Two copies of the Quran were stolen from the interfaith chapel at the Charlotte Douglas International Airport in North Carolina. In their place was left a religiously disparaging handwritten note.
As the central religious text of Islam, Muslims believe the Quran to be a revelation from God. The N.C. chapel routinely provides a Christian Bible, the Torah (the Jewish Bible) and the Quran on its pulpit.
Co-director of the chapel, Rev. Alice White, a Pentecostal minister discovered the theft of the books while working in the chapel office. She told The Charlotte Observer it wasn't the first time the chapel's inclusion of the Muslim book had caused an incident.
"Six months ago, somebody got so outraged that they put a hole in the wall, because the Quran was up on the pulpit," she said.
White described as a white man in his 30s. She had found a man in the chapel at around 1:30 p.m. of the day of the theft. She recounted having been greeted by him, without him referring to her as "reverend." She said he noticed her name tag and said, "Hello, Alice White."
Due to past incidents, she said she checked to see if the copies of the Bible, the Torah and the Quran were in their places, before she stepped into the adjacent office that day.
Shortly after, she noticed the man had left the chapel, but not without sliding a letter under the office door. When she opened the envelope, she said she found a page torn from the guest book with a note scribbled on it that read: "Sorry to inform you, Alice White, but just because your tag says chaplain doesn't make you one in the eyes of God. Or correct in your theology. Especially if you don't take the Bible for its literal word - no lesbians, no Quran. If anything, you are a heretic. Love, Psalms 100. P.S. Deep down, you know this."
Although none of the chapel's 18 volunteer chaplains are Muslims, many Muslims do visit the chapel for their prayers, said a Catholic member of the interfaith chapel board, Barbara Gaddy.
Catholic Deacon George Szalony said the chapel has Muslim prayer mats, placed in the direction of Mecca. The chapel board always refused to install a security camera, Szalony told WRN. However, he said with the escalating number of negative events, the board may rethink their position on this matter.
Representatives of the Islamic Center of Charlotte said they will donate two more copies of the Quran to the chapel.