Quran Burning in East Lansing

By: Sherene Tagharobi Email
By: Sherene Tagharobi Email

The Islamic Center of East Lansing says vandals left a burned Quran at its entrance and scattered torn pages from the holy book in the surrounding area. Some appeared to be smeared With feces.

"Trying to send some message of intimidation," said Abdala Majid Katranji, "They won't succeed."

East lansing's Mayor Victor Loomis was appalled.

"It has all the appearances of a hate crime, and again we condemn everything that happened here," he said.

The mayor also stressed how much East Lansing values its Islamic Center.

East Lansing police say it happened between 11:30 and 1:30 Friday night.

Members of the Islamic Center walked the neighborhood streets early Saturday morning, picking up whatever pages they could find in the dark. Local residents say pages of the holy book are turning up two, even three blocks from there.

There are no suspects, police said.

The Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations has called on the FBI to investigate. That group's executive director, Dawud Walid, told WILX: The breaking of the fast is the most joyous time for Muslims throughout the world. It's a shame that our festivities will be dampened because of the hateful act of one or a few deranged individuals.

Local Muslims say they're determined to show the community what they're really about.

"We have to be patient, we can't be mean or have any fights, we have to care about people," said Maryam Amatulla Samad about her religion.

"Peace, to get along with others, to respect others," said Ziena Saeed.

Ifran Mir, an eagle scout, planted flowers at the center in the shape of a peace sign for his final project.

"It's a book and while it hurts us that it was burned," he said, "the words still live in our hearts."

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  • by Carrie Location: Northern Michigan on Sep 18, 2010 at 11:19 AM
    The man responsible for this is married to a relative. I've known him for many years. He's a good person, father, husband and friend. Like many Americans he was outraged by what took place on 9/11/01. He loves his country. In no way am I excusing what he did - it was wrong. Please just know, that what he did was not an attempt to directly hurt anyone, it was just a very poor expression of anger. It's unfortunate that his family needs to suffer further over his poorly thought out actions.
  • by Disgusted on Sep 13, 2010 at 08:03 AM
    I am a Jewish person. I find that behaving like Hitler and burning books disgusting. I find bigots disgusting. This is America and people have the right to believe as they wish. No one on this earth has the right to burn religous texts. I don't care if its mine, Christian, Budist of Muslim. Fredom to practice your religion is a part of the Consitution. The person or persons who did this should end up in jail. This is not a prank and is as bad as a racial crime. Whats next? I am truly ashamed and feel we should appologize to the American Muslims. What is this country turning in to?????
  • by Anonymous on Sep 13, 2010 at 07:26 AM
    Only those who are truly ignorant would commit a crime of disrespect. Like those who fear the bible need to read the bible to understand it.
  • by JoeAl Location: Lansing on Sep 12, 2010 at 05:53 PM
    "It's a book and while it hurts us that it was burned," he said, "the words still live in our hearts." This is a very inspirational message that can be shared through-out all religions.
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