09/10/2010, 00.00
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Jakarta calls Obama to stop the burning of the Koran

by Mathias Hariyadi
The President telephoned his U.S. counterpart to warn that the initiative threatens world peace. The United States should instead be a "bridge of communication between the West and Islam".

Jakarta (AsiaNews) - The Indonesian president has expressed his concern to his U.S. counterpart, Barack Obama, over the planned burning of the Koran by an American evangelical pastor. Yudhoyono said that such a gesture could provoke the resentment of millions of Indonesian Muslims and asked Washington to prevent the burning to calm tensions and potential violence that could be unleashed to "avenge" this gesture.

Heru Lelono, representing the Government Palace in Jakarta, said: "The president claims that if such a shameful would be performed, this would endanger the peace across the globe." The Indonesian Foreign Ministry spokesman, Teuku Faizasyah, has confirmed sending the message and added: "Indonesia asks the United States to serve as a good liaison to channel the relationship between the Western world and the Islamic world".

Meanwhile, the number of those intending to demonstrate against the burning, organized by Pastor Terry Jones in a small congregation in Florida, is growing. Today, in Jakarta, thousands of Muslims marched in front of U.S. Embassy to condemn the act, which is due to take place tomorrow morning on the anniversary of 9 / 11.

The proposal has sparked worldwide condemnation, with the Catholic Church in the front row. Representatives of the Indonesian Bishops' Conference and the Synod of Protestant churches in the country earlier this month met with the leader of the Islamic Defender Front, Habib Shihab Risieq to condemn the proposal and express solidarity with Muslims in the country.

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