Michael Polito Source: Wikimedia Commons


The community of Gillette has seen tension recently with plans for a Quran burning and protests over Gillette’s first mosque. Writer and Pulitzer Prize winner Kathryn Schulz heard this and wondered how a Muslim community came to be in coal mining Wyoming.

Habib M’henni / Wikimedia Commons

At a rally this weekend in Gillette, a Wyoming anti-Islam group is planning to burn a Quran.  

According to the group’s website, members of Americans For A Secure Wyoming are calling to “ban Islam from Wyoming,” though the group does not explain how that could be enforced.

Last year, members of a different online group Stop Islam In Gillette protested the opening of Gillette’s first mosque.

Gillette mayor Louise Carter-King said the protests do not reflect positively on what she describes as a welcoming community.

Miles Bryan



Bret Colvin says founded the “Stop Islam in Gillette” Facebook group for one reason.


“I don’t want Jihadis in my neighborhood.”


Colvin is a Catholic, and an ex-Marine. His wife passed away last year, and last month he lost his job as an oil field mechanic. Now he runs a home electronics repair business out of the small Gillette house he shares with a roommate, and a few pet turtles.


The University of Wyoming Muslim Student Association is inviting the public to experience Muslim people and culture first-hand during Islam Awareness Week, April 8-13.

One of the organizers is an education student from Morocco. Adil Bentahar has lived in the U.S. for four years, and he says many Americans know very little about his religion, Islam. “When I watch the news, I see that much of what is being communicated does not describe me as I am.”