By BOB OLIVER
DEARBORN – A 51-year-old Detroit man is awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to burning Qurans three times last month, twice outside of the Karbalaa Islamic Education Center, 15332 Warren Avenue, and once on Chase south of Tireman.
Ali Al-Asadi appeared in front of 19th District Court Judge Sam Salamey for an arraignment and pled guilty to three misdemeanor charges of littering and one count of open burning.
Al-Asadi was released on a $300 cash bond and is scheduled to appear before Salamey for sentencing at 8 a.m. Aug. 5.
The first incident occurred June 10, when three Qurans were found burning on the sidewalk outside of the Karbalaa Center.ßß
This came just a few days before controversial Fla. pastor Terry Jones of Stand Up America Now! visited the city to participate in the American Patriotic Bikers’ “Dearborn Freedom Rally,” an event organizers said was a “rally against Islamic Sharia Law which threatens freedom of speech in the United States.”
The proximity of the event and the charred books fueled 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 [email protected].)