On May 9, 2005, Newsweek carried a story stating that the Holy Quran was “flushed down a toilet.” The story appeared to confirm previous allegations of abuse and mishandling of the Holy Quran by U.S. military personnel at Guantanamo Bay. Newsweek later retracted the story but the damage was already done. Passions soared and massive anti-American demonstrations were held across the Muslim world.
At the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), leaders and activists brainstormed over how best to respond to such a volatile situation. CAIR staffers spoke to the media, explaining what the Quran means to Muslims. Editorials and letters to editors were written.
On May 17, 2005, a mere eight days after the Newsweek story, CAIR launched an innovative program called Explore the Quran. This program was aimed at educating our fellow Americans about the Quran with the expectation that anyone familiar with this holy book would not abuse it and would come closer to understanding Islam and Muslims.
This campaign was a product of CAIR’s strategic approach to reshaping perceptions about Islam and Muslims. In 2005, a CAIR survey confirmed earlier findings that 60 percent of Americans are not knowledgeable about Islam. However, a significant percentage welcomed the opportunity to learn about Islam. Nearly 1 in 5 Americans said that they would like to receive a free copy of the Quran.
Since the campaign was first launched, nearly 28,000 people have requested a free copy of the Quran. This report presents the current status of the campaign and identifies additional resources needed to continue the project to reach more Americans.
Mission Statement for “Explore the Quran” Campaign
In order to promote mutual understanding and educate others about Islam, CAIR will provide a free copy of the meaning of the Quran in English to Americans of
CAIR Mission and Vision Statements
CAIR’s vision is to be a leading advocate for justice and mutual understanding.
CAIR’s mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote
justice and mutual understanding.