Capitol Quran reading Saturday to ‘counter the forces of ignorance’
By Ben Geman - 09/11/10 12:04 PM ET
A Virginia man has organized a Quran reading on the Capitol’s west lawn Saturday afternoon, an event planned to counter Florida pastor Terry Jones’ threat to burn the Muslim holy text.
The reading will proceed even though Jones has backed off. A Facebook page about the planned 4 p.m. quiet reading says it is designed to “counter the forces of ignorance and intolerance.”
“This event is not about religious proselytizing, but about furthering understanding and tolerance (in fact, the people organizing it are all either Christians or Agnostics). Please join us for a few hours of quiet reading in the name of brotherhood and peace,” the website states.
Tony Tribby, 43, noted that even though Jones has canceled his plan, there have been threats by others – including the extreme Westboro Baptist Church in Kansas – to undertake Quran burnings.
Tribby, an Alexandria resident, said he hoped the event would show that “we understand the difference between Muslims and terrorists.” Tribby, a t-shirt printer by trade, said he thought of the event Wednesday and began putting it together Thursday.
“Let’s try to do something positive as a counterstatement and hope that maybe it makes even a slight difference somehow,” Tribby told The Hill.
He said he has obtained some English-language copies of the Quran from an Islamic center in Virginia, and late Saturday morning was still seeking more elsewhere. Tribby – who describes himself as “basically agnostic” – said he’s unsure how many people will attend or how much press coverage it will receive.
Tribby said he volunteered for Howard Dean’s (D) unsuccessful presidential campaign in 2004 and for President Barack Obama’s campaign in 2008, but that Saturday’s Quran reading is the first political event he has organized. He said the event was inspired by this website, which calls for an "international read a Quran day."
This post was updated at 1:34 p.m.