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U.S. pastor says he will put Mohammed ‘on trial’ next as NATO chief condemns Koran burning for starting riots

Posted on: April 5, 2011

  • Killings in Kandahar follow UN attack that left up to 20 dead and 83 wounded
  • Taliban claims responsibility for UN attack
  • Hamid Karzai calls for U.S. congress to condemn controversial pastor
  • General Petraeus condemns pastor Terry Jones
  • Demonstrations against the burnings take place across the Middle East
  • President Obama appeals for calm and condemns Koran burning as an ‘act of bigotry’ – but does not mention Florida pastor
  • Norwegian, Romanian, Swedish and Nepalese nationals among those killed

Despite clear evidence that his actions have led to multiple murders and widespread violence in the Middle East, controversial Florida pastor Terry Jones has vowed to step up his provocative campaign against Islam.

The radical pastor said that he was considering putting Islamic prophet Mohammed ‘on trial’ for his next ‘day of judgement’ publicity stunt.

His last, in which he oversaw the burning of a copy of the Koran after a six-hour mock trial, has been directly responsible for a wave of violence that began last night and has left 30 people dead and more than 150 injured.

The defiant stance has led General Petraeus, the head of NATO forces in Afghanistan, to join international condemnation of pastor Jones.

The General urged Afghans to understand only a small number of people had been disrespectful to the Koran and Islam.          

He said: ‘We condemn, in particular, the action of an individual in the United States who recently burned the Holy Koran.            

‘We also offer condolences to the families of all those injured and killed in violence which occurred in the wake of the burning of the Holy Koran.’

The call comes after a third day of violence in Afghanistan saw at least ten deaths, 78 injured and at least 17 arrests as protesters clash with security forces in Kandahar.

There were also reports of attempted suicide attacks on a U.S. military base in Kabul, but these were not directly linked to Mr Jones’s actions.

The vilified pastor remains unrepentant about his actions, and has even hinted that he will take his provocative stance further.

He said in an interview:  ‘It is definitely a consideration to stage a trial on the life of Mohammed in the future.’ Such a move would trigger further violent protests in the Muslim world – even in more moderate Islamic states.

But Mr Jones shows no signs of backing down, refusing to admit the violence is his fault, and apparently proud of his actions.

In an interview at his Dove World Outreach Center, the pastor at least admitted that he was saddened by the Afghan attacks – but added that he would burn the Koran again if given the chance.

He told the New York Times: ‘It was intended to stir the pot; if you don’t shake the boat, everyone will stay in their complacency.

‘Emotionally, it’s not all that easy. People have tried to make us responsible for the people who are killed. It’s unfair and somewhat damaging.

‘Did our action provoke them? Of course. Is it a provocation that can be justified? Is it a provocation that should lead to death?

‘When lawyers provoke me, when banks provoke me, when reporters provoke me, I can’t kill them. That would not fly.’

It is not surprising that Mr Jones should mention lawyers, banks and reporters as his tormentors.

The pastor, whose church membership has dwindled and who is a hate figure in his own community, is also near broke.

A second wave of violence began this morning when demonstrators clashed with security forces.

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