(RNS) Fire officials in Gainesville, Fla., have denied a permit to a church that wants to burn Qurans on Sept. 11, but church officials said they’ll go ahead with the protest that has garnered worldwide attention.
Leaders of the Dove World Outreach Center say “Islam is of the Devil” and plan to burn copies of the Islamic holy book on the anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Gene Prince, interim chief of Gainesville Fire Rescue, told The Gainesville Sun that he informed the church on Tuesday (Aug. 17) that the protest violates local fire-prevention laws, which include rules against burning corrugate cardboard or office paper, which includes books.
“It wouldn’t matter what the book is they’re burning,” Deputy Chief Tim Hayes told the newspaper.
Regardless, the church sent out an e-mail vowing to go burn the books anyway. “City of Gainesville denies burn permit — BUT WE WILL STILL BURN KORANS,” The Sun reported.
The church’s website includes a list of 10 reasons to burn the Quran, including “Islamic Law is totalitarian in nature,” Islamic teaching contains “irrational fear and loathing of the West” and that the Quran teaches that Jesus “was NOT the Son of God.”