CAIRO: A California-based Church is calling for an international day to burn the Quran on Sept. 11 to commemorate the ninth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York City.
Dove World Outreach Center is calling on others to burn copies of the Quran on the church’s premises on Sept. 11.
In response, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is launching a campaign during the holy month of Ramadan — which will start during the second week of August — under the title “Share the Quran.”
CAIR will distribute copies of the Quran during iftar to neighbors, public and law enforcement officials and journalists, according to news reports.
Sometimes described a Christian supremacist group, Dove World, a New Testament Church, touts the saying “Islam is of the devil.” One of the church’s senior pastors, Terry Jones, recently published a book under the same title.
On July 5, supporters of Dove World protested against an Islamic center in Gainesville.
“Islamophobia is being promoted by a vocal minority of individuals and groups that seek to marginalize American Muslims and demonize Islam,” National Communication Director of CAIR Ibrahim Hooper told Daily News Egypt in an email Wednesday commenting on Dove World’s recent campaign.
“CAIR believes it is important to challenge the rising level of anti-Islam sentiment in American society,” his statement continued.
CAIR is America’s largest Muslim advocacy organization. It works on spreading an understanding of Islam, protecting civil liberties and encouraging a dialogue between American Muslims and the rest of the population.
Although the campaign has yet to resonate in Egypt, Diaa Rashwan from Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies predicts it will spur outrage among Muslims.
“Holy books should not be a part of those little games. I don’t think that this falls under the notion of freedom of expression,” he told Daily News Egypt.
“A country like the United States of America should not allow this to happen,” he added.
Meanwhile, a Facebook group titled “International Burn a Koran Day” attracted 461 members at press time, all rallying to post comments, either supporting or denouncing the campaign.
The page description reads: “On September 11th, 2010 we will burn the Koran on the property of Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, FL in remembrance of the fallen victims of 9/11 and to stand against the evil of Islam. Islam is of the devil!”
One member who goes by Farhana Daud wrote: “Florida Church, please do not shame yourselves as Christians … Just what example are you setting for the world to see when you are encouraging others to burn the Koran. No different from Islamist Militants … loving religion my foot.”
And Halima said: “U can go burn all the qurans in the world but can u really burn the words of the quran?? The quran has stayed the same since the day it was revealed. Many muslims have memorised the words of the quran by heart. I’d [really] like to see you burn there memorie of the quran!! you people make me laugh!! (sic)”.