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Utah Islamic leaders relieved after Quran burning called off

Utah Islamic leaders relieved after Quran burning called off

By Paul Nelson | Posted - Sep. 9, 2010 at 6:12 p.m.



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(AP Photo)

SALT LAKE CITY -- After hearing the news that the plan by a Florida congregation to burn the Quran was called off, Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Utah Islamic Center Nadeem Ahmed says he is happy.

"This is not a humane and not a very civilized act for anybody to do to anybody," he said.

Ahmed says he denounces violent and aggressive acts from people of all faiths. He also said that millions of Muslims have memorized the Quran, so even if you burned every copy, it wouldn't do any good.

"As a Muslim, I have this belief, [a] firm belief that nothing can happen to Quran," Ahmed said.

As for the proposed mosque to be built near Ground Zero, Ahmed says its location should be discussed and finalized by officials in New York, not over the media. He believes the issue has become more political than it should be.

Ahmed is not taking a side on whether the mosque should move or stay on the proposed site, but says if it did move a few blocks away, he doesn't personally think it would be a big problem.

"A mosque could be anywhere and not anywhere, so if it doesn't serve the purpose of cohesiveness, love and bringing people [together] then what good is it?" he said. "If it's a couple of blocks here or there, I don't see any problem in that."

Thursday is the last day of Ramadan, and Ahmed has this message to commemorate the day of Eid on Friday.

"We remember, with our prayers of hope, love and peace, the 9/11 victims and all the innocent victims of war and violence," he said. "We are a nation in healing and are committed to peace and justice for all."

E-mail: pnelson@ksl.com

Paul Nelson

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