Florida Pastor Terry Jones Arrested for Trying to Burn Nearly 3,000 Korans on 9/11
Florida's finest argument against religion: Terry Jones.
Last year, Florida pastor Terry Jones had the divinely inspired idea of turning September 11 into "International Judge Muhammad Day." The act of bigoted brilliance sparked protests in many Muslim countries. Some experts even credited Jones' stunt with inspiring the deadly terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi.
Like a true religious zealot, however, Jones just upped the ante for this year's anniversary. Not to be dissuaded by either common sense or the teachings of Jesus Christ, the handlebar-mustached hate-monger doused nearly 3,000 Korans in kerosene. He was about to set them ablaze when cops intervened.
According to Reuters, Jones and six supporters had driven to the town of Mulberry near Tampa to torch the holy books.
The über-Christian convoy stopped at a fast-food restaurant with 2,998 of the fuel-soaked Korans -- one for each person killed September 11, 2001 -- already loaded onto a giant barbecue in the back of a truck.
But when the pastor pulled back onto the street, cops in unmarked squad cars swooped in.
Jones and fellow Stand Up America Now supporter Marvin Wayne Sapp Jr. were arrested, according to Sapp's wife, Stephanie. The two men were charged with unlawful conveyance of fuel, a felony. The Polk County Sheriff's Office also charged Jones with a misdemeanor of openly carrying a firearm.
Police "informed them that it is illegal to have a grill with kerosene in it in any way behind a vehicle traveling down the highway,'' Sapp said. She added that the event was intended to raise awareness about "the dangers of Islam."
"We had the Korans inside the grill, and we had prepared them by soaking with kerosene, just like you would if you had charcoal on a grill and poured lighter fluid on it," Sapp said.
Jones first gained international notoriety in 2010, when he threatened to burn a Koran. He was talked out of it, only to later ratchet up his bizarre provocations.
In 2011, his "Burn a Koran Day" sparked bloody protests in Afghanistan. And then there was last year's miniature holy war.
It's not surprising, therefore, that Jones' very un-Christianlike antics have earned him a death sentence in Egypt.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Miami New Times' biggest stories.
- Florida Might Remove Confederate Flag From State Senate Seal
Thu., Oct. 15, 7:00pm
Thu., Oct. 15, 7:30pm
Sat., Oct. 17, 12:00am
Sat., Oct. 17, 10:00am
- First Speaker of the House From Florida? Rep. Dan Webster Considered Dark-Horse Candidate
- Local Entrepreneurs Create New, College-Only Social Network