Qur’an Much More than a Holy Book to Muslims


Two weeks ago, controversial pastor Terry Jones presided over what he called a trial of the Qur’an.

The holy book of Islam was “found guilty” by members of Jones’ tiny church in Florida and burned, according to a release posted on the church’s website.

On Friday, 12 people, including eight workers for the United Nations, were killed in the Afghan city of Mazar-e Sharif, when people protesting the burning of that Qur’an attacked a UN office.

Jones likely knew that burning the Qur’an would prompt protests when Muslims learned of the actions of his church, the Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville. He canceled plans to burn a Qur’an last year, on the ninth anniversary of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks after being lobbied by President Obama, Gen. David Petraeus and others. Petraeus said American service members in Afghanistan would be increasingly in danger if Jones proceeded with his plan.

On March 20, the parishioners at Dove burned a single copy of the Qur’an, thus “attacking the foundations of Islam itself,” says one Muslim scholar.

“Symbolically and literally this is the most sacred reminder of God on Earth for a Muslim,” said Akbar Ahmed, the chair of Islamic Studies at American University in Washington. “More than a mosque ... more than any other symbol it is the Qur’an that symbolizes the word of God for a Muslim.”




Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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