In his news conference today, President Obama said he is concerned about copycat Koran-burners even after a Florida pastor has suspended his planned bonfire.
“Part of my concern is that we don’t have a whole bunch of folks across the country thinking, this is the way to get attention,” he said. “This is a way of endangering our troops, our sons and daughters.”
“You don’t play games with that,” he said.
Asked if he aided Terry Jones’s publicity-seeking by having high level officials like Defense Secretary Robert Gates get involved, Obama dismissed the idea.
“I hardly think we’re the ones who elevated this story,” he said, “but it is, in the age of the Internet, something that can cause us profound damage around the world. So we’ve gotta take it seriously.”
There are, already, copycats. The Westboro Baptist Church, the infamous Kansas family who protests military funerals, says it will burn a Koran and an American flag on Saturday. In Tennessee, a pastor says he will burn the Muslim holy book in his home — something a nearby pastor said makes him “a nut.” And in Wyoming, a man who founded what he calls the “Wyoming Tyranny Response Team” says he will either burn a Koran on the steps of the capitol there or throw it in the trash.