I'm not responsible: Qur'an-burning pastor
Gainesville - An evangelical pastor whose church burned a Qur'an last month said he was "devastated" but did not feel responsible for the killings on Friday of seven UN workers in a violent protest in Afghanistan.
"We are devastated by that information, that news," Terry Jones, the head of the Dove World Outreach Centre in Gainesville, told AFP. "We don't feel responsible for that."
The United Nations said four Nepalese guards, three foreign UN workers, and several protesters were killed when a mob enraged by the Qur’an burning attacked the UN compound in the Afghan city of Mazar-i-Sharif.
Jones presided over the burning of the Islamic holy book on March 20 at his Florida church, an act he had long threatened despite warnings it would put American troops and others in Afghanistan in danger.
"The radical element of Islam takes that as an excuse to promote their violent activities," Jones said on Friday. "What we would like to see is the United States government standing up, the UN standing up.
"It's time to stop ignoring the violence going on in Muslim countries like Pakistan and Afghanistan," he said.
Jones said the killings "won't change anything we're doing" but added that there's no plan to burn another Qur’an.
"We have, right now, no plans, no," he told AFP when asked if he will burn another Qur’an.
"It is not part of our agenda to go around the country burning Qur’ans."
The church's website encourages visitors to donate money and offers for sale coffee mugs, T-shirts and caps - all featuring anti-Islam slogans.
The website also rails against homosexuality and abortion.