Religious Leaders Hold Emergency Summit Over US Anti-Muslim Attitudes

Afghans burned an effigy of Terry Jones, a Florida pastor who plans to burn copies of the Koran on the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, at a demonstration in Kabul on Monday. HopeTracker| A wide range of American and international leaders fear that the America the world knows as a light of religious freedom is coming undone. Prominent religious leaders held an ‘emergency summit’ in Washington Tuesday to denouce what they called ‘the derision, misinformation and outright bigotry’ aimed at American Muslims over the controversy surrounding the proposed Islamic center near Ground Zero.

“This is not America,” said Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, the emeritus Roman Catholic archbishop of Washington, at a packed news conference in DC’s National Press Club. “America was not built on hate.”

America’s commander in Afghanistan General David H. Petraeus warned that the burning of the Koran “would undoubtedly be used by extremists in Afghanistan — and around the world — to inflame public opinion and incite violence,” endangering the lives of American soldiers.

While many are trying to dissuade pastor Terry Jones from acting out his plan to burn the Koran on Sept. 11, few believe they can stop the action. There is no doubt that the actions of Jones and his followers will unleash a torrent of anti-American sentiment in Afghanistan, Pakistan and throughout the Muslim world. Read on at NYTimes.