Fire Department Blocks Florida Church’s Plan To Burn Korans

August 20, 2010 7:59 a.m.

Remember that Florida “church” with the plan to torch a pile of Korans in commemoration of 9/11? Turns out there’s one thing they weren’t counting on: a local Fire Department that’s stingy with outdoor fire permits.

According to the Gainesville Sun, fire chief Gene Prince told the church “that under the city’s fire prevention ordinance, an open burning of books is not allowed.” Turns out town code 10-63, a “General prohibition on outdoor burning and open burning,” specifically outlaws the burning of (section 6) “Newspaper” and (7) “Corrugated cardboard, container board, office paper.”

Apparently, bound copies of Islam’s holy text fall into those categories. But you didn’t really think the Dove World Outreach Center was going to let a pesky fire chief stop its planned tribute to the men and women who died in the terror attacks, did you? The Sun reports that in an email message sent out by the church Wednesday, Dove World proclaims, “City of Gainesville denies burn permit — BUT WE WILL STILL BURN KORANS.”Prince says that if the church makes good on its promise, it cold be hit with a fine.

“It wouldn’t matter what the book is they’re burning,” another fire department official told the Sun.

Meanwhile, the potential illegal book burning is just one among many controversies for Dove World and — according to town fathers in Gainesville — another chance for the church to give the town a bad name.

The Sun reports that Mayor Craig Lowe “has called Dove World a ‘tiny fringe group and an embarrassment to our community.” He said he backs the fire department’s finding that the Koran burning is illegal.

“Based upon the law and the ordinances that have been set forward by the city of Gainesville, I support and respect the decision,” he told the paper.

Regardless of whether the church goes ahead with the plan to burn Korans and gets slapped with fines, it seems ponying up some cash is in Dove World’s future. Apparently the church is in major debt — and needs $140,000 immediately to pay off its mortgage.

“RBC Bank called in our mortgage with a limited time to pay it off,” the church wrote in the email pronouncing its intention to go ahead with the book burning. “Now Cottons All-lines Insurance has also canceled our commercial insurance on our property putting our mortgage in immediate default. We need to raise the $140,000 to pay off the RBC loan immediately.”

(H/T Florida Independent)

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