Friday, September 10, 2010
US Koran Burning Ceremony Suspended
Terry Jones, pastor of the US-based Dove World Outreach Center, has reportedly suspended his plans to hold an 'International Burn a Koran Day' on 11 September. The event, the stated purpose of which was to commemorate the ninth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the United States, was initially cancelled on 9 September following negotiations between Jones and Muslim leaders in which he was allegedly promised that a proposed Islamic centre would not be built close to New York's Ground Zero site. However, after a spokesman for the Muslim community refuted that any such deal had been struck, Jones retracted his decision to cancel the event and instead claimed that plans to hold the ceremony would be suspended. If the event does indeed go ahead as planned, it is likely to trigger significant protests in several Muslim majority countries, regions and territories, and these will likely focus on US embassies and other Western diplomatic offices. Even if the event is cancelled or deferred, its original stated purpose will likely prompt sporadic protests; Friday prayers on 10 September, which marks the end of Ramadan (Eid al-Fitr), could act as a flashpoint for such demonstrations, which may heighten anti-US and anti-Western sentiment in some Muslim-majority countries. Demonstrations may lead to localised travel disruptions and carry the potential for civil unrest. As a consequence, red24 advises travellers to avoid all protests and to minimise the time spent in the vicinity of buildings and areas associated with US interests, particularly diplomatic offices. It should be noted that religious sites are also considered potential hotspots for protests and demonstrations, and caution is advised in and around these areas. Travellers are further advised to maintain a low profile and to avoid displaying overt signs of nationality.
(taken from red24 alert)