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Mr. Jones did not respond to requests for comment from The Washington Times.

In Kabul, Afghanistan, on Monday hundreds of protesters chanting “Long live Islam” and “Death to America” set fire to an effigy of Mr. Jones.

Protests also have erupted in India and Indonesia.

“Even the rumor that it might take place has sparked demonstrations such as the one that took place in Kabul yesterday,” Gen. Petraeus said.

“Were the actual burning to take place, the safety of our soldiers and civilians would be put in jeopardy and accomplishment of the mission would be made more difficult,” he added.

Mr. Robertson, of the Families of September 11, said Gen. Petraeus‘ comments “speak for themselves, and that is a fairly powerful statement.”

Families of the victims of Sept. 11 maintain a “quiet presence” on the anniversaries of the attacks, he said, and are encouraged to attend official ceremonies.

Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said he worries that Mr. Jones‘ protest could send the wrong message around the world.

“Unfortunately, not most of the people in the Muslim world really understand that this is a tiny, fringe group with a church of some 50 people that has been repudiated and rejected by all mainstream religious groups in America,” Mr. Hooper said.

“It will be unfortunate if all the Muslim world sees or hears are images of Korans being burned in America and not understanding the American context of the First Amendment that doesn’t allow the government to prevent such a thing,” he added.