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Statement by Congresswoman Waters on Violence in Afghanistan Related to Quran Burning

April 4, 2011
Press Release

Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) issued the following statement today after Rev. Terry Jones' burning of the Quran sparked protests in Afghanistan over the weekend, killing civilians and United Nations personnel:

"Last September I convened a diverse group of faith leaders in the Los Angeles area to disavow plans by Rev. Terry Jones and his congregation at the Dove World Outreach Center in Florida to burn copies of the Quran, the holy text of the Islamic religion. Many other elected, community, and religious leaders came together around the country and throughout the world to similarly state that this kind of action would be offensive, violent, and could bring harm to many people around the world – especially our brave men and women in uniform serving overseas.

"I'm very saddened to see that Mr. Jones' plans to desecrate the text of a world religion with over one billion followers became a reality on Friday. His intolerant act has directly resulted in the deaths of at least 22 civilians and United Nations personnel in Afghanistan over the weekend. 

"Actions have consequences, and I am disgusted and saddened at the outcome of Mr. Jones' narrow vision of the world. While we respect freedom of speech, this is tantamount to crying fire in a crowded theater. In no uncertain terms, I join other leaders in absolutely denouncing Mr. Jones' actions, and I encourage others to come forward and speak out. 

"My condolences are with the loved ones of the victims of Mr. Jones' bigotry. From his extreme demonstration of hate, let us all come together as a global community steadfast in our opposition to hate in all its forms and resolute in our determination to make the world a better, more peaceful and tolerant place for future generations."