to do it.”
[…] Jones said Imam Muhammad Musri of the Islamic Society of Central Florida told him that officials would guarantee that the mosque would be moved. “I asked him three times, and I have witnesses,” Jones said. “If it’s not moved, then I think Islam is a very poor example of religion. I think that would be very pitiful. I do not expect that.”
Before we start celebrating, the AP has this note of caution:
A Florida imam says that no deal has been reached to move the site of a mosque at the site of ground zero in exchange for a Florida minister to call off plans to burn Qurans. Imam Muhammad Musri tells The Associated Press that what he offered was a meeting among the Rev. Terry Jones, the New York imam planning the Islamic center and himself to talk about the mosque location.
Musri is president of the Islamic Society of Central Florida. He says he told Jones that he does not believe the mosque should not be there and would do everything in his power to make sure it is moved.
Let’s hope a deal indeed is reached to cancel the Koran-burning in exchange for the relocation of the Cordoba mosque away from Ground Zero! Praise be to God!