WASHINGTON — Pakistan's ambassador to the United States is calling on conservative radio and television host Glenn Beck to denounce the planned burning of the Quran to show that Americans are tolerant of other faiths.
"I think it would help if Mr. Glenn Beck came out against it, and said that people of faith do not burn the books of people of other faith," Husain Haqqani told The Associated Press on Wednesday.
Beck earlier this week wrote in an Internet blog posting that burning the Quran is like burning the flag or the Bible – something people can do in the United States, but shouldn't.
"Our good Muslim friends and neighbors will be saddened," he wrote. "It makes the battle that they face inside their own communities even harder."
It was unclear whether Haqqani was aware of the blog posting. A telephone message left with the Pakistani Embassy was not immediately answered.
The diplomat warned that if Florida Pastor Terry Jones goes ahead with his plans to burn copies of the Quran, it will set off a massive reaction in parts of the Muslim world.
Jones has said he is still determined to go ahead with the protest at his small church despite pressure from the White House and other U.S. officials to cancel it. Military leaders have warned that burning the Muslim holy book will inflame extremists and could trigger repercussions against U.S. troops and citizens abroad.
"The United States should live up to its high ideals and all these people who are against religious extremism and intolerance in the Muslim world should also speak up against meaningless gestures such as burning the Quran," said Haqqani.
He said Pakistani leaders understand the concept of free speech and will do what they can to manage the reaction in their country.