Skateboarder an overnight sensation after rescuing Quran

September 17, 2010

(RNS) At the end of a summer characterized by unprecedented levels of Islamophobia, Muslim Americans and their allies have found an expected reason to smile: Jake Isom, a skateboarder with a rat-tail from Amarillo, Texas.

Last Saturday (Sept. 18), Isom, 23, snatched a kerosene-soaked Koran from a grill in a city park before David Grisham, head of a local Christian group known as Repent Amarillo, could set it afire.

Isom's telling of the story to a local news station went viral, receiving close to 300,000 views on YouTube.

"I snuck-up behind him and took his Quran. He said something about burning a Quran, and I was like `Dude, you HAVE no Quran, and ran off," Isom, recounts in the news clip in an accent best described as "slacker."

Since then, Isom, who said he doesn't have any "set beliefs," has been immortalized on The Daily Show, a tribute page on Facebook and on T-shirts. He has fulfilled a long-held ambition to appear in High Times magazine, while a Google search of "Dude, you have no Quran," turns up dozens of hits .

To Muslims and non-Muslims, Isom has become an overnight folk hero, a modern-day blend of Jeff Spicoli (the stoned surfer from "Fast Times At Ridgemont High") and Saladin (the Muslim leader who fought the Crusaders).

"What's great about this is that it's coming from Joe America," said Shahed Amanullah, editor of, a web magazine. "What he did, and the way people responded, gives me more faith in America than anything any politician or media celebrity could do."

"I wish every discontented Muslim overseas could see this," said Amanullah. "It shows that Americans aren't ignorant, that they're not out to get Muslims. This guy, he's helping Muslims."

Not everyone applauded Isom. At the conservative website, commentators said Isom should be jailed for stealing Grisham's copy of the Quran. "Yet this MTV generation would stand by and let people burn American flags," said one commenter.

For his part, Isom said he would do it again.

"This is America, and we're not supposed to be like that," he said in an interview. "I don't care if it's a Quran or a Bible, I would stop anyone from doing either, because we don't stand for that kind of religious bigotry here, and I want to keep it that way."


Who is fundamenatlist ?

AMID claims of being modern’s societies an American citizen and a priest Terry Jones announced to set on fire the holy book ‘Quran’. His resolve not only created unrest among the Muslims but also among the sensible religious segment of different religions including Christianity. They condemned Terry Jones will to deteriorate the world peace. Muslims reaction was obvious. America and international community while always seek opportunities to malign and defame Muslims and Islam. When so ever they see that Muslims are behaving calmly they design to play nasty to instigate Muslims to react to the extent they can link that with radicalization and extremism. Sometimes back a wave of drawing caricatures of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and posting the same on certain websites was instigated. The European lobbyists and conspiracy theory specialist clearly know that Muslims are going to react like anything on such moves.
Terry Jones, who is priest by profession but wicked by nature announced to set the Muslims sacred book ‘Quran’ on fire (Nauz billahi) in order to protest on 9/11’s ninth anniversary. America and its allied forces have killed hundreds and thousands of innocent Muslim citizens in Iraq, Afghanistan and obviously in area along Western borders of Pakistan. In Iraq and Afghanistan they entered their armies, destroyed the prevailing peaceful governments and occupied their land and set rare examples of brutality and genocide in the respective counties.
On the other hand US and allied countries pressured Pak to be their ally in WOT. Allied forces are there in Afghanistan but in Pakistan where there soldiers were refused to undergo land operation they are throwing drones killing hundreds of innocents so far. In short the Americas and its allied forces are killing Muslims in the garb of 9/11 incident happened 9 years ago. Pakistan has faced a loss of 45 billion dollars and more than 2500 troops of Army has sacrifices their lives still Americans are not seemed to be satisfied. In fact, they don’t want to be satisfied. They have initiated WOT to trap Pakistan where suicide bombing and terrorist activities are now a routine matter.
Unfortunately American polices and designs are not genuinely sincere. America has two different faces from inside and the outside. It outer face is helping the third world contains in their development and posing as a sincere friend but from core of its heart it has its vested agenda to be fulfilled. Wikileaks an European website has disclosed the fact USA is patronizing and sponsoring terrorism in Pakistan .Wiki leaks has also disclosed that USA has recruited may of Al-Qaida terrorists to undergo terrorists activities inside Pakistan. Wikileaks leaked total number of 77000 leaks out of total 92000 leaks. There are only 180 leaks maligning Pakistan its army and ISI. But the newspapers like New York Times (NYT) only highlighted the leaks pertaining to Pakistan. NYT totally ignored the leaks exposing USA. This is how the West is using its media in floating certain conspiracy theories and building opinions on issues of human and military concerns.
Radicalization is not something pertaining to act upon beliefs and preaching of certain religion but is a mindset and move to adopt means of insulting the faith and emotions of other religions and instigate them to the extent in a way which could be formed as ‘extremism’. This is what the West is doing with Muslims. The Muslims have never thought of burning a Bible and Torah. For Muslims these are sacred books and must be respected in true spirit. At the same time Muslims can’t allow follower of any other religion to set on fire a holy book like “Quran”.
In US society it may not be a crime to burn a sacred book but their law do emphasize that church is protected. The person who is a priest and is connected with some church is supposed to be reasonably wise in not to indulge himself in resolves promoting radicalization and extremism. Setting on fire a sacred book like ‘Quran’ means setting on fire the sentiments of Muslims resulting an unending wave of agitations, protests, revenge and what we call ‘extremism’ among Muslims.
It was however really wise at the part of President Barak Husain Obama and his administration to impose ban on this uncalled move. This step has obviously saved the world from many of the aggressions. This is the time when radical elements of the West must realize the fact and should come up with the same standards of tolerance, patience, broad mindedness and wisdom which they desire form Muslim world. So, western masses instead searching fundamentalists from among the files of other societies should be careful from their own fundamentalists, ‘The Western Fundamentalist’ who are very much capable of setting on fire the peace, harmony and serenity of the entire world.
( Western Fundamentalists by Yousaf Alamgirian)

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