Korans in Carrier Bags Upset Houston Residents

From MyFox Houston, 2 July:

The distribution of Qurans in a southwest Houston neighborhood has some residents worried about the motives of the group who dispersed the Islamic book.

But some residents, like Greg and Sue Ann Pieri, said they feared the group is imposing its beliefs on non-Muslims and found the gesture offensive.

“If we went into a Muslim country and left a bible, we would be in prison and then decapitated a few years later,” said Sue Ann Pieri, who chose not to destroy the book like other neighbors did.

According to the accompanying video, Pieri rescued serveral copies from the garbage “out of respect for Islam”. The same video shows hack Duarte Geraldino breathlessly reenacting how the Korans were delivered:

Whoever dropped off the Korans had to walk up the driveway, then the Koran was put in a plastic bag and either left at the doorstep here or on the doorknob of the house, so that people couldn’t open their doors without picking up the Muslim Holy Book – an outrage to some.

Charlie Butts at American Family Association news site OneNewsNow reported on the same incident ten days later:

A resident of the area — who asked to remain anonymous — made the discovery. She said she found a white plastic bag hanging on her door, and inside was an English copy of the Koran along with a flyer that read, “Please accept this gift from your Muslim neighbors.”

“If I were to go to their country and leave my Bible, I would be persecuted,” she notes…She collected the unwanted Korans and took them to a safe sight [sic] to be handled…

Interesting that Butts found a quote similar to that of Pieri’s, and that this anonymous resident also rescued unwanted copies. But that, unlike Pieri, this person decided to infer to Butts that Muslims are not Americans. At the risk of being pedantic, it may be of relevance that Butts is unprofessionally slapdash with his direct quote of the flyer, which in fact reads

Dear Neighbor,
Please accept the enclosed book as a free gift from the Muslim community
The Book of Signs Foundation
on behalf of the Muslim community

The Book of Signs Foundation also did a distribution recently in Wheaton, catching the attention of the Chicago Tribune, which managed to find some less hysterical reactions:

one woman said she didn’t know what a Quran was and didn’t know what she was going to do with it. Most others said they would read through it.

“I’ve read literature about the Quran, but never read the Quran,” said Kevin Ritchie, 46. He said he would read the book but remain skeptical about the religion. “I think they’ve got a right to pass them out, but I’m pretty much set with my religion,” Ritchie said.

The report also explains the delivery process:

Their chosen approach is non-invasive…Paid workers who distribute the Qurans don’t make the rounds in the rain and never leave books on the ground.

However, it should be noted that there actually is an Islamist link: the Book of Signs Foundation website is slightly mysterious,  but the Tribune and other sites identify the the organisation with the al-Furqaan Foundation, which has a Gideon-like mission of “Delivering THE MESSAGE of THE QUR’AN to Everyone in America”. According to the Foundation website, the Korans come with a preface by Dr. Zakir Naik, President of the Islamic Research Foundation and a former student of the late Ahmed Deedat. Deedat was famous for copying the techniques of Christian fundamentalists, penning a numerous tracts opposing other religions and attempting to prove the Koran through scientific arguments, and Naik follows the same method. If you’re willing to wade through the rhetoric, M. Zuhdi Jasser of the neo-conservative-linked American Islamic Forum for Democracy has noted more of the organisation’s Islamist links, with links to sources, at (cough) Family Security Matters.