Controversial Florida Pastor Reneges And Supervises Burning Of Quran : The Two-Way Dove World in Gainesville, Fla. held a trial for the Muslim holy book, before it was set on fire.
NPR logo Controversial Florida Pastor Reneges And Supervises Burning Of Quran

Controversial Florida Pastor Reneges And Supervises Burning Of Quran

Pastors Terry Jones (L) and Wayne Sapp listen to reporter's questions on September 10, 2010 in Gainesville, Fla. Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images

Pastors Terry Jones (L) and Wayne Sapp listen to reporter's questions on September 10, 2010 in Gainesville, Fla.

Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images

Last year, and to much publicity, Terry Jones, an evangelical preacher in Gainesville, Fla., threatened to burn a Quran on Sept. 11. During the showdown, even President Barack Obama got involved. In an interview with Good Morning America, the president pleaded with Jones not to do it.

"If he's listening," Obama said, "I just hope he understands that what he's proposing to do is completely contrary to our values [as] Americans."

But, yesterday, during Dove World Outreach Center's Sunday service, without any publicity and under the supervision of Jones, Pastor Wayne Sapp soaked a Quran in kerosene for an hour, held an event he said was a "trial" for the Muslim holy book, and after the book was found guilty, Sapp set the Quran on fire using a barbecue lighter.

The AFP reports that the book burned for about 10 minutes, while some onlookers took pictures. The AFP adds:

[Jones] did not carry out his plan [in Sept.] and vowed he never would, saying he had made his point.

But this time, he said he had been "trying to give the Muslim world an opportunity to defend their book," but did not receive any answer.

He said he felt that he couldn't have a real trial without a real punishment.

The event was open to the public, but fewer than 30 people attended.