France charges man for burning, urinating on Koran

Tue Oct 5, 2010 3:50pm GMT

* Man faces up to 5 yrs in prison for inciting hatred

* U.S. preacher had sparked anger with Koran burning plans

By Gilbert Reilhac

STRASBOURG, Oct 5 (Reuters) - A blogger who filmed himself burning the Koran and urinating on it to put out the flames is to appear in court in eastern France, charged with incitement to religious hatred, legal sources said on Tuesday.

Threats in September by a Florida preacher to hold a high-profile protest burning of the Koran sparked global outrage among Muslims, and triggered violent protests in Afghanistan in which one protester was shot dead.

The book-burning subsequently was cancelled, after U.S. President Barack Obama warned it could endanger lives and act as a recruiting tool for al Qaeda.

In the film, which was posted on the Internet, the 30-year-old blogger from Bischheim near Strasbourg is seen sitting in his living room wearing a devil's mask and tearing pages out of a copy of the Koran to make paper airplanes.

He then throws the airplanes at two upended boxes, arranged to look like the Twin Towers in New York, before burning the book on his balcony and urinating on it.   Continued...

Powered by Reuters AlertNet. AlertNet provides news, images and insight from the world's disasters and conflicts and is brought to you by Reuters Foundation.