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Quran controversy leads to travel alert

4:33 PM, Sep 9, 2010   |    comments
Pastor Terry Jones of the Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville.
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Washington, DC -- The plans of one pastor in Gainesville, Florida have prompted a travel alert for all U.S. citizens. 

The Department of State warned "of the potential for anti-U.S. demonstrations in many countries on the anniversary of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks."

Reverend Terry Jones said he plans to burn the Quran in an effort to "send radical Muslims a message."  Jones has started carrying a gun after receiving more than 100 death threats.

The 58-year-old said his internet provider has shut down his website. "Of course, for us it cancels our DoveWorld.org account and our Islam is of the Devil account. You can imagine it's an indirect violation of our freedom of expression and our freedom of speech. They are trying to shut us down," Jones said.

"This is not going to effect the event going forward," he concluded.

The pastor's son Luke Jones, said the church had about 200 Qurans to burn -- some sent by supporters, the rest purchased.

"An attack on the Quran is an attack on the entire Muslim world. We appeal to Muslim Ummah to socially boycott and end diplomatic relations with the country where it is going to take place," said Muslim cleric Siddique Rathore, who led one protest.

The government said demonstrations, some violent, have already taken place in several countries, including Afghanistan and Indonesia, in response to the church's plans.

The travel alert expires on September 30, 2010.

The Department of State also recommends any U.S. citizens living or traveling abroad are encouraged to register with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

For information on security conditions or travel alerts call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or, outside of those areas call 1-202-501-4444.

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