A group of Muslim Jordanian youths planted flowers in one of the capital’s major churches in an attempt to promote tolerance and respond to the recent calls in the U.S. for burning the Quran.
Priests at the Church of the Annunciation in the Jordanian capital Amman received Tuesday a group of Muslims who came to plant flowers in the church’s courtyard and offered bouquets to several clerics as a show of unity between Muslims and Christians, according to local press reports Tuesday.
Father Constantine Qarmash, who headed the delegation that witnessed the flower planting, gave a speech to the visitors that started with greeting them on the occasion of the Muslim holiday Eid al-Adham marking trhe end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan.
In his speech, Father Qarmash referred to the latest calls by Florida pastor Terry Jones to burn the Quran on the anniversary of the September 11 attacks as "fanatical" and said the pastor does not belong to Christianity.
“This man has vile intentions and there is no way he is a true Christian because Christianity preaches love and tolerance. He does not deserve to be the pastor of a church.”
Zaid al-Ouaidi, who inititated the move, said that he got the idea when he was thinking of a peaceful response to the calls of burning the Quran which outraged Muslims all over the world and triggered a wide spat of protests.
“I wanted to show the world that Islam is a religion of peace which calls for tolerance and co-existence,” he said.
Ouaidi added that the church greeted the idea with enthusiasm and gave the Muslim delegation a warm welcome and accepted the flowers they offered.
“Those flowers are a symbol of enhancing the values of tolerance and of the longstanding relationship between Islam and Christianity,” he concluded.
(Translated from Arabic by Sonia Farid).