French police arrest man over Koran-burning video


French police have questioned a man over an online video which features someone burning a page of the Koran and urinating on its ashes, a French judicial officer says.


The video which has since been removed from YouTube and Dailymotion shows a man tearing off a page of the Koran, making a paper plane and throwing it onto two glasses representing the World Trade Center. The man then burns the page and urinates onto its ashes.

In the footage, the man claims he is soiling the Koran in the “name of freedom”. He shows his face to the camera at the beginning of the video, gives his name and says he lives in Bishheim, on the outskirts of Strasbourg.

The Muslim community in Strasbourg has been deeply angered by the online video. An official at the Strasbourg Mosque Abdeaziz Choukri says he discovered the video and called the authorities after discussing the footage with its alleged author.

“He told me ‘We are in France and we can burn a book on Winnie the Pooh, in the same way we can burn the Koran,’” Choukri told AFP. “He was totally coherent and he didn’t seem to realise the impact of his acts.” Choukri indicated that Muslim religious authorities are to file a complaint against the author of the video for incitement of racial hatred.

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