Interfaith Rally Ahead Of Florida Pastor’s Protest
DEARBORN (WWJ) - In a show of solidarity, leaders from the interfaith community will hold a large rally this Good Friday, just ahead of Florida Pastor Terry Jones planned protest against what Jones calls, “shari’a and jihad in America.”
Jones’ protest is planned at the Islamic Center of America in Dearborn.
Speaking at the mosque Friday morning, Reverend Kenneth Flowers, of the Michigan Progressive Baptist Convention, said he doesn’t like Jones being called a “pastor.” He said Jesus urged disciples to love one another.
“I believe that he is not exhibiting love. He is not exhibiting true Christian principles. And I think the world needs to know that he does not represent Christianity in any shape, form or fashion,” Flowers said.
Mosque Leader Imam Al Qazweeni spoke with WWJ Newsradio 950 about the interfaith view on the situation.
“We condemn his bigotry. Whether we are Muslims or Christians, we have no problems with him expressing his views, he’s entitled to his views. But I believe that if he is a true religious leader then he should hold himself to a high standard by respecting other faiths and especially the divine books, including the Koran,” Al Qazweeni said.
The rally will kick off Friday at 4 p.m., on Michigan Avenue between Southfield and Greenfield roads.
Although he hopes many from the community show up for the rally, Al Qazweeni wants things to remain peaceful.
“I call for one more time, on the Muslim community, not to respond to this person, not to be violent, to totally ignore this person. This man does not speak for anyone but himself and therefore he should be left alone,” Al Qazweeni said.
Archbishop Allen Vigneron of the Catholic Archdioceses of Detroit also expressed his support.
“When some voices choose to promote intolerance, even hatred, I come as a voice of peace,” Vigneron said.
Vigneron attended a similar rally yesterday, where hundreds of community members stood arm-in-arm outside the Mosque.
“We have an opportunity to show the nation and the world, that it is possible for people of many different faiths to respect one another and to foster mutual understanding,” Vigneron said.
Outside Dearborn’s 39th District Court Thursday, Jones said his planned protest will be nothing but peaceful.
“Our message is to the Muslim community, is one of welcome and warning, if they are here in America legally, their rights are protected under the First Amendment, that’s not a problem, they can worship as they please, they can build mosques, they can evangelize, we just expect for them to honor and obey the constitution of the United States,” Jones said.
Jones captured headlines last September 11th, by threatening to burn a Koran on the anniversary of the World Trade Center attacks. Though it didn’t happen, he did burn a Koran earlier this month, sparking violence in Afghanistan.
Jones’ protest is planned from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. in front of America’s Largest Mosque: The Islamic Center of America in Dearborn.