From the in-box, Alex Sink has issued a statement condemning the planned “Burn a Koran Day” at the Dove Outreach Center in Gainesville, FL, associating herself with Gen. Petraeus’ warnings about the publicity stunt:
“I stand with General Petraeus in condemning the planned burning of the Quran, as it could put our brave troops in harm’s way. I also feel this display of hatred and intolerance is not in keeping with the values and spirit of our state.”
The statement comes following a lengthy condemnation of the 9/11 publicity stunt, by South Florida House Rep. Dwight Bullard.
Earlier Wedensday, Sink’s opponent, Rick Scott, issued the following statement which also channels Petraeus, and reads in part:
The eyes of the nation have turned to Florida and a small group here that plans to burn the Koran on September 11th. I sincerely ask the organizers to stop, reflect and change their plans.
I agree with General Petraeus. This kind of provocation is deeply wrong and even dangerous.
As this situation unfolds, Floridians of all faiths should come together and say this provocation doesn’t reflect the values of our great state.”
The current governor, Charlie Crist, hasn’t issued an official statement, and his press office indicated they had no current plans to (though “that could change,” but yesterday he did have this to say:
In a speech in Tampa Tuesday afternoon, Gov. Charlie Crist advised against the Quran burning. “I don’t think that’s a productive use of time,” Crist said. “As we know, the First Amendment gives people the right to express themselves, but I think I’d agree with Gen. Petraeus. He indicated he did not think it would be the right thing to do.
“It’s important to understand tolerance. This is a divisive issue on several levels. It obviously was stimulated by the mosque and its location in New York, and I think New York officials are the best to decide whether that’s appropriate, but we’re a country that was based on religious freedom. Sometimes freedom isn’t easy but it’s important to respect.”
Also no word from Florida A.G. Bill McCollum, though the Republican candidate looking to replace him had this to say:
“There are many more productive ways to honor the victims of 9/11,” Pam Bondi said. “We must take seriously Gen. Petraeus’ concern that this demonstration could have the unintended consequence of endangering our troops.”
Still waiting on any word from Dan Gelber, the Democrat running for A.G.
UPDATE: Dan Gelber weighs in:
“The Dove church in Gainesville could not be more wrong and they should reconsider their patently offensive Quran burning. The demonstration will only inflame the very elements they seek to embarrass and as General Petraeus has pointed out, this action will endanger our troops who already put their lives in harms way and will only further threaten American security. This type of behavior is simply not consistent with bedrock American traditions and principles. The famous words of Pastor Martin Niemoller are instructive when he admonished against silence in the face of wrongdoing. It is particularly important for Americans to speak out to let the world community know that this small group does not represent in any manner the beliefs of the rest of our state or our nation. I urge every office holder and candidate in Florida to similarly condemn this behavior; and I urge righteous men and women of faith – no matter their religious convictions – to similarly admonish against this conduct from their churches and synagogues.”