Free Koran project sparks outcry in Germany

An initiative to hand out 25 million copies of the Koran has raised the concern of politicians and even Muslims in Germany.

German officials are calling the free distribution of copies of the Islamic scripture by ultra-conservative Salafists an abuse of the holy text, AFP reports.

"I strongly condemn this initiative," Volker Kauder, parliamentary group leader of Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives, told news agency DPA.

Kauder reportedly believes the project is a cover for jihadist recruiting.

"The Koran is being abused here for subversive extremist activities. Muslim groups in Germany are right in distancing themselves from this abuse of religious liberty," he told the news station.

The Central Council of Muslims is also criticizing the project, inferring the project is treating the holy text like a "PR brochure," AFP reports.

The publishing house working with the Salafists has halted the project to review its cooperation with the group, AFP reports.