Quran Burning in East Lansing

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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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