The focus of world attention continues to be on the lone preacher of a tiny church in Florida.
Terry Jones hit the headlines with his plans to burn 200 copies of the Coran this Saturday, to mark the anniversary of the September the 11th attacks.
Presidents, military officials, and religious leaders have all insisted the protest be called off – but Jones remains defiant:
“As you can imagine, we have received very, very much pressure in the direction of cancelling the event. As of this time we have no intention of cancelling.”
The issue has now gone all the way to the US President.
Using uncharacteristically blunt language, Barack Obama said burning the Coran would amount to handing a propaganda tool to terrorists:
“What he is proposing to do, is completely contrary to our values as Americans. And as a very practical manner, as Commander-In-Chief of the army 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, were in Afghamistan. This is a recruitment bonanza for Al Qaeda.”
There have already been several demonstrations by the Muslim community, whose members are outraged by the protest.
The US government has warned its embassies around the world to be prepared for any reaction.