Belief Beat

In the spirit of recognizing that the media have made a mountain out of the anthill that should be Pastor Terry Jones’ “Burn a Koran Day” (assuming it’s even still happening?) tomorrow in Florida, I’m not going to post any more about that nonsense. Semi-coincidentally, I’ve also got “Ground Zero mosque” fatigue, and there really isn’t anything new to report about the Park51 proposal right now, unless you’re interested in Donald Trump’s offer to buy the site. (Maybe it’s because I’m a New Yorker, but that really doesn’t deserve a headline.)

So, in the spirit of Fun Friday, Eid Mubarak, and interfaith harmony — after all, we do have the Ramadan and Rosh Hashanah convergence this week — check out this AP story about a Muslim stonemason who has been immortalized as a gargoyle (it’s a compliment) on a 12th century French cathedral:

In France, where Islam is the country’s second religion, the government has worked to integrate Muslims into French culture, while at the same time confronting cases of Islamophobia, from the desecration of Muslim graves to attacks on mosques.

Ahmed Benzizine, who was born in Algeria, a former French colony, sees the gargoyle in his image as “a message of peace and tolerance.”

“When I started to work in churches … exactly 37 years ago, it was considered a sin that a Muslim enter a place of worship other than a mosque,” he said.

I normally don’t post on weekends, but check back tomorrow for an update — if necessary — on what’s happening in terms of 9/11-related religion news.

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