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Pastor Who Burned Koran Says He Was Duped Into Holding Back
by Lizette Alvarez
The pastor who stoked violence in Afghanistan earlier this month by burning a Koran in March produced a recording on Saturday that he said proved he was deceived last September when he agreed to cancel plans to burn 200 copies of the Koran.
The pastor, Terry Jones, played the recording — which he said was made on Sept. 9 on his assistant's iPhone — of a conversation between him and Imam Muhammad Musri, an Islamic leader in Florida. At the time, Mr. Musri was trying to persuade Mr. Jones not to burn the Korans as part of a demonstration on Sept. 11.
After the Sept. 9 meeting, Mr. Jones announced that as part of a deal brokered by Mr. Musri to relocate a proposed Islamic center near ground zero in New York, he would not burn the 200 Korans. But almost immediately after the announcement, Mr. Musri, who had attended a news conference with Mr. Jones, told reporters that he had made no such deal and no such promise. The pastor, he said, had backed down because of pressure from President Obama and the rest of the world.
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