Dozens Demonstrate in Baghdad against Desecration of Koran
It started with a minor incident. A female employee going into the Ministry of Petroleum had to subject to a daily search of her purse. But the US troops guarding the building on Tuesday wanted more, they wanted her to let trained police dogs sniff her purse. For Americans, dogs are cute, friendly pets, who sometimes can be trained to protect their masters from dire threats like terrorism. But in the Middle East, people only rarely keep dogs as pets. Many Muslims consider them ritually impure, and this is especially true for Shiites. The female employee had a little Koran in her purse, and she did not want an impure dog’s snout nuzzling her holy book. So she refused to submit to the search. There was a tussle, and her Koran fell on the floor, which is a form ofdesecration. News spread of the incident, provoking the demonstrations, which had to be dispersed by US troops firing in the air. The demonstrators are demanding that the troops be replaced with Iraqi police..
An Iraqi woman blogger, Riverbend, explains: