Reform Rabbis Denounce “International Burn a Quran Day” Proposed by Reverend Terry Jones

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CCAR-LOGO — The world's largest group of Jewish clergy, the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR), yesterday issued a statement condemning the proposed "International Burn a Quran Day" by Rev. Terry Jones of The Dove World Outreach Center of Gainesville, Florida, for September 11, 2010.

In its statement, the CCAR, which represents 2,000 reform rabbis said, "…the hateful burning of books considered sacred is frightfully reminiscent of the Talmud burnings in the 13th and 16th centuries and the burning of Jewish books in the 1930s by the Nazis." The statement also said, "…we call all people of reason and good faith, to condemn this incendiary act and the blindness and hatred which motivate it. Should this horrendous crime against moral decency actually take place, we encourage others so appalled to donate two copies of the Quran, or books explaining normative Islam, for every one book which is burned."

The full statement from the CCAR is below:

"As leaders of the Central Conference of American Rabbis, the world's oldest and largest organization of Jewish clergy, we are appalled at the proposed "International Burn a Quran Day" proposed by the Rev. Terry Jones of The Dove World Outreach Center of Gainesville, Florida, for September 11, 2010.

"For Jews especially, the hateful burning of books considered sacred is frightfully reminiscent of the Talmud burnings in the 13th and 16th centuries and the burning of Jewish books in the 1930s by the Nazis. Religious ignorance and intolerance will again show their ugly faces, to be reflected in flames which would bring forth, not warmth and light, but darkness and destruction. Indeed, we wonder if our own Talmud is the next to be burned, given that many of the accusations Rev. Jones uses to justify the burning of the Quran would also apply to the Talmud and other post-Biblical sacred Jewish writings.

"In promoting the burning of the Quran as an ungodly book which keep Muslims from recognizing the truth of Christianity, this minister and those who would emulate him exhibit the same intolerance and exclusive thinking which they attempt to condemn in their sweeping condemnation of Islam.

"The burning of books is a powerfully symbolic act which condemns to the flames not only the words contained therein but those who would live by those words as well. In the 20th century, we tragically witnessed the prophetic truth of Heinrich Heine's words, "Where they burn books, they will, in the end, burn human beings too."

"We call on all people of reason and good faith, to condemn this incendiary act and the blindness and hatred which motivate it. Should this horrendous crime against moral decency actually take place, we encourage others so appalled to donate two copies of the Quran, or books explaining normative Islam, for every one book which is burned.

"We join our voices to the rising opposition of other Jewish, Christian and Islamic groups to this affront to human decency and religious freedom and urge all religious and civic organizations to publically reject this act of hatred."

Rabbi Ellen Weinberg Dreyfus, President of the CCAR

Rabbi Steven A. Fox, Chief Executive of the CCAR 

The Central Conference of American Rabbis, founded in 1889, is the oldest and largest rabbinic organization in North America. For more information please visit the CCAR's website at http://ccarnet.org/.

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eHeziReform Rabbis Denounce “International Burn a Quran Day” Proposed by Reverend Terry Jones

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