GAINESVILLE, Florida — The leader of a small church in Florida that espouses an anti-Islam philosophy said he was still praying about whether to burn copies of the Koran on Sept. 11, a plan the White House, religious leaders and others are pressuring him to call off.
The Rev. Terry Jones said he has received more than 100 death threats and has started wearing a .40-caliber pistol strapped to his hip but still did not back off his plan Tuesday to burn the book Muslims consider the word of God and insist be treated with the utmost respect.
The 58-year-old minister said the death threats started not long after he proclaimed in July that he would stage "International Burn-a-Koran Day."
Supporters, though, have been mailing copies of the holy text to his church of about 50 followers to be incinerated in a bonfire on Saturday to mark the ninth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.