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The Islamic Society of Greater Lansing
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Learn, Don't Burn
Weeks after the burned Quran incident, we reaffirm our desire to build on the goodness that prevails in the community, and ignore isolated acts of ignorance

The Islamic Center says
"Let us move on"

A forum was held at the Islamic Center to honor the loving and caring, diverse community of Greater Lansing.
Unity with Diversity
was held on Wednesday - September 29, 2010

The event was held to bring people from all different religions together to learn about one another.
We are extremely humbled by the great community spirit and solidarity in response to the desecration of the Quran in front of the Islamic Center on 9/11.

The forum aimed to promote further understanding and to strengthen the bonds within our diverse society

Dr. Mahmoud Mousa, Islamic Center President: "We really want to forget that incident of burning the Quran.
We want to leave it behind and just concentrate on how we can improve our life together and how we can live in harmony."

Media Reports of the event

Statenews - A Community United -
WLNS News at 6 - Islamic Center Brings Cultures Together -
Once in this page the video link can be found at the top
Or click HERE to access an alternate link

LSJ Op-Ed commends Islamic Center of East Lansing for a measured and considerate response to burned Quran incident.
"Community rises above provocation" -

Response to the Burned Quran Incident
Neighbors, City Officials, Local law enforcement have expressed deep support and committment to the Islamic Center in response to the Quran burning incident.

We would like to thank all who have emailed, called, sent flowers and cards and even showed up at the Islamic Center to express your gracious support.Thank you. Peace.

7th Grade Students from
MacDonald Middle School
extend support to Islamic Center Members

Letters of Support

We call for Tolerance

The Islamic Center of East Lansing declared "tolerance" as a response to the unfortunate incident. We condemn any act of violent protest anywhere in the world. Muslims are urged to respect and protect others places of worship and artcles of faith. While we have no control over every Muslim community across the world, we need to continue to strive to pass on the message of peace that Islam teaches.

Muslims are urged to look at to the Quran itself and to follow the example of the Prophet Muhammad

God states in the Quran: "(But whatever they may say or do,) repel the evil (that they commit) with something that is better: We are fully aware of what they attribute (to Us)." (The Holy Quran, 23:96)

And also: "(Since) good and evil cannot be equal, repel (the evil deed) with one that is better. Then you will see that he with whom you had enmity, will become your close friend." (The Holy Quran, 41:34)

Another verse tells the Prophet Muhammad to "show forgiveness, speak for justice and avoid the ignorant." (7:199)

Even when the Prophet was in a position of power, he chose the path of kindness and reconciliation.

When he returned to Mecca after years of exile and personal attacks, he did not take revenge on the people of the city, but instead offered a general amnesty.

These are the examples that Muslims should follow as they express deep concern about the actions of ignorant individuals

Learn, Don't Burn:
If you would like a free copy of the translation of the Quran in English, please stop by the Islamic Center at our evening prayer time at ~8:15 pm. or send an email to to setup a time to pick up your copy of the Quran. If you prefer that we mail it your home, please provide us your address via an email to

A NY Times article that makes a good read in the current circumstances -

Burned Quran Facts, News reports

Images of the desecration
  • Incident Date - We believe it occurred Friday September 10 night sometime between 11 pm to Saturday September 11, 2 am
  • Report to Police - Saturday September 11 ~ 2 am
  • Why we did not speak to the media on Saturday September 11- "Though the burnt Quran was discovered on Saturday, the Islamic center decided to wait until today to make the incident public. We felt (Saturday) had its own purpose, its own need for reflection, and so we wanted to make sure that the focus stayed on the issue of 9/11. We did not want the messages to be mixed." - Abdalmajid Katranji, Public Relations Coordinator.
  • "Our investigators don't believe it's fecal matter. We don't have a clue what it is. We still need to send it out (to a lab) for further testing." said East Lansing Police Capt. Kim Johnson (09/13)
Media Reports :


WILX News - Quran Burning in East Lansing -
WILX Video - Quran Burning in East Lansing -
LSJ - Burned Quran found outside East Lansing mosque -
State News - Burned Quran pages found outside East Lansing Islamic center -
Action News 7 Detroit- Burned Quran found at Michigan Mosque - -
Detroit News- -
Detroit Free Press- - Group burned Quran outside Mosque
Click on Detroit news - - Burned Quran Left At Mich. Islamic Center -
State News - - Local Quran reading brings positive response (this article was written before the burining incident was known to the media) -


LSJ - Burning of Quran disappoints many in East Lansing community-
Fox 17 Online - - Quran Found Burned and Torn at East Lansing Mosque -,0,2723082.story
WLNS - - Quran Found Burned and Torn at East Lansing Mosque -
USA Today - - Desecrated Qurans spur security patrols -
Detroit News- - E. Lansing Quran desecration probed-


The State News- - E. Lansing Quran desecration probed-
WZZM13 ABC- - Investigations continue in Quran burning in East Lansing-
From the President's Desk - (MSU President, Lou Anna K. Simon) -


NBC 25 News Detroit - - Censoring hate, Local Qur'an burning ignored by national media -
Michigan Peace Team - - Did we allow ourselves to get complacent? -'an.htm
Pax Christi - - Statement of Support -
Lasning State Journal - - Quran burning update: East Lansing offers $10,000 reward -
Detroit News- - East Lansing offers $10K reward in burned Quran case-$10K-reward-in-burned-Quran-case?utm_source=web&utm_medium=twitter
WILX News - Reward Offered for Tips Leading to Arrest of Quran Burning Suspect-
Michigan Radio - FBI: East Lansing Quran burning might be a hate crime-


Invariably all Media reports on 09/16 were limited to the fact that ELPD had positively identified the suspect and the fact that he was cooperating with the law enforcement authorities




LSJ - East Lansing church's Quran reading attracted 350 people -


LSJ - No state charges in Quran burning -
Statenews - No charges in E.L. Quran burning -


Huffington Post - Quran Burning: Is It An Insult Or Intimidation? -


Statenews - A Community United -


WLNS News at 6 - Islamic Center Brings Cultures Together - in this page the video link can be found at the top
Or click HERE to access an alternate link


Statenews - Quran showcased at the MSU library in new exhibit -


Lansing Online News - Callista Ransom and Sarah Mousa live interview with Lansing Online News Radio. A variety of topics addressedJump to minute mark 13:41-27:58 -

Press Release

Thursday, September 16th, 2010

We thank the City of East Lansing under the leadership of Mayor Victor Loomis, The East Lansing Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, for their effort and the swiftness with which they pursued this case.

We are humbled by the outpouring of support from our friends, neighbors and leaders from several faiths and communities at large.

If this is the person who perpetrated the act and if he expresses remorse and regret, then the Islamic Society of Greater Lansing wishes that he is forgiven.

We recognize that the individual who committed this act, acted independently. The City of East Lansing and Mid-Michigan has been the home for the Islamic Center for over 30 years. There is no place that we would rather be.

We urge people of all faiths to exhibit tolerance and mutual respect for each other's beliefs. If anything, this incident has strengthened the will and determination of our communities to live together in peace and harmony.


Dr. Mahmoud Mousa
President, Islamic Society of Greater Lansing
920 S. Harrison
E Lansing, MI 48823

Updates: Friday September 17, 2010
The following points are conclusions drawn based upon what has been made public so far:
  • The suspect turned himself in less than 24 hours after the $10K award was announced, fearing that someone may turn him in.

  • ELPD confirms that this is an isolated case and that there is no group or gang behind it.

  • ELPD confirms there is no further risk posed to the Islamic Center and the communuty should feel safe

  • The suspect name has not been released at this point.

  • No affiliations of the suspect to any school or college is known either.

  • The suspect is not in custody as of Thursday night

  • The investigation is ongoing and is likely to be completed next week.

  • Until we have any conclusions from the ELPD, FBI we will not be able to offer any further comments, we would refer questions at this point to Ingham County Prosecutor Stuart Dunnings

Updates: Tuesday September 21, 2010
  • The Ingham County Prosecutor Stuart Dunnings III announced today in a news release that he will not issue charges in connection with the burning of a Quran outside the Islamic Center of East Lansing on Sept. 11.

  • The Ingham County Prosecutor Stuart Dunnings III held a meeting with the President of the Islamic Center of East Lansing prior to making the announcement public.

  • The Islamic Center of East Lansing has issued a Press Release in response to the decision.

  • The Ingham County Prosecutor Stuart Dunnings III praises Islamic Center President Mr. Mahmoud Mousa for the handling of this sad episode.

Press Release

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Islamic Center had wished from the very beginning that the individual who burnt the Quran be forgiven. We are relieved that the investigation has been completed quickly, and we respect it's outcome.

While this individual may not have broken any Michigan law, he has caused tremendous grief to a lot of people both locally and beyond our community.

We hope that he will work towards being more tolerant and we are willing to help him and anyone else who has questions, in any way we could. We have a "Learn, Don't Burn" campaign as part of which we will give a free copy of the Quran to anyone who requests one.

We should all promote a message of mutual respect and tolerance. If anything, this incident has strengthened the will and determination of our communities to live together in peace and harmony.

We hope this will be message that the rest of the world learns from this unfortunate incident. We wish that no race, religion or community would undergo the pain that we underwent.


Dr. Mahmoud Mousa
President, Islamic Society of Greater Lansing
920 S. Harrison
E Lansing, MI 48823

Media Contact : Dr. Abdalmajid Katranji : You may send an eMail with your phone number to, and your call will be returned or a time will provided when our spokesperson will be available to answer any of your questions.
We will attempt to respond to questions and inquiries sent via email as soon as possible. Please read further prior to submitting any questions as the investigation is on-going.

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Disclaimer: Views expressed in this site are those of individuals and not necessarily the express opinion of the Islamic Soc. of Gr Lansing
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