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Angry Iraqis Protest U.S. Soldiers' Throwing Of Qur'an

Additional Reporting By Subhy Hadad, IOl Correspondent
BAGHDAD , October 21 ( & News Agencies) Scores of angry Iraqi
employees broke out in rage Tuesday, October 21, after a U.S. soldier hurled a copy of the holy Qur'an to the ground. The U.S. desecration started after a veiled Iraqi woman refused to let U.S. occupation soldiers use a sniff dog to search her bag because it contained a copy of the Qur'an, furious demonstrators told Agence France-Presse (AFP). "Amal Karim asked them not to let the dog touch her bag because there was a Qur'an inside," oil ministry employee Zainab Assem Assem told AFP, adding a U.S. soldier threw the copy to the ground. "Amal started shouting: 'Can you (Iraqis) let American soldiers desecrate our holy Qur'an?'

And the crowd was steaming with anger," she added. The demonstrators demanded that U.S. troops leave and be replaced by Iraqi police. "We will demonstrate every morning until the soldiers leave the entrance to the ministry," said Mohammad Assem, adding that U.S. soldiers fired shots in the air to disperse the irked crowd. "Even Saddam did not behave in this manner," said Jassem in reference to ousted dictator Saddam Hussein. "Their attitude is unacceptable," he said. Iraqi traditions also refuse the inspection of women by men or touching their bodies or clothes by dogs, whether they were police or ordinary dogs. Muslims consider dogs to be an unclean animal, and the use of dogs in searches has caused numerous incidents in Iraq. According to Islamic teachings, people are not allowed to keep a dog at home for a purpose other than hunting or guarding the house (watch dogs).

2003-11-06 Thu 18:19ct