Wednesday, May 18, 2005

ISLAM: Anger over reported desecration persists despite retraction

The Koran has such exalted status among Muslims that is it never allowed to touch the ground. It is placed on a high shelf and kissed each time it is opened. Desecrating the Koran is punishable by death in Pakistan, Afghanistan and many other Islamic countries. "The Koran is supposed to be more important than a life," said one Pakistani official, speaking on condition of anonymity. "If there is any disrespect for the Koran, whether true or not, people will believe it and feel it very badly." Because of such feelings, many analysts said that although the initial protests had died down, they doubted the anger over the Guantanamo report would dissipate entirely, even if the allegation was proved untrue.

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