Frenchman on trial for burning and urinating on Qur’an

2011-04-11 14:29

Strasbourg – A Frenchman went on trial today accused of inciting racial hatred after posting an Internet video of himself burning a Qur’an and then urinating on it.

Ernesto Rojas Abbate was arrested in October after posting footage of himself wearing a devil mask and tearing pages from the Islamic holy book before setting it on fire and later urinating on it to extinguish the flames.

“I was making videos where I made fun of everything,” he told the court in the eastern city of Strasbourg. “I don’t think it’s forbidden to burn a book in one’s home.”

Prosecutors called for a fine of €1 000 (about R9 600) and a three-month suspended prison sentence for the accused. The offence carries a maximum sentence of year in jail and a fine of €45 000.

Police arrested Rojas Abbate after local Muslim leaders in Strasbourg reacted with outrage at the video made by 30-year-old from who lives in a suburb of the city.

The director of Strasbourg’s main mosque, Abdelaziz Choukri, said he alerted authorities and had spoken to the author of the video who told him he acted “in the name of freedom”.

The burning of a copy of the Qur’an by a pastor in the United States last month has sparked protests across Afghanistan that killed at least 24 people, including seven UN staff.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.