Aftermath of the Planned Quran Burning: News Roundup

Saturday’s Quran burning was called off at the last minute, but nonetheless, its impact (whether intended or not) was far-reaching. It led to protests in the Middle East and burned pages of a Quran were found in Michigan and Illinois. On the other hand, faith communities across the country come out in support of Muslims, holding rallies and Quran readings and hosting Iftars.

As a brief aside we have some amazing news of our own to share. Our Religion and Diversity Education team and World Olympics curriculum were featured in a story in the Staten Island Advance about YMCA’s Camp Pouch on Staten Island. Check it out!
 
Although the Florida pastor Terry Jones called off his “burn a Quran” day, planned for the anniversary of 9/11, it seemed the damage was already done. Other Americans decided to follow through for him: burned Qurans were still found outside of Islamic centers this week in both Michigan and Illinois.
 
In response to all this, protests broke out in Afghanistan (where two people were killed) and Kashmir, among other places and Muslims set fire to a church in India. Four guards were killed outside of Tanenbaum Peacemaker Canon Andrew White’s church in Iraq, and in a statement he said it was directly linked to the Florida.
 
But the reverberations haven’t been all negative.
 
Another church in the Gainseville, Florida community where the burning was supposed to take place held an open reading of the Quran on Saturday, posting on its Facebook page, "we will still be reading from the Qu'ran on Saturday night and encourage you to attend to show our solidarity, across lines of faith and culture, and our respect for one another in this community" (Lansing State Journal).
 
Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell and Jewish, Christian and Muslim leaders gathered for a rally in Philadelphia on the anniversary of 9/11 to condemn the planned Quran burning. The Governor said, "I believe the majority of Americans stand with us tonight….If one of us is attacked because of our religion, all of us can be attacked because of our religion" (Centre Daily)

Religious leaders from different faiths also held rallies on Saturday in Dallas and San Francisco.

 
In a small town near Philadelphia where “community members say a tradition of religious tolerance, combined with an educated population and small-town friendliness, have yielded years of harmonious coexistence” a mosque opened in next door to a synagogue and Baptist church with no complaints (Associated Press).
 
The Heartsong church in Memphis offered space to Muslims from the new Islamic center being built next door, who could not pray in their mosque during Ramadan due to construction (My Fox Tampa Bay).
 
And a month after making a public announcement against Park51, the Anti-Defamation League announced that it founded the Interfaith Coalition on Mosques (ICOM), a partnership of Jews, Christians and Muslims who will provide support to Muslims whose rights have been violated, particularly when they’ve been refused the right to build mosques (Jerusalem Post).
 
As always, here are a few more stories to check out:
 
 
Muslim Networks and Movements in Western Europe  (Latest report from the Pew Research Center)
 
 
 
To those celebrating Yom Kippur, have an easy fast.