Quran Burning Comes to San Francisco

Saturday, Sep 18, 2010  |  Updated 3:45 PM PDT
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Quran Burning Comes to San Francisco

AP

Rev. Terry Jones at the Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, Fla., Monday, Aug. 30, 2010. His plan to burn copies of the Quran reportedly inspired someone in San Francisco. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

A burned copy of the Quran, Islam's holy text, was found in a trash can outside a San Francisco mosque last weekend, a spokeswoman for the Bay Area chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations said Saturday.

The burned Quran was discovered Sunday in a trash can outside the Islamic Society of San Francisco, located at 20 Jones St., according to Zahra Billo, programs and outreach director of the Bay Area chapter of CAIR.

The Quran was found in a trash can had been taken out for collection the night before, Billo said.

"It was partially burned but you could still tell it was a Quran," she said.

The incident was reported to CAIR on Monday, and has since been reported to San Francisco police and the FBI's San Francisco office, she said.

San Francisco police spokesman Albie Esparza confirmed they are investigating the incident, and said no arrests have been made.

"This is so un-American, and so un-Bay Area-like," Billo said. "It's the last thing you'd expect here."

She said recent events, such as protests over the proposed Islamic community center near the World Trade Center site, and a plan, later scrapped, by a Florida pastor to burn copies of the Quran, have put many members of the Muslim community on edge.

"They think it's almost worse now than right after 9/11," Billo said.

She said CAIR is asking the Muslim community to be vigilant about other possible hate crimes, and for "interfaith communities and people of conscience to be supportive of our community."

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