Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder on Monday praised Dearborn leaders for their calm response to an anti-Islam rally hosted by Qur’an burning pastor Terry Jones of Florida last weekend.
Snyder, speaking at the Arab American National Museum in Dearborn, said leaders’ response set a good example of “how to deal with difficult issues in a constructive fashion,”the Detroit Free Press reports.
City leaders encouraged Dearborn residents to ignore Jones and his supporters. No counter protests were held, as they have been in the past.
Last week, three copies of the Qur’an were found burning outside the Karbalaa Islamic Education Center, but Jones disavowed any knowledge and said his grou, Stand Up America, wasn’t responsible, the Press and Guide reports.
The Qur’an burnings occurred just as afternoon prayers were about to begin at the center of Dearborn’s Iraqi Shi’a community. Several people tried to put out the fires with their bare hands when they saw it was the Muslim holy book, the Press and Guide said.
Sheikh Husham Al-Husainy, the inman at the mosque, said the incident is being investigated by local police and the FBI.
During Monday’s talk, Snyder said he is dismayed that Qur’an burnings still occur.
“ … Those are terrible events,” he said “You would hope they would never happen. I’m very proud of the Dearborn community for how they’ve handled these issues, about being pro-active and talking about peace and ways to work well with people. This is a good role model for how communities can be good examples.”
Snyder had been invited to speak at the museum by Manal Saab, a Flint businesswoman and chairwoman of the museum’s advisory board. Snyder, who once lived in Dearborn, toured the museum and then spoke to about 50 Arab-American leaders and Dearborn Mayor Jack O’Reilly.He said the state values diversity and is committed to attracting skilled, highly educated immigrants, including political refugees, who he said will be job creators.