Amazon apologises after student receives defaced Muslim holy book

SEATTLE - Los Angeles graduate student Azza Basarudin ordered a used copy of the Muslim holy book through Amazon from a third-party vendor. The words 'Death to all Muslims' were scrawled inside the front cover.

Many third parties sell used books through Amazon. The company that sold the Koran is Bellwether Books, which has said it was originally sold to them vandalized, and it did not know the book was defaced when it was sent to Basarudin.

"Once we heard about the incident, we contacted Bellwether Books," said Patty Smith, Amazon's director of corporate communications. "They were very re- sponsive and apologized."

Amazon has also refunded the book's purchase price, and it sent Basarudin a brand new copy of the Koran, along with a gift certificate with an apology.

But the Muslim Public Affairs Council wants a public apology from Amazon, said Edina Lekovic, the group's communications director.

"We're very encouraged that [Amazon] is taking this seriously," said Lekovic. "But they have yet to issue a public apology. We won't consider this resolved until they do."

Lekovic said a public apology is what Basarudin wants. She praised Amazon for responding quickly and being sensitive to the nature of the incident, but added that Amazon must go one step further with a public apology.

Amazon has spoken to Bellwether about quality control, and is not allowing it to sell copies of the Koran in the future, said Smith.

"This was an isolated, regrettable incident," she added. 

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