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Obama to Florida pastor: Scrap Quran-burning stunt: A "recruiting bonanza for al Qaida

President Obama is making a personal appeal to a Gainesville pastor not to go forward with plans for Quran-burning this 9/11, calling the idea "destructive" and a "stunt."

Asked about Pastor Terry Jones' plans by ABC's George Stephanopolous for an interview on "Good Morning America", Obama said, "If he's listening, I just hope he understands that what he's proposing to do is completely contrary to our values" of religious freedom and tolerance.

Obama also said that as a matter of national security, "this stunt that he is talking about pulling could greatly endanger our young men and women in uniform who are in Iraq, who are in Afghanistan. We're already seeing protests against Americans . . . this is a recruitment bonanza for al Qaida. You know, you could have serious violence in places like Pakistan or Afghanistan. This could increase the recruitment of individuals who'd be
willing to blow themselves up in American cities, or European cities."

The president said of Jones that as a man of faith, "I hope he listens to . . . those better angels."