UN chief "deeply disturbed" by U.S. group's plan to burn Quran copies

16:26, September 09, 2010      

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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 copies of Quran, the Islamic holy book.

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

Terry Jones, a Florida religious leader and a small group of followers will reportedly gather to burn copies of the Islamic holy book on Saturday to mark the ninth anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks.

"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."

"Indeed they can only led to further discord and polarization between community," UN spokesman Farhan Haq told reporters here Wednesday. "We certainly hope that it will not take place."

Earlier on Wednesday, Staffan de Mistura, the UN secretary-general's special representative for Afghanistan, warned in a statement that the U.S. group's plan to burn copies of Quran could put UN staff under threat in the war-torn Afghanistan.

"The exercise of the freedom of expression should not be confused with the intention to offend the religion and beliefs of millions of people," de Mistura said.

"If such an abhorrent act were to be implemented, it would only contribute to fuelling the arguments of those who are indeed against peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan."

Source: Xinhua


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