Muslim Group Giving 100,000 Qur'ans to Elected Officials

June 26, 2009

Author: William Wan

Source: The Washington Post

On the premise that nothing makes a better gift than a good book, a Muslim civil liberties group is launching a campaign to hand out 100,000 free copies of an expensive Arabic-English copy of the Qur'an to elected officials and influential policy makers.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is planning to announce their campaign at a press conference Tuesday. The group's executive director said the project was inspired after hearing people in his office heard Obama's speech to the Muslim world last month, in which Obama talked about seeking "a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world."

"When he quoted the Koran on the fundamental values we share such as sanctity of human life, racial diversity, importance of speaking the truth, we believe it was a surprise to many people not familiar with Islam," said Nihad Awad.

The hope is that by reading the Qur'an, the central holy text of Islam, elected leaders and others will better understand Muslims and the Islamic faith and ease prejudices that have increased sine 9/11.