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People We Love: Jacob Isom

Skateboarding for tolerance.
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Jacob Isom

Photo by Stephen Spillman
Amarillo Globe-News

There was a broad range of responses to the religious intolerance that bubbled up last summer. Opponents of a planned Muslim cultural center in lower Manhattan and radical pastors, threatening to burn the Quran, raised tensions across the world. From the president on down, people were calling for tolerance.

One response to this hate turned out to be especially timely. When a radical pastor, David Grisham, threatened to burn a Quran in Sam Houston Park in Amarillo, Texas, hundreds gathered to protest the burning and to support religious tolerance. But it was a 23-year-old skateboarder who took quick action and became an instant celebrity. Jacob Isom, a pizza cook and self-described atheist, dashed in and snatched the holy book out of the pastor’s hands. Isom’s quip: “Dude you have no Quran!” became a catchphrase overnight.


Tiffany Ran wrote this article for What Happy Families Know, the Winter 2011 issue of YES! Magazine. Tiffany is an editorial assistant for YES! Magazine.


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