* Chairman of Joint Chiefs asks pastor to not support film
* Pastor agrees to 're-evaluate' showing movie
By Phil Stewart
WASHINGTON, Sept 12 General Martin Dempsey, the
chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, called a Florida
pastor on Wednesday and asked him to withdraw his support for a
film whose portrayal of the Prophet Mohammad has been linked to
violent protests - including one that ended with the death of
America's envoy to Libya.
"In the brief call, Gen. Dempsey expressed his concerns over
the nature of the film, the tensions it will inflame and the
violence it will cause," Dempsey's spokesman, Colonel Dave
Lapan, told Reuters.
U.S. military officials are concerned that the film could
inflame tensions in Afghanistan, where 74,000 U.S. troops are
fighting. The Taliban called on Afghans on Wednesday to prepare
for a fight against Americans and urged insurgents to "take
revenge" on U.S. soldiers over the film.
"He told me he had seen the film and that the film was
pornographic ... and very, very bad. He asked me not to support
it," Pastor Terry Jones told Reuters.
Jones agreed to "re-evaluate" his plans to show the film.
"If the film is indeed pornographic, then, of course, as a
Christian pastor I cannot support that type of film and could
not show it," he said.
Dempsey's office declined comment on Jones' characterization
of the call.
A U.S. official, briefing reporters later, described Jones
as "non-committal" during the call.
Jones, who heads a tiny church in central Florida called the
Dove World Outreach Center, has promoted Koran-burning events
that have provoked outrage across the Muslim world and warnings
from the Obama administration that such actions only help
terrorist groups like al Qaeda. Jones' plans to burn the Koran
triggered deadly riots in Afghanistan in 2010.
Jones said he received a 13-minute trailer of the movie,
"Innocence of Muslims," via email two weeks ago and planned to
show it on his website on Tuesday as part of a so-called
International Judge Muhammad Day marking the anniversary of the
Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Due to technical difficulties, Jones said, he wasn't able to
show the trailer as planned. But he said the event, streamed
live on the website StandUpAmerica.org included a burning of the
Koran and an effigy of Mohammad.
Addressing the attacks on U.S. diplomats in Libya and Egypt,
Jones denied that the film or his group's activities had
contributed to the violence.
"The outbreak of violence and deaths is not because of the
film, it is not because of the activities that we have done and
that we will continue to do."