When the Rev. Terry Jones was preparing to put the Koran on trial last month, his supporters could find only one Muslim willing to take part in the bizarre proceeding, which ended with the holy text being set ablaze.
Mohamed Elhassan, a 50-year-old computer store owner who leads a tiny Sufi congregation in Irving, Tex., readily agreed to defend the Koran. He’d debated Islam with Jones’s supporters before and wasn’t put off by the prospect of interacting with Jones himself, though he knew that the pastor had threatened to burn the Koran in September.
“I thought it would help other Muslims, other Christians and Terry Jones himself. I thought we were just going to discuss the Koran. That’s why I went there,” Elhassan said.