The grievance industry went into overdrive last month when burned Korans were reportedly discovered at a local mosque in southwest Virginia.
The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations issued an immediate press release on June 16 calling for "Americans of all faiths to obtain and read the Quran after burned copies of Islam's revealed text were found" in a shopping bag at the front door of the Islamic Center of Blacksburg.
Repent, all ye infidels!
Incensed CAIR officials contacted the FBI and pressured authorities to treat the incident as possibly "bias-related." CAIR-MD/VA Director of Civil Rights Shama Farooq lectured that "A redoubled commitment to freedom of thought and religious diversity is the best response to the burning of any sacred text" in order to "send the message that bigots do not represent our nation's values."
Not content to let CAIR get all the free publicity, other victim-card hustlers jumped aboard the burned Koran bandwagon.
Laila Al-Qatami, a spokeswoman for the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee in Washington, lambasted police: "If pages from the Bible were burned and put in a bag outside a church," she huffed to the Associated Press, "I think the reaction of the police would be that it would be a hate crime."
Actually, in this country, when you dunk a crucifix in urine, that's "art," and when you hang a framed copy of the Ten Commandments inside a courthouse, that's a crime.
Al-Qatami invoked the Guantanamo Bay bogeyman and blamed the burnt Koran incident on insensitive, ignorant Americans. The case, she asserted, was caused by "a lack of zero tolerance for hate crimes and 'a lack of information about Arabs and Islam as a whole.'" Al-Qatami also told the Roanoake Times: "Let's face it, books don't burn themselves and end up outside of a mosque. It's a willful act."
Muslims in Virginia also expressed their knee-jerk outrage: "It is a shame that people are so ignorant," said Blacksburg mosque member Idris Adjerid. Ahmed Sidky, a Muslim graduate student at nearby Virginia Tech, told the Roanoake Times that the case "was certainly very symbolic."
It certainly was a symbol -- a symbol of the knee-jerk penchant among some civil rights groups and their enablers to cry racism, claim discrimination, and criticize U.S. law enforcement authorities for not doing enough to stop "hate crimes."
It turns out, you see, that the burnt Koran was left at the mosque by . . . a Muslim student.
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