Petraeus Says Florida Church’s Planned Koran Burning Plays Into the Taliban’s Hands

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Photo: Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images

In a rare political moment, General Petraeus spoke out against plans by a Florida church to burn copies of the Koran to mark the anniversary of the September 11 attacks. "It could endanger troops and it could endanger the overall effort," said Petraeus. "It is precisely the kind of action the Taliban uses and could cause significant problems. Not just here, but everywhere in the world we are engaged with the Islamic community." Lieutenant General William Caldwell, who heads up training Afghan security forces, added that many Afghans, hundreds of whom gathered Monday to protest the burning, do not understand the First Amendment rights that allow the church to do this, or the fact that President Obama can't stop them. Terry Jones, the pastor who heads up the clearly misnamed Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, Florida, roughly 1,000 miles from ground zero, says I'mma let Petraeus finish, but, "We must send a clear message to the radical element of Islam." What message is that, exactly?

Petraeus Speaks Out on Quran [WSJ]