Protester Burns Koran During Protest Against “Ground Zero Mosque”

Terry Jones may have canceled his plans, but someone attending the protest in New York against the construction of an Islamic Community Center two blocks away from Ground Zero decided to have his own “Burn A Koran” Day:

A hate-filled protester was escorted away from the Ground Zero mosque site this morning after tearing apart a Koran and burning some of the pages — an early sign that the rancor was ramping up as numerous protests were set to begin.

The man, who refused to identify himself, walked up the corner of Murray and Church streets with a green Koran in his hands. Amid a crowd of protestors and media, he first tore a page from the holy book and tossed it into the air.

He then ripped a couple of more pages from the book and lit them on fire.

Someone managed to capture it on video:

This guy may have been a lone nut, but that doesn’t mean that the rest of the protest was any more rational:

At midday, most of Church Street had turned into a pedestrian mall, with people spilling out into the street at some points, though traffic still seems to be able to move. One anti-mosque man is shouting at the top of his lungs, carrying a copy of the Koran, and holding pages torn from it, toting a sign declaring: “Quran toilet paper.”

A retired firefighter lieutenant from Brooklyn’s Engine 226 angrily flipped the bird to a pro-mosque demonstrator wearing a Mao cap. He was there on 9/11, in the North Tower, he said.

“I don’t care if they build a mosque, but I don’t want to hear their Islamic prayers wafting over the grave site,” he fumed.

Some of the would-be protesters mistakenly fell for stereotypes. On Church Street, Kamal, a dark-skinned Muslim born in Guyana and now living in Queens, drew jeers and cat-calls for his clothing: an all-white long robe and white skull cap.

“Islam is a religion of hate,” screamed one woman at him.

“Shut up!” barked others.


FILED UNDER: Islam, Quick Takes, Religion, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. But remember, don’t anyone suggest the opposition to this mosque is motivated by anti-muslim sentiment.

  2. rick says:

    Burning any book pisses me off. Books make us human. Stories ARE humanity. The bible and koran are works of literature. They both have some passages in them that have contributed to the Arts much like other mythologies such as the Greek and Roman ones. They are fairy tales and I wouldn’t burn Brothers Grimm either. I just hope that wh…en this proud patriot tore out random pages of the Muslim holy book and then set them aflame that they were the parts of the Koran that tell of the Virgin Maryām’s delivery of the prophet Isa: Mary and Jesus.

  3. Rose says:

    The so-called irrational anger is merely frustration and reaction to our government not doing what it needs to do to protect the U.S. People wouldn’t have to get this angry and this polarized if the government did what we hired it to do—which is to PROTECT US. So you can call it anything you want, hate-filled, angry, illiterate, prejudiced—but it’s a normal reaction to the frustration, and it’s become worse under Obama than it has ever been before. When prominent political figures condone what most Americans consider to be a gross insult, but talk to (and probably intimidate) a little swamp preacher in Florida who had not even completed his burning on private property, which as far as most of us know is not illegal) as though he’s a criminal, while the Muslim world threatens constant explosions over any little thing they don’t like—-well what the hell do you expect?

    And how come all those Muslims have the energy to come out and demonstrate and riot over any small thing they consider an affront, but none of them seem to come out of the woodwork when a woman is stoned or Iran goes nuclear, or there’s an honor killing, or there’s a beheading done by their cohorts, planes flying into buildings and all that inconvenience at airports that we didn’t used to need, and so far not very many have come out to object to building an Islamic Center within a stone’s throw of Ground Zero. Where exactly are all those “peaceable” Muslims? You know, people are not stupid. They look around at how Islam has changed our world and they don’t like it. And just how long is the world supposed to live with all these threats that seem to happen almost every day anywhere in the world?

    So you can call me prejudiced or whatever you want, but I do have empathy for that anger. In fact, I think we should have a “National Burn a Koran Day” every day until they pipe down and become civilized—or we need to get a government that will allow us to feel safe once again. I can guarantee that all the so-called “hatred” will calm down. And maybe those Muslims who are so “peaceable” might show us once in a while where their allegiance really is.

  4. anjin-san says:

    > So you can call me prejudiced or whatever you want

    I am going with “small minded twit”.

  5. Jay Tea says:

    I’ve seen plenty of Muslim protests in NYC that featured a burning American flag, as well as around the world. And a lot more people applauded those instances than did here.
    Why the hell is this lone idiot being singled out for such condemnation, while those were pooh-poohed?
    I have my own theory, but I’m saving it for my own blog.

  6. Sammy says:

    Amen Rose! I think the General should use the burning of the Koran as an oppertunity! Kill the demons when they come out of their holes to protest!

  7. Herb says:

    Why the hell is this lone idiot being singled out for such condemnation, while those were pooh-poohed?

    Say whuh?  Define pooh-poohed.  I guess a more appropriate question is why are you coming at this with all the sophistication of a seventh grader?  “But…but…but they got chocolate milk.”  Weak.

  8. Bruce Cunningham says:

    Hate filled??? oops never mind us liberal socialists made our point and its true

  9. sam says:


    “I’ve seen plenty of Muslim protests in NYC that featured a burning American flag”

    Really? Plenty, huh? And you’ve seen them with your own eyes. I haven’t heard about them, but I can’t imagine they didn’t make the papers. Certainly the NY Post would have run stories. Can you supply us with some links? I’d like to read up on all these Muslims in New York City burning the American flag and not getting the shit beat out of themselves in the process.

  10. Trumwill says:

    The utility of the “people that disagree with me on this issue are Bad People” argument is not infinite, Doug.

  11. Jay Dubbs says:

    I have grown tired of this idea that only Islam could have spawned the terror that occurred on September 11th. There was the attempted eradication of an entire race/culture 60 years prior that showed that Christians could be even more horrific, and there were suicide bombers that attacked Americans soldiers in the Pacific that occurred at the same time.

    Let’s not make this about religions, but combating the extremists in any culture or religion.

    I could talk about my own events of that day, but they seem less important against the anti-Islam wave that seems to have finally arrived. (And to his credit, rarely given here, George W. Bush was the primary reason that the anti-Islam wave took so long to hit the American shore.)

  12. An Interested Party says:

    “The so-called irrational anger is merely frustration and reaction to our government not doing what it needs to do to protect the U.S.”

    Oh really?  Are you so scared that the Muslim bogeyman is going to come out from under your bed and say, “Boo!”?  Oh, and by the way, while you are whining about how things have supposedly “become worse” under our current president, do remember that 9/11 happened on the previous president’s watch…but, that previous president does indeed deserve credit for speaking out against anti-Muslim bigotry…I wonder if the fact that we no longer have a white president has anything to do with the current Islamophobia….certainly our current president (whom it is so easy to paint as the “other” to many people) seems to get dismissed in many quarters when he speaks out against Islamophobia like his predecessor did…

  13. sane_voter says:

    Bravo, Rose. I couldn’t have said it better myself.

  14. G.A.Phillips says:

     Islamophobia bigotry Islamophobia  bigotry Islamophobia bigotry Islamophobia  bigotry Islamophobia  bigotry Islamophobia bigotry Islamophobia bigotry Islamophobia  bigotry Islamophobia bigotry Islamophobia lol………………