Koran-Burning Pastor Denies Claims He Prompted U.N. Afghanistan Murders

Pastor Terry Jones, who took advantage of the rapidfire late summer news cycle to become famous for burning Korans last year, has come out strongly against claims that he is directly responsible for prompting Muslim protesters to kill eleven people in Afghanistan this week, including a number of U.S. staffers. Jones accused the protesters, who were directly protesting his Koran burning, of using him as an excuse for the killings.

“We do not feel responsible, no,” Jones said in an interview with ABC’s Nightline, speaking for his congregation. He acknowledged the killings as a heinous act but distancing himself from them. “We feel the more that Muslims and the radical elements of Islam, they use that as an excuse. If they did not have us as an excuse, they would use a different excuse.”

Pastor Jones went on to say that he believed the attack actually strengthened the point his congregation was trying to make. “This proves that there is a radical element of Islam,” he concluded. After an initially distant response when the deaths were first announced, it appears Jones is only strengthening his resolve that his movement does not promote or exacerbate violence but, rather, highlights already existing impulses of violence in Muslim groups.

A segment of Jones’ interview and the report via ABC News below:

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