L.A. woman finds hate message in copy of Koran

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A Muslim group on Wednesday demanded a public apology from online bookseller Amazon.com for its part in delivering a used copy of the Koran with the words “Death to all Muslims” scrawled across the inside cover.

Los Angeles graduate student Azza Basarudin, who ordered a used copy of the holy book through Amazon.com from a third -party, said that when she discovered the message “I actually dropped the book.”

“I was taken back to after Sept. 11 and my fear of even leaving my apartment,” Basarudin told a news conference.

The Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) said Basarudin brought the matter to them about two weeks ago. The Council contacted Amazon.com who have apologized to Basarudin, refunded her money, sent out a new copy of the Koran and issued her a gift certificate.

Amazon said it had also suspended Pennsylvania-based Bellwether Books, which packaged and mailed the Koran in question, from selling the Koran and had asked for an internal investigation.

But the MPAC said it wanted Amazon to issue a public apology and condemnation and establish a zero-tolerance policy toward sellers and employees.

“It is important for business leaders to come out with a zero tolerance policy. Amazon has a responsibility to make a public apology and condemnation,” said spokeswoman Edina Lekovic.

Lekovic said the desecrated Koran was part of a “cult of hate that may exist and may be on the rise.”

On Monday, Newsweek magazine retracted a report that U.S. interrogators at Guantanamo Bay had flushed at least one copy of the Koran down a toilet to try to make detainees talk.

The report triggered protests across the Muslim world in which 16 people died.

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Reuters, via Boston.com, USA
May 19, 2005

Religion News Blog posted this on Thursday May 19, 2005.
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