Muslim rioters in Asia burned effigies of U.S. President Barack Obama in protests over the “desecration of the Quran.” Sixteen people, including a 13-year-old boy, were killed in the riots. In Iran, thousands of protesters burned the American flag.
In Indian-controlled Kashmir and Afghanistan, one Protestant-run mission was burned down, according to the Indian website The Pioneer.
The Iranian government’s Press TV telecast anti-Quran events in the United States, where a Florida pastor had threatened to burn the Quran before backing down. The reports of desecration stoked flames of anger throughout the Muslim world.
“The transmission of Press TV in two Indian regions was banned," State Chief Secretary S.S. Kapur told reporters.
In Tehran, thousands of angry Iranians burned the American flag Monday in a noisy demonstration featuring university students chanting anti-American slogans and trampling on a coffin that represented “liberal democracy.” The protest was held outside the Swiss embassy in Tehran that officially represents the United States in the Islamic Republic, which has no diplomatic relations with the United States.
The protests in the Muslim world followed reports that Florida pastor Terry Jones had scheduled a public book burning of the Quran to coincide with the ninth year since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
Jones backed down from his plan after pleas from a wide spectrum of political and other leaders, including General David Petraeus who said that burning the Quran would endanger lives of American soldiers in Afghanistan.
Jones explained his change in plans by saying that he had brought home the point that Islam is a violent religion. However, several followers individually burned copies of the Quran on Saturday.