Malaysians protest Quran burning in Afghanistan

Indo Asian News Service

Kuala Lumpur, Feb 24 (IANS) A group of Malaysian Muslims marched from a mosque to the US Embassy in Kuala Lumpur after Friday prayers to protest against the burning of Qurans at a NATO base in Afghanistan.

The protesters, who were members of Malaysia's Islamist political party Pan-Malaysia Islamic Party (PAS), chanted "Down with the US", carried banners reading: "Damn You, US" and "Respect our Quran", Xinhua reported.

They submitted a protest note to a representative of the embassy.

"We want the US government to take serious action, apology alone is not enough because this (humiliation of Quran) has happened numerous times in the past. I hope our voices would be heard," said Nasruddin Hassan Tantawi, leader of the PAS' youth wing.

He also threatened of gathering its members nationwide for another mass demonstration at a later date over the incident.

"They have not only killed our Muslim brothers but also insulted our religion. This cannot be tolerated," he added.

The protest in Muslim-majority Malaysia came in the wake of the discovery of the charred copies of the Quran at the American military center at Bagram airbase, 50 km north of Kabul, Afghanistan.

Afghan labourers found burned copies of the Quran at the base while collecting trash.

US president Barack Obama has rendered his apology over the "unintentional" incident by his troops and promised a full investigation on the burning.

The burning of the Quran has prompted violent demonstrations in Afghanistan over the last three days, leaving at least 13 people as killed and over 50 as injured.