CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – The FBI will investigate an online video that showed two men shooting a Quran with a military-style rifle and then leaving the bullet-riddled holy book outside a Chattanooga mosque, an agent said.
The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations asked the Justice Department to investigate, FBI agent Tim Burke said Monday.
The video, titled "kill the koran," was posted on the MySpace.com social networking Web service last month, said Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesman for the Islamic group. He said it may be as much as a year old. The video had been removed Tuesday.
A man on the Web site identified himself as "mully88" and claimed to live in Chattanooga. His profile listed as heroes "anybody that has killed a muslim or at least tried to kill a muslim." His Web page also contains slurs against Hispanics and blacks.
The video shows the man purchasing a Quran at a bookstore, taking it to a wooded area and shooting the book, then throwing it on the ground outside the door of the Chattanooga Islamic center.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations called it a possible civil rights violation. Legal Director Arsalan Iftikhar compared it to burning a cross.
"By throwing the bullet-riddled Quran at the mosque, we believe the perpetrators went beyond the limits of free speech by taking part in an overt act of religious intimidation," Iftikhar said.
Abdul Raheem Kabah, identified by Hooper as the imam of the Chattanooga mosque, did not immediately respond to calls seeking comment.
The council has also asked for an investigation into vandalism at an Indiana mosque as a possible hate crime and cited other incidents of vandalism in recent months against mosques in Maine, Arizona and Maryland.