Vandals struck the Islamic Center of East Lansing in Michigan on Saturday, leaving behind a burned copy of the Quran. Pages torn out of a Quran were also found scattered around the scene of the crime. Some appeared to have been defecated upon.
East Lansing Mayor Rick Loomis was quick to condemn the attack as a hate crime, according local news station WILX. TheÂ Michigan Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations has also issued a statement calling for the FBI to launch a criminal investigation.
It's likely that the vandals were responding to Terry Jones' call to burn copies Quran on September 11th. Jones' canceled his own book burning event in Florida, but authorities feared that imitators might still follow through his plans to launch anÂ "International Burn the Koran Day". The Islamic Society of Greater Lansing, which owns the community center, believes that the attack took place late Friday night or early Saturday morning.
The images coming out of East Lansing are a sad reminder of the impact that Jones' brand of virulent anti-Muslim rhetoric is having on our own communities. Jones' and his supporters claim to be on a mission to expose the violence of Islam. In reality, their brand of virulent Islamophobia has only exposed the violence the results from intolerance.
Pictures from the scene of the Quran burning in Michigan, courtesy of the Islamic Society of Greater Lansing:
Markings resulting from human waste left behind by the vandals
Pages were torn out of a Quran, scattered, and defecated upon
Burn marks where the vandals set fire to Quran