“If this happens, I think the first and most important reaction will be that wherever Americans are seen, they will be killed,” Mohammed Mukhtar, a cleric and an election candidate for the Afghan parliament, said in Kabul. “No matter where they will be in the world, they will be killed.”
Muslims consider the Koran to be the word of God and insist utmost respect be accorded to it and any printed material containing its verses or the name of Allah or the Prophet Muhammad. Any intentional damage or show of disrespect to the Koran is considered deeply offensive.
In 2005, 15 people died and scores were wounded in riots in Afghanistan sparked by a story in Newsweek magazine alleging that interrogators at the U.S. detention center in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, placed copies of the Koran in washrooms and flushed one down the toilet to get inmates to talk. Newsweek later retracted the story.
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