Soldier's family concerned about Koran burning consequences
A pastor in Florida threatens to burn the Koran as payback for the 9/11 attacks, but a Prairieville family fears retaliation against US soldiers, including one of their loved ones, by terrorists.
Those fears come on the heels of military leaders warning and worrying about the same thing, while officials in Washington called the burning event "un-American."
"There are those that say, 'One American bad, all Americans bad,' and I think there's a lot of people out there that do believe that and will follow that and go seeking to make some sort of justice," said Karen Holycross.
Those in charge of the troops overseas said they're concerned justice will be sought on soldiers.
"Images from such an activity could very well be used by extremists here and around the world," said Gen. David Petraeus, U.S. Commander in Afghanistan.
"Their very actions will, in fact, jeopardize the safety of the young men and women who are serving in uniform over here and also undermine the very mission we are trying to accomplish," said U.S. Army Lt. Gen. William Caldwell.
Islamic experts said the mission to mend relations between the U.S. and the Middle East will also be tainted, inciting fear in America and fury in Afghanistan.
"You get anywhere from 60 to 80 percent of the general population holding a negative opinion of the U.S. and its view of Muslims and its stance via Islam, and as I've said previously, this will only confirm all of that unfortunately," said Dr. Reem Meshal, LSU Islamic studies professor.
What Holycross said would be most unfortunate is her son's-in-law purpose to fight for freedom being lost in a fight over freedom.
"That's not what our country was built on, and I don't believe the majority of U.S. citizens would want something like that to happen," said Holycross.
Pastor Terry Jones said it would be tragic if soldiers were attacked because of his church's actions. However, he said he still plans to move forward with the book burning.
"We feel we must sooner or later stand up to Islam," said Jones.
Jones said he is now wearing a gun on his hip following more than 100 death threats.