After threatening to torch the Muslim holy book on September 11, Florida pastor Terry Jones followed through on his promise recently by burning the Koran after a "trial" found the book guilty of crimes against humanity.
Jones said the torching was part of International Judge the Koran Day, promoted on Facebook and through his Dove World Outreach Center. Jones and 30 onlookers participated in a fake trial where the Koran was "put on the stand" and was found guilty of crimes against humanity.
"If you are found guilty," he said, according to CBS News, "if you are convicted of murder, you don't get to go home. It does not matter if we love you, if your mommy loves you, if your daddy loves you - you do not get to go home, because you have killed someone.
And because of that you will face punishment."
CBS News goes on to report: The "jury" considered the charges of crimes against humanity; of promoting terrorist acts; of death, rape and torture of people worldwide "whose only crime was not being of the Islamic faith"; and of crimes against women, minorities and Christians, and with promoting prejudice and racism."
The NY Daily News says fellow pastor Wayne Sapp set the book alight after soaking it in kerosene, following the 8-minute trial in which the text was declared "guilty" and ordered "executed." The YouTube video of the incident focuses on the burning book for several minutes, as flames wrap around the pages and it eventually disintegrates.
The U.S. Embassy in Pakistan condemned the burning, CBS News writes, "The deliberate destruction of any holy book is an abhorrent act. The U.S. commitment to freedom of religion and freedom of expression goes back to the founding of our nation and is enshrined in the Constitution.
This is an isolated act done by a small group of people that is contrary to American traditions."