In the Media

08/21/10: Local Muslim leader calls Quran a book of love; supports mosque near Ground Zero

Local Muslim leader calls Quran a book of love;  supports mosque near Ground Zero
August 21, 2010

By Niraj Warikoo
Free Press Staff Writer

Amid the controversy over the proposal to build a mosque near Ground Zero in New York, a Muslim leader told an interfaith audience Friday night that Islam and its holy book value life and peace.

"The Quran is a book of logic, and love, and understanding...and it's rational," Imam Mohammed Elahi, head of the Islamic House of Wisdom in Dearborn Heights, said Friday night inside his center. "It's a shame that so many people in this wonderful land are ignorant about this faith, and are ignorant about the Quran."

Elahi made his remarks at a Ramadan dinner, called iftar, that had Catholic and Protestant leaders, including Fr. Jeffrey Day, the ecumenical and interfaith advisor for the Archdiocese of Detroit and Rev. D. Alexander Bullock, head of the Highland Park branch of the NAACP.

Elahi said that misguided people are calling the Quran a "text of terrorism...what does the Quran have to do with terrorism and violence?"

It's rather, Elahi, said, "a book that calls for justice, that calls for love."

Elahi said that the misunderstanding is what is driving "this crazy opposition to construction of the mosque in New York."

Muslims believe Islam's holy book, the Quran, was revealed in part during the holy month of Ramadan, which ends the second week of September. Muslims traditionally fast from sunrise to sunset during the month, breaking fast together at dinner.

"The basic issues in this book (Quran) are not different from what was revealed to the previous prophets, Moses, Jesus, and Abraham," Elahi said. "Prophet Mohammed did not come to condemn the previous faiths, but to complete, and to correct" any changes made by humans.

Day, the Catholic leader with the Archdiocese, also spoke at the event, calling for tolerance of Muslim-Americans.

He said "to make sure we are welcoming to our Muslim neighbors."

"One of the tenets of Christianity...is to bring the peace of Jesus to everyone that we meet," Day added. "To look to see how God is in each and every person."

Contact Niraj Warikoo: nwarikoo@freepress.com