MN Man Agrees to Stop Sending Hate Mail to Islamic School


A man who says the Quran is a "terrorist manual" has agreed to stop sending offensive faxes to Minnesota's only full-time Islamic school.

Police said Steven Harhaj, 61, of Plymouth, sent anti-Islamic faxes to the Al-Amal in Fridley, as well as the Islamic Center of Minnesota, where the school is housed, and some Fridley city officials.

The school started receiving the faxes in September 2006 and first reported them to police on Dec. 13, 2006, said Don Abbott, the city's director of public safety. Some 100 faxes rolled in over the past year.

The school "just wanted the faxes to stop; they didn't want him arrested," Abbott said.

The faxes did not specifically threaten the school or any individual, said Zafar Siddiqui, president of the Islamic Resource Group, an educational and speakers group.

"The content of the faxes seem to be 'copy-paste' from hate Web sites," he wrote in an e-mail.

Harhaj defied warnings to stop sending the faxes, Abbott said. Police cited him with a misdemeanor charge by mail in May, but Harhaj told them he would not appear in court. Search and arrest warrants were issued after he missed his court date, and he was jailed Oct. 30 and released the next day.

Harhaj apologized to Abbott for harassing him and promised never to fax him again. However, he did not apologize to anyone at the school or the Islamic Center of Minnesota.

Harhaj said he hasn't changed his beliefs, one of which is that "the Qur'an is nothing but a terrorist manual." He said he does not plan to apologize to the school. (MORE)

 


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