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During the trial of Pastor Terry Jones, Dearborn’s Police Chief testified in court that the head of the Islamic Center of America told him that for some Muslims burning the Quran was worse than 1,000 deaths. Wayne County prosecutors used that testimony as part of the reason why Jones should not be allowed to protest in front of the Islamic Center because they said it could lead to a breach of the peace.

But the head of that mosque, Imam Hassan Qazwini, said Saturday that his comments were about Muslims living abroad, not in metro Detroit or from his mosque.

“I was not talking about my congregation,” Qazwini said. “I know my congregation. They will not do anything.”

Instead, Qazwini said he was talking about Muslims living in foreign countries who might commit acts of violence that could endanger U.S. troops.

In his testimony, Dearborn Police Chief Haddad said:

“Imam Qazwini … expressed to me concern with the 19- to 30-year-old people. He indicated to me that the burning of the Quran for some Muslims, it’s worse than a thousand deaths. He feared that other people may use this … to exploit their harsh feelings.”

Wayne County prosecutors used Haddad’s comments as part of the reason why Jones should not be allowed to protest outside the mosque.

“As the chief of police told us, this is worse than a 1,000 deaths,” said Assistant Prosecutor Robert Moran in court. “That’s what the citizens of this community believe…it’s equivalent to more than a thousand deaths…the chief of police said this is a risk, that if these individuals go there (to the Islamic Center) … could cause a breach of the peace.”

But Imam Qazwini said his comments to the chief were about Muslim living in foreign countries like Afghanistan or in the Middle East. Qazwini was worried that Jones’ actions could hurt U.S. troops or Christians living in foreign countries with Muslim-majority populations.

“There was no mention of my congregation,” Qazwini said.

In his closing arguments, Jones said that the testimony about Quran-burning being worse than 1,000 deaths concerned him.

Source : Detroit Free Press

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