Sunni preachers on Friday denounced the shooting of a Koran by a US sniper in Iraq despite a series of apologies by American commanders and US President George W. Bush. The use of Islam's holy book for target practice has triggered an angry response in Iraq and protests in Afghanistan even as US-led forces are working to maintain their alliance with Sunni Arabs who have turned against al-Qaida in Iraq. "The enemies of Islam have launched their campaign against Islam and the Prophet Muhammed and recently against the holy Koran," said Sheik Omar Muhammad during his sermon at a Sunni mosque in Baghdad. "A bullet that might have shot at an Iraqi believer, was directed toward the holy Koran instead," Muhammad said. "Do not think this is a defeat for us, but it will crate enthusiasm to stand up more for this religion."