Hawaii Muslim leader speaks out against Koran burning

Hakim Ouansafi
Hakim Ouansafi
Pastor Terry Jones
Pastor Terry Jones
Pastor JD Farag
Pastor JD Farag

By Jim Mendoza - bio | email

MANOA (HawaiiNewsNow) - Florida Pastor Terry Jones is standing by his promise to burn copies of the Koran on September 11.

It's drawn protests in Afghanistan and pleas from US military and government leaders to abandon the idea for fear of retaliation by extremists.

The story has gone global.

Hakim Ouansafi chairs the Muslim Association of Hawaii. He said burning the Koran is equivalent to burning the Bible.

"It's very upsetting. It's very offensive and unnecessary," Ouansafi said. "By him doing this he will incite violence, will increase the amount of violence, and it will put our soldiers in harm's way."

Jones said torching copies of the Koran will strike a blow against radical Islamists.

Christian Pastor JD Farag sees it differently.

He was born in Lebanon. His relatives are Muslims. He doesn't believe the Koran is God's word but he does believe burning it could hurt the Christian message.

"What this pastor in Florida is doing is he is cursing the darkness. He is not turning on the light. If Jesus were here he would not be burning Korans. He would be reaching out to Muslims," he said.

Ouansafi worries images of Korans on fire could be used as a recruiting tool for terrorists.

"Imagine those pictures playing again and again and again and people saying this is what America is all about," he said.

Ouansafi said Muslims memorize the Koran from cover to cover. They treat it with reverence and not an object to be abused.

Copyright 2010 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.