President Obama urged fringe pastor Terry Jones not to burn Korans this Saturday, saying it would be “completely contrary to our values as Americans.” Further, he said, it could lead to a “recruitment bonanza” for al-Qaeda.
“If he’s listening, I just hope he understands that what he’s proposing to do is completely contrary to our values of Americans. That this country has been built on the notions of religious freedom and religious tolerance,” Obama said on Good Morning America. “And as a very practical matter, as commander of chief of the Armed Forces of the United States I just want him to understand that this stunt that he is talking about pulling could greatly endanger our young men and women in uniform who are in Iraq, who are in Afghanistan. We’re already seeing protests against Americans just by the mere threat he’s making.”
Obama also said he hopes Jones “listens to those better angels.”
He went on to say “we are a government of laws” — an acknowledgment that the government cannot legally stop Jones from burning Korans.
“Part of this country’s history is people doing destructive or offensive or harmful things. And yet, we still have to make sure that we’re following the laws. And that’s part of what I love about this country,” he said.