on June 15, 2014 at 1:18 PM, updated June 15, 2014 at 3:12 PM
DEARBORN, MI — Anti-Islam Florida Pastor Terry Jones has been making headlines since he first announced plans to burn the Quran, the holy text of Muslims, in 2010.
While driving to a location in Polk County, Florida on Sept.11, 2013, law enforcement arrested Jones and seized 2,998 kerosene-soaked Qurans that Jones intended to burn in protest of Islam and in commemoration of the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
At a lightly attended rally in Dearborn Saturday, Jones announced plans for this year’s 9/11 anniversary.
“We’re going to do what we got stopped last year,” he said. “We’re going to have the burning of 2,998 Qurans.”
Jones said he plans to return to Polk County, the government of which he called “shady” and “corrupt.”
Jones is a former pastor and leads the organization Stand Up America Now, a Christian-influenced organization that advocates free speech and condemns Islam.
Following his 2013 arrest in Polk County, Jones was charged with a felony, unlawful conveyance of fuel (for the kerosene-soaked Qurans stored in a barbeque container), and carrying an exposed firearm, a misdemeanor.
“What we had was a barbeque container filled with Qurans,” Jones said “Those Qur’ans were soaked in kerosene and that’s what they call the illegal transporting of fuel.”
Jones on Saturday said he was fighting the charge but news reports in Aprilindicated the activist was prepared to enter into a plea agreement, the conditions of which included him pleading guilty to the firearm charge in exchange for the felony being dropped.
He would also be banned from Polk County for six months, based on the proposed agreement. It’s unclear how the ban might impact Jones’ plans to burn 2,998 Qurans there.
The American Patriotic Riders, a motorcycle club opposed to Islam, invited Jones to a rally in Dearborn Sunday but didn’t join him when he arrived at City Hall to speak, causing Jones to call them “a bunch of stinking cowards.”
Initial plans were to conduct a rally at the Dearborn Islamic Center, but police from multiple agencies nixed that plan by blocking the roads nearby.
Fewer than 20 supporters attended the Saturday rally.
Three burnt Qurans were left outside the Karbalaa Islamic Education Center in Dearborn last week. Although Jones said he had nothing to do with it, he voiced support for their First Amendment right.
“They can burn the Quran because.. from a pastoral view, the Quran is the devil,” Jones said.