Burnt Quran found outside Tenderloin mosque

Police are investigating the discovery of a burnt Quran outside a Tenderloin mosque.

Workers discovered the charred holy book on Sept. 12 inside an emptied trash bin that was on the sidewalk outside the Islamic Society of San Francisco, according to the center’s administrator, Khaled Olaibah. 

The Bay Area chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations is condemning the act as a hate crime and notified San Francisco police Tuesday after Olaibah contacted the group.

Police spokesman Officer Albie Esparza confirmed that police are investigating the incident but did not release any further information.

Police took the remnants of the book and are reviewing the surveillance footage outside the mosque, which also serves as a community center, a banquet hall and wedding venue, Olaibah said. The center has been at 20 Jones St. for about 15 years and serves at least 800 people, he added.

Burnings of the Muslim holy book have been reported across the nation around the anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks. A Florida pastor’s call to burn Qurans led to international outrage, and the planned construction of an Islamic center near the former World Trade Center set off a fury of protest.

But this is the first incident to occur in the perceived tolerance of San Francisco and the Bay Area, according to outreach director for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, Zahra Billoo.

“It’s the first incident we’ve seen in the Bay Area, and we want to make sure it’s the last,” she said Saturday. 

Olaibah was “disturbed” by the discovery and believes it was fueled by ignorance.

“Peace is very important to us,” he said of Muslims. “Only people that don’t read and don’t know would think this is a violent religion.”

bbegin@sfexaminer.com

Bay Area NewsLocalneighborhoods

Just Posted

Dominion Voting Systems, a Denver-based vendor, is under contract to supply voting machines for elections in San Francisco. (Kevin N. Hume/Examiner file)
Is San Francisco’s elections director impeding voting machine progress?

Open source technology could break up existing monopoly

The 49ers take on the Packers in Week 3 of the NFL season, before heading into a tough stretch of divisional opponents. (Courtesy San Francisco 49ers)
‘Good for Ball’ or ‘Bad for Ball’ — A Niners analysis

By Mychael Urban Special to The Examiner What’s the first thing that… Continue reading

Health experts praised Salesforce for keeping its Dreamforce conference at Moscone Center outdoors and on a small scale. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
Happy birthday, Marc Benioff. Your company did the right thing

Salesforce kept Dreamforce small, which made all kinds of sense

Former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown, pictured with Rose Pak in 2014, says the late Chinatown activist was “helping to guide the community away from the divisions, politically.”
Willie and Rose: How an alliance for the ages shaped SF

How the Mayor and Chinatown activist shaped San Francisco, then and now

The Grove in Golden Gate Park is maintained largely by those who remember San Francisco’s 20,000 AIDS victims.<ins> (Open Eye Pictures/New York Times)</ins>
Looking at COVID through the SF prism of AIDS

AIDS took 40 years to claim 700,000 lives. COVID surpassed that number in 21 months

Most Read