Local Muslim leaders are upset prosecutors won’t pursue charges against a man who burned a Quran outside an East Lansing mosque.
Stuart Dunnings III, prosecuting attorney in Ingham County, said Wednesday that authorities “didn’t find there was any violation of Michigan law.”
Burning a holy book, whose pages were found outside the Islamic Center of East Lansing on Sept. 11, doesn’t qualify as a hate crime, Dunnings said.
“We don’t have a hate crime. There was no threat of physical intimidation because (the man who burned the Quran) was the only one there at the time,” Dunnings said.
The act also was protected by the First Amendment, said Dunnings, who equated it to burning a flag.
“It can also fall under drunken stupidity,” he said.
The incident, which occurred on the ninth anniversary of the 2001 terror attacks, prompted worldwide condemnation and rioting in India.
A Lansing man, whose identity has not been released, told police he burned the holy book. He should face federal charges, said Dawud Walid, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations-Michigan.
“Not to prosecute this hate crime would send a terrible message to bigots that there will be no legal repercussion against those who intimidate Muslims at their houses of worship,” Walid said.
Click to view image: 'eaa61b1c4c6e-cair_usmap2.jpg'
|Liveleak on Facebook|