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Amazon's Response

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

Submitted by Ari Bussel (United States), May 23, 2005 at 20:41

To my comment:


Dear Ms. Smith,

Many would be appalled by desecration of religious books (the Bible, the New Testament, The Koran, ...). Others believe it is their right, under the Constitution, not to respect these symbols. There are those who would desecrate the US Flag, many others who would give their lives to protect and defend it.

I would like to recommend that you:
Restore relations with Bellwether Books;
Fund such educational programs that foster religious tolerance as those by the Anti Defamation League (ADL), the oldest civil rights organization in the USA, rather than "pay" MPAC an extortion fee.

Ari Bussel
Beverly Hills, CA 90210

I just received the following reply:

Thank you very much for writing to us about this sensitive issue.

Amazon.com does not tolerate discrimination of any kind, and we share
the distress and deep concern that the Muslim Public Affairs Council
has expressed about the report concerning the used book purchased from
one of our third-party merchants. As soon as we learned about the
defaced product, Amazon.com immediately apologized to the customer and
contacted the seller to investigate the incident and ensure they take
steps to prevent this from happening again.

The altered book was purchased in used condition from a third-party
bookseller through Amazon's Marketplace. As you may know, Amazon.com
provides a platform where third-party sellers can offer new and used
books for sale alongside new books offered by Amazon. Products
purchased from a third-party seller are fulfilled directly by the
seller, not Amazon.com. In this case, the seller has listed its
products on Amazon.com for over a year, and has received a 4.9
"star rating" (on a scale of 1 to 5) from thousands of Amazon

In this case, the seller was not able to determine when the product
was altered, and it appears likely the book was defaced before it ever
reached the seller's inventory. At our request, the seller is
instituting more stringent quality control over its incoming stock.
Also, Amazon.com has suspended the seller from listing any copies of
the Qur'an on our site for the indefinite future, though they are free
to sell all other books.

As a bookseller, we believe that offering customers open access to
written speech is one of the most important things we do. We place
the utmost value on providing customers the ability to partake of any
and all viewpoints and ideas freely, without scrutiny or judgment by
others. We know firsthand that the ability to share ideas can foster
greater understanding among and between people of all faiths and

Thank you for your comments. It is always important for us to hear how
customers react to all aspects of shopping at Amazon.com.


Customer Service Department

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