A Statement on the Issue of the Proposed Burning of the Qu’ran by Extremist Minister Terry Jones
Greetings to all in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ
As the Islamic world comes to the end of Ramadan, we wish all Muslims, especially Muslims of Sudan, congratulations, good will and blessings on Eid ul‐Fitr. May the Lord God bring peace and love to our land.
As an Archbishop and Primate, and on behalf of the Episcopal Church of the Sudan, I categorically denounce the suggestion of Terry Jones to publicly burn the Qu’ran on the anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centre, New York, in 2001. We, the church, unanimously denounce all acts of terrorism including the burning of the Book of God.
We remain deeply mournful over the extreme act of violence against our brothers and sisters in America by men who claimed to be Muslims acting in the name of Islam. However, let us remember that these actions are directly contrary to the teachings of the Qu’ran.
Both the Qu’ran and the Bible instruct people to love one another. The fundamentalist acts of the past should not be allowed to generate further fundamentalism in the Christian world. Furthermore, we should not allow bitterness and hatred to drive us way from God, in whose nature the virtues of love, mercy, and forgiveness are perpetual.
As spiritual leaders, whether priest, bishop or imam, our responsibility is to lead people to Heaven, not to crisis. We still have painful memories but we should be teaching tolerance and forgiveness to those who are hurt and who have lost loved ones. Judgement is not for man but for God alone.
I ask my Muslim brothers all over the world not to react to the words and actions of this minister. The terrorist attacks on 9/11 were not a decision of the Muslim world. Neither is the burning of the Qu’ran a decision of the Christian world. Believing that the action of a few equates to the opinion of many is erroneous. Acting on this belief is imprudent and dangerous with potentially far‐reaching and disastrous consequences. The Episcopal Church of the Sudan endeavours to bring Muslims and Christians together to dialogue openly and honestly on a painful past in the hope that our people, still traumatised by war and violence, can be reconciled. We hope and pray that such reconciliation and forgiveness will eventually prevail in the United States of America.
May the Almighty God of compassion and love bless us all.
His Grace the Most Rev. Dr. Daniel Deng Bul Yak
Archbishop, Primate and Metropolitan of the Province of the Episcopal Church of the Sudan and Bishop of the Diocese of Juba