GAINESVILLE, Fla., Aug. 19 (UPI) -- A small church vows to burn copies of the Koran on Sept. 11 despite a ban from Gainesville's fire department.
The city has refused Dove World Outreach Center a burn permit to set fire to the Muslim holy book on the ninth anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, the Gainesville Sun reported.
Interim Fire Rescue Director Gene Prince said Wednesday the city's fire prevention ordinance forbids an open burning of any books.
Dove World leaders did not immediately respond to requests for comment, but in an e-mail sent out Wednesday, the church announced: "City of Gainesville denies burn permit -- but we will still burn Korans."
Prince said the church, which is believed to have fewer than 100 members, could be fined if it goes ahead with the burning.
Deputy Fire Chief Tim Hayes, who visited the church earlier this month to determine what the burn would entail, said bonfires aren't allowed without a permit under city ordinance.
Mayor Craig Lowe, who has called Dove World a "tiny fringe group and an embarrassment to our community," backed Prince's decision.