November 29th, 2010
By: Theunis Bates
A 15-year-old British girl has been arrested on suspicion of inciting religious hatred after she allegedly set fire to an English-language copy of the Koran and posted footage of the incident on Facebook.
The unidentified teenager is accused of torching the Islamic holy book at her school in Sandwell, near the city of Birmingham in central England, as other students watched. She was questioned by police on Friday and was released later that day pending further inquiries.
Police also arrested a 14-year-old boy on Tuesday on suspicion of making threats on the social networking site, in connection with the alleged burning. He has also been released on bail pending further inquiries.
The group that published the English-language version of the Koran is believed to have visited the school this week, to talk to pupils and explain the significance of the book to Muslims, the BBC reports.
Under British law, if an adult is found guilty of religious hatred — something no one has been convicted of since the law was introduced in 2006 — they can face up to seven years in prison, a fine or both. However, it is not clear what kind of penalty a minor found guilty of the charge would incur.