The Florida pastor at the center of a small congregation and a massive international outcry over plans to burn dozens of Muslim holy books on the anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks told CBS News Wednesday morning his intentions had not changed.
"As of right now, we feel that this message is that important. We are still determined to do it, yes," Rev. Terry Jones told "Early Show" co-anchor Harry Smith.
Despite admitting to CBS in an interview a day earlier that his actions would almost certainly , Jones insisted Wednesday morning that his "warning" was "geared towards radical Islam," followers of which he claimed were trying to gain control and impose Muslim law in the United States.
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"We see its influence around the world. We are sending a message to them that we don't want them to do as they appear to be doing in
Europe," Jones told CBS. "We want them to know if they're in America, they need to obey our law and constitution and not slowly push their agenda upon us."
Jones claims Islamic fundamentalism is far more widespread among America's Muslim population than believed or acknowledged by officials. He cited as an example an incident he claims took place Tuesday, in which a Muslim woman came onto his church's property and threatened him.
Jones, whose small church in Gainesville has a regular attendance of less than 100 people, has refused to give in to pressure from the White House, the State Department, the Attorney General and America's top commander in Afghanistan.
Attorney General Eric Holder was the most recent member of the Obama administration to lash out at the Quran burning plans, reportedly calling them in a private meeting with religious leaders on Tuesday.
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Asked by Smith how he could reconcile his intended actions with the Bible's call to "love thy enemy," Jones said, "this approach is not the normal approach, but I believe this approach is at this particular time in history very necessary."
"With this action here, this action here itself is not -- is not supposed to be an act of love. We agree that generally that's what we do. We would reach out to Muslims in other ways," Jones told CBS. "This particular act is actually an act of warning radical Islam. It's a different type of a thing."
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