Greece: Muslims protest alleged defacement of Koran

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May 22, 2009 19:49

 
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Authorities fired tear gas and stun grenades at hundreds of Muslims in central Athens on Friday as they protested a Greek policeman's alleged defacement of a Koran owned by an Iraqi immigrant. The clashes occurred outside Parliament as the demonstrators threw rocks and plastic bottles at police, and smashed windows of a luxury hotel in central Syntagma Square. A police helicopter hovered overhead. Chanting "God is great!" and waving leather-bound copies of Islam's holy book, about 1,500 Muslim immigrants - mostly young men - had begun the demonstration with a march to Parliament to express their anger. The clashes occurred after the protest had dwindled to about 300. "We want the officer or officers involved to be prosecuted, and the government to issue an apology," protester Manala Mohammed, a Syrian national, told The Associated Press. "We want people to show us respect."

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