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L.A. Muslims discuss Koran-burning issue

September 10, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
Thousands of Muslims gathered in downtown Los Angeles to celebrate the end of Ramadan. During the service, the group also discussed the controversy surrounding a pastor's plan to burn the Koran, the Muslim holy book. "He's making it worse and I know he's mad about 9/11, but he's not making it right," said Khaled Mahfouz, a Muslim who attended the service.

"He's just like any other racist person. He's hateful at best," said another attendee Sabira Alloo.

The last thing Muslims at the celebration wanted to do was flame the situation. Some fear it will only make life tougher for them.

"We need peace in America, we are Americans so we need to get together. That's why we don't like violence or anything else," said Murshad Ulislim, a Muslim.

Muslim leaders are as frustrated as Christian and political leaders around the world that a pastor in Florida with only 50 followers is controlling the discussion over interfaith relations.

At a news conference Friday, the Rev. Terry Jones issued an ultimatum, saying the Koran-burning would only be called off if he can meet Saturday with the imam leading the effort to build an Islamic center near the World Trade Center. The imam in New York said he still has no plans to meet with Jones.

It's unclear what the pastor is planning to do now. One thing Islamic leaders tried to express was that whatever the pastor ends up doing, Muslims should try to ignore it.

Along with prayers for peace Muslims also prayed for understanding that the acts of extremists on both sides do not represent the message and feelings of the vast majority.

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