France charges man for burning, urinating on Koran
(Photo: Verses in an oversized Koran being copied in Leganon, August 30, 2010/Ali Hashisho)
A blogger who filmed himself burning the Koran and urinating on it to put out the flames is to appear in court in eastern France, charged with incitement to religious hatred, legal sources said on Tuesday.
Threats in September by a Florida preacher to hold a high-profile protest burning of the Koran sparked global outrage among Muslims, and triggered violent protests in Afghanistan in which one protester was shot dead.
In the film, which was posted on the Internet, the 30-year-old blogger from Bischheim near Strasbourg is seen sitting in his living room wearing a devil’s mask and tearing pages out of a copy of the Koran to make paper airplanes.
He then throws the airplanes at two upended boxes, arranged to look like the Twin Towers in New York, before burning the book on his balcony and urinating on it.
“He claims full responsibility. He says he’s not a right-wing extremist but that in France he can burn the Koran, just as he can burn a Winnie the Pooh book, without worrying about the consequences,” Strasbourg deputy prosecutor Gilles Delorme told Reuters.