London, Asharq Al-Awsat- Dr Nihad Awad, Executive Director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) in Washington, said he will travel with a group of Muslim leaders for the Eid prayer at the Martin Luther King Center in Gainesville, Florida. This city is currently witnessing a plan conducted by an obscure pastor, to burn copies of the Koran this Saturday, which marks the 9th anniversary of the September 11th attacks. Dr Awad clarified “we will be there for the Eid sermon to demonstrate the moderate and tolerant nature of Islam”.
Dr Awad, speaking in a telephone interview with Asharq Al-Awsat yesterday, added that “for our part, we have advised the Muslims in the United States to observe the utmost calm, patience and restraint, and not give an opportunity to those who want to challenge and distort Islam. The best way to succeed, regarding the Book of God, is to commit to the morality of the Koran and the Prophet Muhammad, and follow his teachings”.
He stressed that “Pastor Terry Jones is head of a financially bankrupt church, which is trying to gain fame and request monetary aid. It has less than 300 followers. What he is doing is the act of an individual, and does not represent the general Americans”. He pointed out that “The pastor is a man characterized by his stubbornness; he does not speak from knowledge, and is ignorant of what is in front of him. If he read the Koran, and knew what was in it, he would not undertake this step, which will anger people, and anger the Lord. If he really believes in God, then he should give himself a chance, because ignorance here is not an excuse”.