Iran clerics for slaying Koran burners as crowd protests

13th September 2010, Comments 1 comment

Two top Iranian clerics said anyone desecrating the Koran must be killed, Fars news agency reported, as hundreds of people protested on Monday outside the Swiss embassy in Tehran.

"From the point of view of Islamic jurisprudence, strong objection to such thoughts is mandatory and necessary and killing the people who have committed this act is compulsory," Ayatollah Hossein Nouri Hamedani was quoted as saying by Fars.

His view was echoed by Ayatollah Naser Makarem Shirazi who added that such a response must be taken after consulting a "religious judge."

"The blood of the person who burns the Koran can undoubtedly be shed. But in this issue, no action should be taken without the permission of a religious judge," Makarem Shirazi told Fars.

Evangelical pastor Terry Jones had threatened in the run up to the 9th anniversary of the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States to burn the Koran at his tiny Florida church. He later relented.

But a group of conservative Christians tore up pages of the Koran in a protest on Saturday outside the White House.

Top Iranian officials, including President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, have issued harsh criticism over the issue, with the hardliner even saying that a bid to burn the Muslim holy book was a "Zionist plot" that would lead to the speedy "annihilation" of Israel.

Meanwhile up to 500 people demonstrated outside the Swiss embassy in northern Tehran in protest against the United States over the Koran-burning issue.

An AFP photographer said the crowd, chanting anti-US and anti-Israel slogans, pelted stones at the embassy and tried to get into the building, but the guards prevented them from entering the premises.

Several protesters, carrying copies of the Koran on their heads, set US and Israel flags on fire as they chanted "Death to America! Death to Israel!", the photographer reported.

The Swiss embassy manages US interests in Iran since Washington and Tehran have had no diplomatic ties since the 1979 Islamic revolution.

© 2010 AFP

1 Comment To This Article

  • pamameen posted:

    on 14th September 2010, 10:01:08 - Reply

    Crazy and mad people around the world do behave like lunatics and try to be indecent in attacking the sensibilities of religious people. But at the same time it is wrong on the part of some of the less knowledgeable clerics to go to the extent of passing death sentence on such lunatics. It is equally wrong on the part of Western Govts. to allow all sorts of gimmicks, nonsenses, mockery, insults, vilification to go on the pretext of freedom of speech. As a matter of fact there is no such thing as absolute freedom of speech. Absolute freedom of speech can not and should not exist in any pluralistic, multi-cultured society in order to maintain mutual and peaceful co-existence between minority and majority communities. If Govts in the West want they can control this sort of nonsense such as burning the holy scriptures of religions, based on race-relations act or bring in new laws to restrict such lunacy.

    Iran and other Muslim nations have to use other means to make the west read the strong message on the walls, one way is to have trade sanctions and calling back their ambassadors for consultations