(Beloved Infidels is an irregular feature in which we honour those non-Muslims who've shown themselves to be friends or supporters of the Muslim community*)
Last week, as Pastor Terry Jones waffled back and forth about whether or not to burn some copies of the Qur'an on September 11, many others clamoured to get in on the befuddling act of commemorating the losses of September 11th by advocating and celebrating hate. One of these characters, David Grisham, is the leader of some haters called Repent Amarillo. (I really want to punctuate their name...shouldn't it be "Repent, Amarillo!" or some such? I'm going to start a group called Punctuate, Fools!)
Repent Amarillo, an evangelical Christian quasi-militia, is considered by some to be a sort of "Texas Taliban." (Note: I would link to Repent Amarillo's site, www.repentamarillo.com, but it currently leads only to a Google map of Amarillo, and the similarly-named .org and .net sites seem to be anti-RA sites.)
Apparently unable to come up with anything more sensational or original than burning copies of scripture, Grisham also decided on a Qur'anic conflagration. But before Grisham could grill his accelerant-soaked copy, a 23-year-old Texan named Jacob Isom zipped past him on his skateboard, and grabbed the Qur'an, telling him, "Dude, you have no Qur'an!" Check out the news report:
As of this writing, there is, of course, a Facebook page devoted to Isom with well over a thousand followers. Grisham apparently left the park, claiming concern about things getting out of hand. (Meaning, I guess, things other than the Qur'an that Isom swiped, and gave to a local Muslim leader.)
So: for his bravery, quick thinking, nonviolent peacemaking, creative disarmament, inimitable style, and righteous raditude, we hereby award Jacob Isom the first Philosufi "Beloved Infidel" honour. (Props to the Unitarian Universalists and others who were also at the scene, protesting Grisham's action.) Jacob, if you're reading this, contact us and we'll send you the T-shirt of your choice.