Developing: Pastor Suspends Quran Burn; Park 51 Imam, Developer Deny Deal
Updated 9:25 p.m. ET | Late Thursday, Pastor Terry Jones told news agencies he was rethinking his decision to cancel the burning of Qurans to mark the 9/11 anniversary because he believes he was lied to about the relocating of an Islamic center in New York City. The story continues to develop. We’ll have more about this here on the Rundown Friday.
Updated 7:25 p.m. ET | Two high-profile religious issues briefly appeared to nullify each other Thursday as a Florida pastor announced he would cancel a planned Quran burning on the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks — as long as a planned mosque and Islamic center was moved away from Ground Zero in New York or scrapped.
However, the imam and developer associated with the New York project denied reports that a deal was reached to move.
Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf issued a statement through his publicist saying earlier reports were false, and there had been no negotiations of the sort.
Jones, speaking to reporters again later in the afternoon, was adamant that he was promised that the Islamic center would be moved, and said he would be “very, very disappointed” if that didn’t happen.
Sharif El Gamal, the New York developer behind the Park 51 project in lower Manhattan, told the NewsHour late Thursday:
“We are not moving.”
Asked about a meeting with Imam Feisal and the Florida pastor, he said:
“I talk to the these people every day. It’s my building. I own it. I know nothing of a meeting.”
The Rev. Terry Jones, who leads a small congregation that espouses anti-Islam philosophy, announced at a news conference Thursday that he decided to cancel the extremely controversial burning of Islam’s holiest text — a pledge that drew strong rebuke worldwide, most notably from President Obama.
Watch remarks from Jones and Musri at a Thursday news conference:
Jones spoke again to reporters later in the day: