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Reader comment on item: Amazon.com's Koran Desecration Problem

Submitted by Alan Forrester (United Kingdom), May 21, 2005 at 09:06


I am somewhat disturbed by Amazon's disproportionate reaction to an
incident in which a woman called Azza Basarudin said she bought a used
Koran from Bellwether books in a transaction using the Amazon website only
to find that it had a nasty incription 'Death to all Muslims'.

In response to pressure from Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), Amazon
has decided to give Basarudin reimbursement, a gift certificate, promised
to fire any employee who defaces Korans, indefinitely suspended Bellwether
from selling Korans through Amazon and said that if the problem recurred,
Bellwether would be banished from Amazon.

I have particular quarrel with offering an unsatisfied customer a refund.
And if Bellwether had a habit of sending its customers Korans with
insulting inscriptions then Amazon would be right to suspend or ban them
from sending out Korans via Amazon. (The same would also go for any other
book, of course.) However, this is one incident and there is no evidence
that Bellwether books was responsible. Richard Roberts, owner of Bellwether
books, has also promised to hire a quality control officer to check the
insides of used books for insulting messages in future. As such, barring
Bellwether books from selling used Korans is an overreaction.

I trust that you and your employers will see sense and revoke the
suspension on Bellwether selling Korans. I also trust that you will say in
public that you consider the matter to be closed and that neither you nor
your employers will take any further action.

Alan Forrester

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