According to the general, the Taliban would exploit the demonstration for propaganda purposes. “It is precisely the kind of action the Taliban uses and,” it “could cause significant problems. Not just here, but everywhere in the world” where “we are engaged with the Islamic community,” he stressed.
Rev Stephanie Sapp, spokeswoman for the centre, said no one from the Pentagon or other federal agencies has expressed concern or asked that the event be cancelled. She did say however that the Federal Bureau of Investigation had discussed security measures.
In any event, Pentagon officials hope that General Petraeus' statement—an unusual move since military commanders rarely get involved in politics—would convince Mr Jones to change his plans.
In the meantime, Asian Churches have slammed the initiative. Indian and Indonesian bishops have joined other Christian groups and Muslim representatives to demand the cancellation of the event, and called instead for “dialogue as the only path for mutual understanding”.