Paul Harris
The Guardian
September 13, 2020

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New York City woke up yesterday to a 9/11 anniversary like no other. Blue skies hummed with the buzz of helicopters as police conducted a major operation to patrol two rival midday protests about Park51, the planned Islamic centre close to Ground Zero. The noise of the aircraft mingled with the sound of church bells ringing across Manhattan, marking the exact time that the first plane struck the World Trade Centre.

Terry Jones, the Florida pastor who threatened to burn Qur’ans outside his church, the Dove World Outreach Centre in Gainesville, had arrived in the city overnight. Supposedly seeking a meeting with backers of the so-called “Ground Zero mosque”, he told NBC’s Today Show, “We have decided to cancel the burning. We will definitely not burn the Qur’an.”

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The protesters against the Islamic centre later gathered to hear the right-wing blogger Pamela Geller, who has spearheaded the drive against the project, as well as a host of Republican politicians.

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