Sep 13, 2012 No Comments ›› Pat Dollard
Excerpted from The Daily Beast: Florida minister Terry Jones’ association with a film critical of the Prophet Muhammad put him in the firestorm of Tuesday’s uprising in Libya and Egypt that resulted in the death of U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens in Benghazi. Although he was unable to air a trailer of the film at his International Judge Muhammad Day on Tuesday night, he burned the Quran and aired it live online.
This isn’t the first time the anti-Muslim minister has provoked unrest in the Middle East. His highly publicized plans to burn the Quran outside his small Gainesville church in 2010 prompted deadly riots in Afghanistan and a call from the White House to back down. Jones says he got a similar call from Gen. Martin Dempsey on Wednesday asking him to not promote or show the film.
Lynn Waddell sat down with Jones in his Gainesville church office and got the scoop about his connection to the provocative film and his feelings about the violence it may have provoked.
What is your involvement with the movie?
We were contacted by the producer/writer of this film a few weeks ago. He offered to fly down here to show us the film. Our involvement is he desired for us to promote the film and to broadcast the film because we are somewhat known especially in this area, although we speak out on many issues. He wanted us to put our stamp of approval on it and promote it in whatever way we could.
When did you start promoting it?
Just yesterday (Tuesday). We were just sort of taking it easy and then circumstances prompted a reaction because our name came in contact with the film. The trailer has been out there for a while. I have no idea how overseas got wind of it.
Did anyone in law enforcement contact you and ask you not to promote or show it?
No, other than this morning and I talked to General Dempsey. He asked us not to show or promote the film. He said he had seen the film himself and thought it was inappropriate and was concerned about the reaction overseas.
Are you going to comply?
I told him that for one, I have not seen the whole film. So, I will watch the whole film and I told him I would definitely consider it. I’m going to talk today to the producer/writer and just as soon as he can send us the movie we will watch it. So, we will make a decision right away. Our problem is how far and when do you back down. Once you start moving backwards it’s very easy to continue moving backwards. So, I don’t know.