Frenchman on trial for burning and urinating on Koran
A Frenchman was due to go on trial Monday for inciting racial hatred after posting an Internet video of himself burning a Koran and then urinating on it "in the name of freedom."
He was arrested last October after posting the video of himself wearing a devil mask and tearing pages from the Islamic holy book before setting it on fire and -- after several minutes -- urinating on it to extinguish the flames.
Police made the arrest after local Muslim leaders in Strasbourg reacted with outrage at the video which identifies the maker as a 30-year-old from a suburb of the eastern city.
The director of Strasbourg's main mosque, Abdelaziz Choukri, said he alerted authorities and had spoken to the author of the video who told him he acted "in the name of freedom."
The burning of a copy of the Koran by a pastor in the United States last month has sparked protests across Afghanistan that killed at least 24 people, including seven UN staff.
© 2011 AFP