GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Members of the New Black Panther Party showed up in Gainesville Monday to let The Dove World Outreach Center know it is outraged by its plan to burn the Koran.
“I believe in peace but if you aggress me, I am going to fight back,” said State Chairman of the New Black Panther Party Mikhail Muhammad.
The church plans to burn the holy book Saturday on the ninth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
The pastor’s plan has reached all the way to Afghanistan where Monday hundeds of demonstrators burned a cardboard effigy of the Gainesville pastor, Terry Jones.
“We are not surprised at all that they are responding in that way because that’s the nature of Sharia law, that’s the nature of violent Islam,” said Jones.
The Black Panthers say they want President Barack Obama and Governor Charlie Crist to stand up and condemn the church’s plan.
They’re also hoping Jones changes his mind.
“We basically want to warn Pastor Terry Jones that if he burns this Koran, he’s going to insight a wrath and chastisement on himself that he will not be able to bare and all he’s going to do is add more division between Muslims and Christians when we should be sitting down at the table to resolve our differences,” said Muhammad.
The New Black Panther Party say it will be back in Gainesville Saturday to show the church and the world they won’t stand for religious hatred.
Jones says he won’t let anything stand in his way.
“We think the message is that important,” said Jones. “We think we also cannot back down because of fear, because if we back down it will not make Islam any more moderate.”
Gainesville Police showed up in front of the church while the New Black Panthers were in town and told them to move from the street. They told them they could not be in the street or on the church’s property.