Florida Imam Who Intervened in "Burn a Koran Day" Talks to Odyssey Networks

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Muslim Leader Used Teachings of Jesus to Persuade Pastor to Reconsider

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Several years ago bracelets, t-shirts and bumper stickers across America were emblazoned with the line “What Would Jesus Do?” Recently this question re-emerged in an unlikely situation: the “Burn a Koran Day” planned by the Dove Outreach Center in Gainesville, FL for the anniversary of 9/11. Just two days before the controversial event, Imam Muhammad Musri of the Islamic Society of Central Florida met with Rev. Terry Jones and cited passages from the New Testament to persuade the Dove pastor to cancel his plan. “Blessed are the peacemakers” and “love your enemies” were two of the familiar quotes the Imam says he mentioned in their conversation. Pastor Jones ultimately decided to call off the Koran burning.

Odyssey Networks was on the grounds of the Dove Center for an interview with Musri just after his dialogue with Jones. It is now available for viewing at odysseynetworks.org. In it, he tells Odyssey why he chose to persuade the pastor through the use of Christ’s own teachings. In addition, Musri offers outspoken criticism of the intense coverage of extremists in all corners of the world and in all religions. The media’s fascination with the fringes of faith has made for misrepresentation and contributed to hostility in both the West and the Muslim world, he says.

The Musri interview is the latest in Odyssey’s “Faith in Action,” a new online news concept dedicated to telling the stories of people whose work is changing the world. In addition to the Gainesville controversy, “Faith in Action” has covered the work of faith leaders coping with the Gulf oil spill and the recent visit of Archbishop Timothy Dolan to earthquake-stricken Haiti.

About Odyssey Networks
Odyssey Networks is the nation’s largest multi-faith coalition dedicated to producing and distributing media that builds bridges of understanding, promotes peace and tolerance, and addresses issues of social justice. Established in 1987, Odyssey Networks is a service of the National Interfaith Cable Coalition, Inc. For more information visit http://www.odysseynetworks.org

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