GA president alarmed by call of U.S. clergyman to burn Quran

16:26, September 09, 2010      

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The president of the UN General Assembly (GA) said on Wednesday that he "is profoundly concerned and alarmed by the call made by a clergyman in U.S. state of Florida to burn copies of the holly Quran."

A statement, issued by Ali Abdussalam Treki's spokesman, said, "The president of the General Assembly condemns such calls, which can only provoke hatred and discrimination between religions and faiths and reinforces the clash between the civilizations and religions of the world."

Terry Jones, a Florida religious leader and a small group of followers will reportedly gather to burn copies of the Muslim holy book on Saturday to mark the ninth anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks.

Treki "describes such calls as an expression of obsolete and reactionary thinking, which in turn threatens to bring humanity back to the age of Inquisition," the statement said.

"Treki further underscores that such threats to insult sacred religious beliefs will lead to uncontrollable reactions and will increase the current state of tension in various parts of the world."

The GA president "emphasizes that religious coexistence and tolerance is one of the most important aspects of modern societies," the statement added.

Earlier on Wednesday, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon on Wednesday expressed his distress at reports that a religious group in the United States has planned to burn the Quran.

A statement, released here by Ban's spokesman, said, "The secretary-general is deeply disturbed by reports of a small religious group which plans to burn copies of the Quran."

"Such actions cannot be condoned by any religion," the statement said. "They contradict the efforts of the United Nations and many people around the world to promote tolerance, intercultural understanding and mutual respect between cultures and religions."

Also on Wednesday, Staffan de Mistura, the UN secretary-general's special representative for Afghanistan, warned in a statement that the Quran burning could put UN staff at threat in the war-torn Afghanistan.

Source: Xinhua


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