So How Should You Dispose of a Koran?

Bury it or burn it, reverently
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 24, 2012 2:38 PM CST
Afghan demonstrators show copies of Koran books allegedly set alight by US soldiers during a protest at the gate of Bagram air base on February 21.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – Protests raged on in Afghanistan for a fourth day today, with continued cries of "Death to America" over the burning of Korans at Bagram. Earlier reports said the books in question were removed from a prison library at the base because radical messages had been written in them. Which leads to a very good question: How should one dispose of the holy book if need be? According to Imam Johari Abdul-Malik, burn it, actually. NPR spoke to Malik, a director at an Islamic center in Falls Church, Va., and he explains that the problem in Afghanistan was that the Korans were burned with the trash.

The mess could have been avoided if the troops had requested assistance, and proceeded with reverence. "If one said, 'Well, we're burning some Korans today,' that wouldn't incite riots in Afghanistan. The problem is when one puts a malicious intent as part of the burning." There's a second respectful disposal option, which other religious leaders recommended to NPR: burial. To do so, the book should be wrapped in a pure cloth and buried beneath ground that people do not walk on. (Read more Koran stories.)

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