Valley Muslim Community Reacts to 'Suspended' Koran Burning
Fri, 10 Sep 2010 02:30:57 GMT —
The Rio Grande Valley Islamic Center in Weslaco is where Muslims in the area go to pray. The 502 East Pike Boulevard mosque was a first of its kind in South Texas. Doctor Muhammed Akram Rana is president at the center. "We believe in the Bible, we believe in Jesus... We believe Jesus is a Prophet," he said. Dr. Rana and about 300 or so other Muslim families living in the Valley gain religious strength and wisdom through the Koran. Dr. Rana said it's the word of God. Former plans by a Florida preacher to torch copies of the Muslim holy book on September 11th left Dr. Rana with only one thing to say. "Well it's really a disrespect." The Muslim world has been up in arms over the plans. There have been protests around the world. And while Dr. Rana believed the Reverend's tough talk was nothing more than a publicity stunt, he does not support flag burnings or terrorism as a way to demonstrate. "I think that's absolutely absurd," he said. President Barack Obama called the planned event a "destructive act." One that would be a "recruitment bonanza for Al Qaeda." Dr. Rana said he supports the President but said any Muslim looking to kill would be an act in defiance of the word of God. "It's not acceptable and it's not permissible in Islam," he said. "In no way... and by no means." Pastor Terry Jones originally cancelled his protest because the leader of a planned Islamic center near ground zero reportedly agreed to move its controversial location. The anti-Islamic preacher later backed off and then threatened to reconsider burning the Koran on the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, angrily accusing a Muslim leader of lying to him about moving the N.Y.C. mosque. The imam planning the center denied there was ever such a deal. Jones now says the event has been suspended. Dr. Rana hopes the preacher will realize his actions are just plain wrong.