—FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE—
Los Angeles, CALIFORNIA (August 25, 2010) – The Southern California chapter of the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) issued a press release today calling the planned desecration of the Quran by a church in Gainesville, FL “misguided,” and announced that it would distribute 10,000 free copies of the Quran through its 1-877-WhyIslam outreach project in response to the Gainesville event.
ICNA Southern California also launched www.sponsoraquran.com, a new Quran distribution initiative, specifically for this cause.
Condemned by various local churches, synagogues and mosques, as well as the National Association of Evangelicals, the Gainesville event is scheduled for the ninth anniversary of the September 11th attacks. Although the city’s fire department has denied a permit for the public burning, the church’s pastor has stated the event will proceed as planned.
During the past year 1-877-WhyIslam Southern California has distributed close to 10,000 copies of the Quran via 70 information booths organized at various public events. The Qurans are handed out in person, exclusively to non Muslims, upon request, and the chapter has said that it is poised to deliver nationwide through its network of hundreds of booths and volunteers. A consignment of over 7,000 copies is ready for distribution.
Amir Mertaban, Chairman of the ICNA chapter’s Dawah Committee said “We feel that a positive act like this is much more effective and appropriate in countering a hateful act like the one in Gainesville.” Muslims are obligated to respect other religions and their holy books, particularly the Bible, and Mertaban added that, “A Muslim would never burn a Bible.”