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About 500 Muslims gathered at a Tokyo mosque Friday to demonstrate against the discovery of a damaged Koran in front of a Pakistani-run business in the town of Kosugi, Toyama Prefecture, earlier this week.

Participants at Friday’s meeting drafted a protest letter addressed to Foreign Minister Makiko Tanaka, which they handed to ministry officials later in the day.

According to police, the damaged Koran and leaflets slandering Muslims were found Monday in front of a used car dealership run by 37-year-old Ahmed Imtiaz Gondal.

The letter calls on the minister to take the incident seriously and to promise that efforts will be made to prevent such an incident from recurring to show that Japan respects religious freedom and dignity, according to the meeting’s organizers, a Japan-based Pakistani association. The letter also urges that the Koran vandals be severely punished.

The organizers said the letter warns that Muslim anger against mistreatment of the holy text should not be taken lightly, citing the 1991 murder of Hitoshi Igarashi, an assistant professor at the University of Tsukuba, who translated Salman Rushdie’s controversial novel “The Satanic Verses.”

On Friday, the Toyama Prefectural Police said they have launched a formal search for six copies of the Koran, which Gondal reported as being stolen in late March.

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