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Texas Skateboarder Stops Christian Extremist From Burning the Koran

This post originally appeared on Think Progress. As news that Rev. Terry Jones of the Dove Outreach Center planned to publicly burn a Qur’an — an operation which appears to have been called off, for now — raced around the world, many in the Muslim world reacted with angry protests, feeling that Jones’ actions were indicative of an America that was indifferent to the sensitivities of the Islamic faith. Yet on Saturday, the day that Jones had dubbed “International Burn a Qur’an Day,” one American stepped forward to fight back against the rising tide of Islamophobia among the far-right. In Amarillo, Texas, David Grisham, director of Repent Amarillo, “which aims to deter promiscuity, homosexuality and non-Christian worship practices through confrontation and prayer,” planned to burn the Islamic holy text at a public gathering. But before he could set the book ablaze, a 23 year-old skateboarder named Jacob Isom swooped in and grabbed it:
A planned Quran burning Saturday in Amarillo was thwarted by a 23-year-old carrying a skateboard and wearing a T-shirt with “I’m in Repent Amarillo No Joke” scrawled by hand on the back. Jacob Isom, 23, grabbed David Grisham’s Quran when he became distracted while arguing with several residents at Sam Houston Park about the merits of burning the Islamic holy book. “You’re just trying to start Holy Wars,” Isom said of Grisham after he gave the book to a religious leader from the Islamic Center of Amarillo.
Local news station News Channel 10 covered the event and interviewed Isom. Isom told News Channel 10 that “he heard something about burning the Qur’an. Then I snuck up behind [Grisham] and told him, ‘Dude, you have no Qur’an,’ and took off.” Watch it: As Amarillo Citizens Against Repent Amarillo’s Facebook page shows, Isom made sure the book made it into the safe hands of a smiling local Muslim leader.
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