Pastor Terry Jones of Gainesville, Fla., who has become an international figure in recent days, has finally, fortunately back down.
After meetings with a local imam and loads of international pressure from President Obama, Gen. David Petraus, leaders of both political parties and Christians worldwide, Jones announced this afternoon his Dove World Outreach Center will not stage its now infamous planned Koran burning on Saturday, the ninth anniversary of the 9-11 anniversary.
Jones claims he will be meeting Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf in New York on Saturday about the moving of the equally infamous Islamic center and mosque planned near Ground Zero. Jones said the deal is quid pro quo – I don’t burn the Korans, you guys move the mosque. The real estate financier principally backing the Islamic center said no such deal is in place.
Regardless if Jones is simply blowing smoke about a deal on the mosque, credit should be given where it’s due. Jones has been bashed for his decision to forge ahead with the burning amid all the pressure. Give him credit for at least seeing the handwriting on the wall and the potential international implications of his foolish actions.
Also give credit to the leaders in law enforcement, politics and the military for putting in the muscle to stop this stunt from going forward.
Would it be great teaching point if the Ground Zero mosque was moved to show, however incongruously, that interfaith cooperation can happen between people hell-bent on getting their way?
Take it one step at a time.
And, literally, thank God.