'Back to square one,' Jones says after imam denies there's a deal to move NYC Islamic center.
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The Florida pastor whose plan to burn Qurans on Sept. 11 generated worldwide outrage among Muslims and pressure by the U.S. government to relent said late Thursday that he might not call off the protest after all.
At a press conference Thursday afternoon, Jones had said he was canceling the Quran burning because a Muslim imam had assured him that the proposed Islamic center could be moved away from the World Trade Center site in return.
But the imam proposing to build the Islamic center near the World Trade Center denied that a deal had been struck to move the project.
"I am glad that Pastor Jones has decided not to burn any Qurans," Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf said in a statement. "However, I have not spoken to Pastor Jones or Imam Musri (of Florida). I am surprised by their announcement. We are not going to toy with our religion or any other. Nor are we going to barter. We are here to extend our hands to build peace and harmony."
After that statement, Jones said the Quran burning had only been suspended.
"Given what we are now hearing, we are forced to rethink our decision," Jones said. "So as of right now, we are not canceling the event, but we are suspending it." (Source)