Interfaith Solidarity Event planned to condemn alleged Quran burning by Naperville student

file photo of Quran and brown Misbaha
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The Naperville Interfaith Leaders Association (NILA) is hosting an Interfaith Solidarity Event on Sunday, Oct. 22, at Benedictine University to unite the community and condemn a video that allegedly shows a Naperville student burning the Quran.

Video taken this summer

The videotaped incident began spreading on social media earlier this month, though the video itself was actually taken sometime this summer. It shows a book held up, lit on fire, then thrown to the ground.

Indian Prairie School District 204 spokeswoman Lisa Barry confirmed to the Chicago Tribune that the person in the video lighting the book on fire is an IPSD204 student.

She told the Tribune, “The district is aware of the burning book incident where the book is alleged to be the Quran, and that the incident took place during the summer off of school grounds.”

Interfaith Solidary Event planned to help unite community

The Naperville Interfaith Leaders Association (NILA) released a statement in regards to the incident, saying:

“We strive to be inclusive of all religions, fully realizing that for the good of humanity, all diversity within our community should be celebrated and respected. Therefore, hateful acts, such as the one depicted in the recently released video, are not only hurtful to our Muslim brothers and sisters but are also a threat to all faith traditions. Hate, in any form, has no place in Naperville; hate has no place in our society.”

In the statement, they note that an individual’s action is not representative of an entire community.

As such, the group has planned the Interfaith Solidarity Event to condemn the alleged Quran burning, and “to collaborate on maintaining peace and harmony in the city we love.”

It will be held at Benedictine’s Goodwin Hall Auditorium, at 5700 College Rd., Lisle, on Oct. 22, at 3 p.m. Interfaith partners and elected officials will be on hand for the discussion. Community members of all faiths are welcome to attend.

Local groups, officials react

Besides prompting the upcoming solidary event, the video has also elicited response and condemnation from a number of other groups and officials.

Naperville City Councilman Benny White posted on social media in regards to the incident, saying:

“In our community, as well as in our nation, there is no room for such actions. These actions are detrimental, divisive, and inflict harm on those who experience them. I propose that we shift our focus onto the act itself, rather than the individuals involved, in an effort to unite our community.”

He noted that the city’s mission statement “emphasizes the importance of being an inclusive community that values diversity,” and stressed the need to “ensure that every resident in our city feels a sense of belonging.”

The Islamic Center of Naperville posted a statement on its website, saying that it condemns “all forms of hate, and violence against any human being, organization or religion.”

It continued, saying:

“The recent, horrendous action of the desecration of our revered Holy Quran, was indeed hurtful to the entire Muslim community. However, as part of our Islamic faith’s principles of forgiveness and mercy, we overlook the naivete of the young perpetrator as an act of ignorance, and we urge that the youth’s identity be protected for their safety.”

The ICN did however state that a “thorough investigation be conducted to determine the root cause of this deplorable act.”

“Appropriate measures” taken by district

Barry told the Tribune that the district took “appropriate measures” once it learned about the incident. No further information was shared by Barry, who cited the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act in prohibiting further discussion of those details.

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