At least 15 people are dead in Kashmir, India today as rioters attacked a Christian school and government buildings. And amidst chants of "Down with America" and "Down with Israel," chants of "Down with Koran desecrators" can also reportedly be heard. Kashmiri officials say the state-run Iranian station has been airing videos of American Koran burnings, especially the footage of a man who ripped and burned pages from the holy book during a protest near Ground Zero. Taj Mohi ud Din, a senior spokesman in the Jammu and Kashmir government, told the NY Times, "Today was the spontaneous religious reaction over the issue of burning of the Koran, which was on television."
Kashmir has seen near constant riots all summer, with some protesters calling for an independent Kashmir state, while others want the Indian government to remove troops. But today's riots seem to be less about Kashmiri politics and more about what is being viewed as American disrespect toward Islam. US Ambassador to India Timothy J. Roemer said, "The deliberate destruction of any holy book is an abhorrent act," but noted that the Koran burning in Lower Manhattan was the work of "one misguided individual."
The unidentified protester who began ripping pages from the Koran on Saturday reportedly yelled, "If they can burn American flags, I can burn the Koran. America should never be afraid to give their opinion." Meanwhile, in Texas, Unitarians are busy keeping the Koran safe from harm: