Desecrated Quran from Amazon

Category: Americas, Faith & Spirituality Views: 7598

On May 5th 2005 Azza Basarudin received a Quran she had ordered from Bellwether Books, a third-party seller of To her shock she discovered profanity and the words "Death to all Muslims" scrawled in thick black marker on the inside cover. 

"I dropped the book because I didn't know what to do," she said during the news conference. "I was paralyzed after 9/11 - I couldn't leave my house for a couple of weeks - and I realized that fear was coming back. I couldn't even go near this book for a couple of days. I feel like I'm being violated all over again because I'm a Muslim." 

Last week, MPAC contacted Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos' office to demand that Amazon investigate the incident, issue a public condemnation of such hateful speech, terminate employees responsible, and support hate crime prevention programs. and Bellwether Books have admitted to the mistake, but failed to take any of the correction actions necessary to remedy the situation to the Ms. Basarudin's satisfaction. 

The Associated Press, which covered the news conference, reported today that Bellwether is also suspended indefinitely from selling Qurans through, according to a spokeswoman for the online bookseller.

"We are gratified to learn that has suspended its relationship with Bellwether," said Executive Director Salam Al-Marayati, "but they have a responsibility to loudly condemn such hateful rhetoric and take pro-active measures to enhance educational programs that foster religious tolerance." 

MPAC issued the following action request:

Contact to request that the online bookseller take decisive steps to resolve this case and ensure it is not repeated, including:

Publicly condemn such desecration of a sacred text with hateful speech targeting Muslims,

Terminate relations with Bellwether Books, the third-party seller that delivered the desecrated Quran to Ms. Basarudin,

Support and fund educational programs that foster religious tolerance.

Send correspondence to:
Patty Smith [email protected]
Director of Corporate Communications

  Category: Americas, Faith & Spirituality
Views: 7598
The opinions expressed herein, through this post or comments, contain positions and viewpoints that are not necessarily those of IslamiCity. These are offered as a means for IslamiCity to stimulate dialogue and discussion in our continuing mission of being an educational organization. The IslamiCity site may occasionally contain copyrighted material the use of which may not always have been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. IslamiCity is making such material available in its effort to advance understanding of humanitarian, education, democracy, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law.

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, and such (and all) material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.

Older Comments:
As a third generation US citizen I have experienced racism all of my life as a black person. To my dismay religist discrimination hurts as much if not more!

It is quite dishearthening to see people showing their hatred for islam.I am not suprising because it is generally believe that no matter the level of hatred for islam, it will continue to subdue them.Let us continue our unity, which has been the sustenance of our faith. By GOD grace, we shall surely conquer.

Dear Sir, Muslims worldwide should never be perturbed about all these afronts and attacks on the sacredness and sanctity of Islam. Truth seems to be weak in the face of brutal force backed with hypocrisy. At the end of the day, victory is for the children of God.

Declared enemies of peace (Islam) are venting their frustrations like someone who wishes to quench the moonlight with the gas in their mouth. ...billows upon billows...the state of the ignorant. Islam, will be victorious. Amin.



The Quran states that "they do not harm you or God, they harm only themselves". Trully, the disrespect showed to the Muslims by doing this doesn't even compare to the disrespect they did to themselves. They will be fully aware of their shameful deed on the day of reckoning. I have to agree with br Yahya Bergum on this issue, besides who ever did it was coward enough to choose this despicable way of sending a message to the Muslims. In the anti-Islamic post 9/11 America a hate criminal doesn't need to commit himself to such acts. It is "allright" to bash the Muslims, why not come out from the closet and say your piece in front of a KKK audience, maybe televize it and try to sell it to Muslim countries, especially those that are US allies. Personally, I believe that this was the act of a deranged person that doesn't need attention but who would deserve punishment to stop these kind of bravadas to reoccur in the future. Once my grandfather told me this proverb while some neighbouring evangelists were trying to intimidate us: "Donkey's voice does not pass beyond the threshhold of heaven."
I bid Salam!

Shameful...but not really a huge issue, there are idiots everywhere.

One only needs to watch movies like Vampires, Salem's Lot, The Exorcist, etc and he will plainly see how the forces of evil take for granted the sanctity of the church, the crucifix and the highly respected priests who the devil confronts (of all places, in a church and he [the devil] eventualy wins over). If this is not desecration of Christianity, I don't know what is. I can't help but be appalled and disgusted. If these people can pay no attention to their religion being mocked and disrespected, what are the chances that they will care at all whatever happens to the Quran? What are the chances that they won't desecrate Islam? Religion is a moral guide. It shapes our behavior in society. Man and religion cannot be separated. Even atheists have certain beliefs that dictate their behavior, no matter how disagreeble they are. But ignorance knows no bounds. It eats up one's morality and respect whether for others or for himself. Ignorance separates the beast from the man.

Interesting idea, Don, but if someone who was known as a Muslim was actually intending to defraud a business I'm thinking they might be safer cutting off their finger as you seem to be suggesting than desecrating the Qur'an. Obviously the Muslims offended would have a far better chance for an insanity defense. (The defense rests, your honor.)

Also I'm kind of curious about something. If it was your sister who said she was the victim of a hate crime how would you feel if I suggested she maybe did it herself for the money? Again I'm just curious. But anyway thanks for asking.

May peace be upon you and those dear to you.

I bid you peace but have we made sufficient inquiries before demanding sacrifices? By that I mean have we asked questions beyond what is basically "whom do you want to see blamed for this incident other than your own organization?" For example was the package opened for inspection after leaving the bookseller but before getting delivered to the recipient with the Muslim-looking name? Did the package seem designed to be easily opened for inspection? Medications are presumably not while books presumably are.

What does anyone who MAY have handled the contents wish to say about religious persecution? To say that one wished to decline comment would amount to one clearly answering such a question. Also what sort of feelings might they have concerning postal workers harmed by terrorism and who might they suppose is responsible? People are human and humans have feelings about people they care about. Additionally do the companies involved in some way participate in promoting (or rather perhaps opposing) hate speech? Individuals are certainly entitled to their opinion but companies presumably have more reason to seem accommodating.

As long as we are demanding that someone lose what might be his or her household's primary source of income (although crime should be expected to have a negative effect on those who commit it) what more could potentially be discovered about the marker used by the hate-criminal? The FBI makes a science of this sort of thing. If they wish to pass up an opportunity to improve relations with Muslims then perhaps it might prove useful to discover that sort of thing too. Either way in light of recent events the case seems somehow likely to impact national security.

I am very sceptical of this. The recent finger episode comes to mind.


it's a policy and they are trying to make people accept it a bit by bit. I was watching channel 6 in south and that was that show who comes at 6 AM morning! I have no clue who the hell this guys are but they were spewing the hate on Islam in unbelievable manner. plus they were saying that the palestinians were digging in jerusalem and destroying the temple of Salomon Alaihe Assalam. and they give some pictures of palestinian homes demolished by Israel army like they are giving some proofs for the Americans!
Inna le Allah wa Inna Elaihe rajeoon. this guys are just warming like Tom delay said in his last speech! we hopefully gonna have to face this new waves of ignorants managing the worlds from ignorance. I wish some of the palestinians paid attention to that show and debunk it!? cause they can have enough tools to debunk it than me.
since we are just peaceful people and we never intended to find ourselves hated by others because of the Last message of God, we have one easy thing to do is to debunk this guys with proofs as much as we can. untill Allah help us to stand in the right way and make those who took us as enemies, return back to their bloody caves...

I buy plenty of used books through Amazon; some are are in good shape, others not; some have plenty of markings, others none; that is how the used book market works.

So, nothing surprising here. Obviously, the Koran was originally purchased by a non-muslim; he did not like it and wrote profanities, like anybody may write on his own property. This simply shows what some non-muslims think about Islam; and it is high time, muslims found out the realities of life in a secular and free society like US.

What will apologies achieve -- obviously nothing; in the American society, they are just empty words anyhow.

The world is too complex to everybody's liking; so one will have to get used to the real world if one wants to live -- no sense rioting -- I doubt it will start any kind of rioting in Los Angeles.

You start complaining too much about such incidents, the right wing and christian fundamentalists will ensure that plenty of such incidents happen in US; they will keep the pot boiling.

By the way, why it took 15 days for the story to appear.