A few weeks ago Our Saviour's received a package in the mail. The package was addressed to the "Church Librarian/Pastor".
The address label indicated that the package came from CAIR.
I had never run across this acronym before and had no idea who had sent us the package.
I opened the box. Inside was a book. No surprise there. But the book wasn't just any book. It was a copy of the Quran, the Islamic holy book.
The package also contained a letter from Mr. Nihad Awad. Mr. Awad serves as the executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. In his letter Mr. Awad said that CAIR was sending copies of the Quran to various individuals and institutions. Mr. Awad's letter said that we were receiving a copy of the Quran in the spirit of interfaith understanding, and that we were invited to include the Quran in our library as an educational resource. The letter then went on to outline the Muslim understanding of the Quran.
I have no idea how CAIR obtained Our Saviour's address. Most likely, it was from the internet.
I can only guess that CAIR decided to send copies of the Quran to various Twin Cities churches given the fact that we have so many Muslim neighbors in our community.
I did find it interesting that the nation of Qatar had helped to pay for the distribution of the Qurans.
The Quran has been sitting in my office for a few weeks, still in its box. I have been busy and haven't had time to do anything else with it.
In addition, I didn't know exactly what I should I do with it. Should we add it to our library as an "education resource"? Could I do this in good faith?
Yesterday, I finally had time to act.
I decided to send the Quran back to CAIR.
I included a letter addressed to Mr. Awad. In the letter I wrote why I was returning the Quran.
Dear Mr. Nihad:
I must return the copy of the Quran that CAIR sent us. I believe that if we were to include the Quran in our library, this would dishonor Jesus Christ, the One sent from heaven to die on the cross for our sins.
If I sent you a cross to hang in your building—simply as a symbol of good faith between peoples of the book—you would politely decline the offer and return the cross to me. So, in the same way, I cannot accept the gift of the Quran.
I am glad that we live in a nation where religious freedom is protected and all can worship as they choose.
Pastor Brian Scoles