Terry Jones’ plan to burn Qurans to commemorate the ninth anniversary of 9/11 may not have moved forward in Florida, but it looks like the idea inspired some others to put forward their own display of anti-Muslim sentiment. Early Saturday morning a burned copy of the Quran was found at the entrance to a mosque in East Lansing, Michigan. Some of the pages of the holy book had been shredded and some had been smeared with feces.
A community representative compared the action to burning a cross on the doorstep of a black church.
But even though the act of hate was discovered on Saturday the 11th, Muslim community leaders waited until the following day to make the incident public in order to make sure that the focus on Saturday remained on the reflection and remembrance of 9/11. The FBI has been asked to investigate the incident as a possible hate crime and East Lansing police kept a squad car parked at the mosque after it received the initial report.
According to news reports some pages of the desecrated text were found scattered throughout the surrounding neighborhood.
These actions show a lot more tolerance for the memory of that day and the message that the intolerance of a few will not dictate the policy of the majority then Jones or any of his copycats. If there is an upside to this story it is that many non-Muslims have come out in strong opposition to the action and have called for a showing of solidarity with the mosque. And now that the anniversary has passed, let’s hope the rest of the country can find a similar showing of unity and push back against the frenzied Islamophobia that has captured the emotions of so many.
photo courtesy of pcorriea via Flickr