Group's Goal is a Quran in Every Home

May 24, 2008


Source: The Wichita Eagle/Chicago Tribune

A foundation distributing the holy book of Islam to non-Muslims hopes to clear up misconceptions about the faith.

As Marcia Macy chatted with her dog walker in the driveway of her Wheaton, Ill., home Thursday, a young Muslim man passed her and hooked a plastic bag containing a Quran on her doorknob.

Unlike most religious solicitors, the man didn't try to speak with her or engage her in debate. He simply left her a 378-page paperback English translation of the holy book of Islam.

"I'd read it just to see what it says, but I believe in Jesus, not Allah," said Macy, a longtime Christian. "They have a right to do it... but I feel pretty strong in my faith."

If Macy reads the text, she will have fulfilled the goal of the Book of Signs Foundation. The Muslim organization says that since July it has distributed more than 70,000 free English Qurans to homes in the Chicago area and an additional 30,000 around Houston.

The Christian stronghold of Wheaton, Ill., is the group's latest stop. The foundation spent the previous three weeks in Chicago's Hyde Park and Jackson Park neighborhoods.

Organizers said their aim is to help people develop their own opinions about Islam instead of being misled by common misconceptions about the faith that have been especially egregious since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

"We're just trying to be honest brokers of information," said Wajahat Sayeed, founder and director of Book of Signs, which also is known as al-Furqaan Foundation. "You make your own judgment."

See also: Islam, Civic