This is coming over my local news station now so I'll update as I get more info, but he claims the Imam has agreed to move the mosque, so they agreed to cancel burning the Qur'ans.
I hate having to watch and listen to this hateful fraud, but I'll do it just this once.
He's holding a press conference right now:
A lot of times we were asked, "What would it take to call this thing off." We have thought it over many times. We felt very convinced we should do this. We thought about what would have to happen for us to call our event off. As we prayed about that, in the past, we did have one idea. This idea would put out in prayer to God, that if he would want us to call this off - if we have accomplished our goal - then our thought was, the American people as a whole do not want the mosque at the ground zero location. That if they were willing to, either cancel the mosque at the Ground Zero location, or if they were willing to move it from that location - if they were willing to move it away from that location - we would consider that a sign from God.
We have - or he has - been in contact with the Iman [sic] in NYC. I, with the Iman [sic] here, I will be flying up there on Saturday to meet with the Iman [sic] at the Ground Zero mosque. He has agreed to move the location. That of course cannot happen overnight, but he has agreed to move that. We felt that that would be a sign that God would want us to do it. The American people do not want the mosque there, and of course Muslims do not want us to burn the Qur'an...
Imam Muhammad Musri, Islamic Society of Central Florida, is also speaking at the press conference.
Good afternoon. Thank you, and thank you Pastor Jones. We all have been witnessing this play out for several weeks and many of you know, in a few hours the Muslim world would be celebrating the Eid al Fitr Festival, the end of the month of Ramadan. And hundreds of millions of people would be listening to sermons, and the message that would have dominated those sermons would have been the burning of the Qur'an in the United States.
I have conveyed my deep concerns to Pastor Jones and the gravity of the situation. And because he does not like to see anyone get hurt because of an action being taken here, and because I, like many Americans, Muslims and non, feel that the placement of a mosque near the ground zero location is unnecessary and it has become a clear provocation for many people to be violent against Mosques across the nation, I have made this morning contact with the office of Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, and got a commitment to fly up to NY and meet with him in the company of Pastor Jones, to discuss and come to a decision about relocating the mosque in NY. We are committed to dissolving the situation here and there.
I want to thank Pastor Jones for his courage and his willingness to take these serious events that are unfolding, to take into consideration the safety of our troops across the world, to take into consideration the safety of Americans traveling or doing business abroad, and to also consider the safety of all people, including Muslims, and to step back from his position and to be in line with scripture to love your neighbor as yourself. And I want to thank him and his church members and his leadership for making the decision today to diffuse the situation and bring to a positive end, what has become the world over a spectacle that no one would benefit from except extremists and terrorist...
I want to send a message to the Muslim world that the United States, still and will always be, the place where people of all faith and all colors can coexist in peace. That the rights of Muslims are respected in this country and that of all other religions. As American Muslim leader, I believe that this is the best place to live on earth, and I feel strongly about that... We call on all Muslims around the world to follow the teachings of Mohammed and the Qur'an and to stop the hatred and radicalism that has given our religion a bad name. I stand for Islam. I stand for peace. And I call on my brothers and sisters all over the world to stand with me against radicalism...
Hatemonger, Pastor Jones didn't take any questions after the press conference. It's interesting to note that the local reporter covering the press conference said they weren't even aware that the Park 51 mosque was an issue for Jones. They only found out when the CF Imam arrived there today and after his conversations with Jones, he was told that the issue of the Park 51 mosque was the driver for the stunt.
Update: As I thought, per CNN, according to the developers, there are no such plans to move the Mosque.
Add'l confirmation from Keith Olberman:
Reuters now also quoting "SOURCES CLOSE TO NY IMAM" saying NO agreement to move Park 51 center
I also want to point out that Imam Rauf was on CNN last night and specifically said it would not be a good idea to move the mosque:
O'BRIEN: There are so many people who say, so if you're saying it was a mistake, then why can't you get out of it and not do it?
RAUF: Because we have to now make sure that whatever we do actually results in greater peace, not in greater conflict. ... I am extremely concerned about sensitivity. But I also have a responsibility. If we move from that location, the story will be that the radicals have taken over the discourse. The headlines in the Muslim world will be that Islam is under attack.
I'm just glad this hateful fraud has changed his mind about burning the Qur'ans (I'm sure it probably had something to do with the meeting he had with FBI agents this morning), and I hope his 15 minutes are up. But I guess that'll all depend on the media.
Update 2: Add'l confirmation that the Park 51 cultural center is going nowhere (thank God):
From PBS NewsHour
UPDATE * * Developer of #Park51 Confirms with @NewsHour: We are NOT MOVING.
H/T to zenbasson
Update 3: Could this be the real reason this bastard canceled his stunt:
Local governments said they were going to bill Jones for the extra cost of security for Saturday's event.
Money. Plain and simple. One simply does not hold a book burning if it's going to bankrupt your organization. The mosque non-issue is a diversion for the followers.
Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf just released this statement:
I am glad that Pastor Jones has decided not to burn any Qur'ans. However, I have not spoken to Pastor Jones or Imam Musri. I am surprised by their announcement. We are not going to toy with our religion or any other. Nor are we going to barter. We are here to extend our hands to build peace and harmony.
Good for him.
My head's about to explode: Apparently, Sec. Gates also called this fraud and spoke to him about his planned stunt, and Suzanne Malveaux just had the nerve to ask Donna Brazile if that was a good idea. Should Sec. Gates have given Jones that kind of attention and wouldn't that set a precedent for every whackjob? Can you believe that? If you and your colleagues didn't give this asshat so much attention, if y'all hadn't camped out on his lawn for the last couple weeks, if you hadn't elevated him to the national and international stage, no one of any relevance would have had to call this bastard and talk him out of his attention-seeking stunt! Arrrrrrgggghhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Update 4: Some more good news (thanks to Diogenes for bringing it to my attention):
I am loving Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf.
Late Update: Oh Lord. The circus continues: "Breaking" news on Countdown: Pastor Mustache says the stunt isn't canceled, just merely "suspended." Somebody make it stop, please.
Final Update: Keith just had reporter, Faiz Shakir of Think Progress call into Countdown to report on a phone conversation he just had with Imam Rauf's wife, Daisy Khan (that is who the FL Imam spoke to today, not Imam Rauf).
I just got off the phone with Daisy...She said we've not agreed to anything other than meeting with the Pastor at a future point down the road when cooler heads have prevailed. She also said, "We reject any comparison to what we were prepared to build in NY and what the pastor was ready to destroy in Florida."
Again, she emphasized that the meeting was not planned for Saturday, but rather at a point in the future when people have had time to reflect on it.
The last point she made...[they] do not want to take away from the solemn day of 9/11, that's why they don't want to meet on Saturday. She said, "Our center is not about 9/11. The Quran is not about 9/11. We wish to commemorate 9/11 with prayers for the families of the victims.
He said Imam Musri called Daisy in a bit of a panic and said to her, "I'm here talking to Pastor Jones and I want to give him something to try to negotiate this compromise." And initially he [asked Daisy, "Would you be willing to renegotiate the location of the center?" She said, "No! Of course not!" Then he asked her, "Well would you be willing to meet with him?" and she's like, "Well sure, we'll meet with anybody, but we'd like to meet with him down the road at some point." So she was a bit surprised when Imam Musri and Jones suggested they were going to come up almost immediately.
Sounds like this Imam Musri stuck his nose in where it doesn't belong.