Quran burner given fine for offenses

Times-Herald Newspapers

DEARBORN — The 51-year-old Detroit man who pled guilty to burning Qurans three times in June has been ordered to pay $400 for two misdemeanor offenses.

Ali Al-Asadi appeared before 19th District Court Judge Sam Salamey Aug. 5 for sentencing and was ordered to pay a $200 fine for the misdemeanor charge of littering and a $200 fine for the misdemeanor charge of open burning.

Al-Asadi pled guilty to the charges during his arraignment before Salamey last month.

Following the arraignment, Al-Asadi was released on a $300 cash bond ordered to reappear for sentencing.

The first incident occurred June 10 outside of the Karbalaa Islamic Education Center, 15332 Warren Ave., when three Qurans were found burning on the sidewalk.

This came just a few days before controversial Florida pastor Terry Jones of Stand Up America Now! came to the city to “rally against Islamic Sharia Law which threatens freedom of speech in the United States,” fueling speculation from Karbalaa Center Imam Husham Al-Husainy and others that the events were tied together somehow.

The second incident occurred on June 25 when police were called back to the mosque by witnesses who had observed a man burning a Quran and were able to distract him long enough to put the fire out and contact authorities.

Officers arrived and spoke to the suspect, later identified as Al-Asadi, who was standing over a burned Quran and appeared to be very upset.

While at the scene officers received a report of another burned Quran being found on Chase south of Tireman.

Al-Asadi was arrested and taken to the Police Department for an interview, where according to police he confessed to all three incidents.

Al-Asadi said he burned the Qurans because he was upset that imams and other Muslim followers at local mosques had refused to help him with several financial problems he was facing.

(Bob Oliver can be reached at boliver@bewickpublications.com.)