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New Koran Furor Over 'Toilet Paper' Accusation

A scene from an Afghan protest in early April over reports of Koran defacing in the West

A scene from an Afghan protest in early April over reports of Koran defacing in the West

So far it's just AFP reporting it, but stone-throwing demonstrators destroyed part of an Afghan paper mill on April 18 over claims that the mill had "recycled copies of the Koran into toilet paper."

Defacing or otherwise sullying Islam's holy book are a serious offense in Afghan society. And recent speculation that fundamentalists are whipping up crowds into violent frenzies over real or perceived offenses against Islam -- sometimes with tragic results -- compounds the danger. But the target of those incidents have mostly been Westerners. Not so this time, assuming the mill's owners aren't foreigners.

Says AFP:

Copies of the Koran were found inside the factory, Kabul police spokesman Hashmat Stanikzai said, adding that no-one was injured in the protest.

"The attorney general's office and Kabul police have jointly tasked a delegation to investigate the alleged disrespect to our holy book in that factory," a spokesman for the office, Amanullah Iman, told AFP.

"We have arrested three people including the director of the company so far... we are taking the issue very seriously."

-- Central Newsroom

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