A southern pastor's plan to burn the Quran is drawing strong reactions here in San Diego, particularly among the local muslim community.
San Diegans are sending flowers to a local mosque in response to plans by a Florida pastor to burn Muslim's most sacred possession, the Quran, this weekend.
Pastor Terry Jones, who plans to burn several copies of the Quran on the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, has said the act is in protest against radical Islamic extremists. "We believe this type of message is right now very, very necessary in America before it's too late," Jones said.
"We are sad because somebody in the name of his faith is showing such disrespect," said Hassane.
Hassane said other local faith organizations have been sending flowers to the Islamic Center as a show of support for the Muslim community.
"This challenge is helping us to strengthen the bridges of understanding and respect already there between the Muslim community and other faith communities," Hassane said.
San Diegan Edgar Hopida is worried that the book burning will only insight more violence with Islamic extremists around the world and cause a backlash against the Muslim community.
"We contacted the hate crimes division of the FBI, and we've talked to the District Attorney's office just to be on their toes during this weekend," said Hopida who works with the Council of Islamic Relations.
He said the book burning is targeting all Muslims, when in reality only a small fraction are extremists.
"The terrorists that committed 911 go against the very basic principle and teachings of Islam and the Quran," said Hopida.
One group of local students plans to gather at the federal building downtown Saturday to speak out against the book burning.
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