Melbourne, Sept 13 (ANI): An Australian lawyer, who also happens to be a Brisbane Atheists member, has posted a video of himself burning pages from the Koran and the Bible on YouTube.
Alex Stewart, 29, posted the video as international outrage continues over the proposed burning of multiple copies of the Koran by a radical Christian pastor in the US.
The president of the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils, Ikebal Patel, has slammed the video.
"I think it's highly offensive that he has done this to two of the holiest books in the world," the Daily Telegraph quoted Patel as saying.
"It does not in any way add any value to trying to promote world peace and the consideration of different views - especially when there are heightened tensions around the anniversary of September 11 and the Eid el Fitr (end of Ramadan) celebrations," he stated.
The 12-minute YouTube video, one of more than 90 posted by Stewart, shows the Queensland University of Technology-employed lawyer tearing pages from both books and using the paper to roll what looks to be marijuana cigarettes.
After smoking both he gives marks out of 10 - rating the Bible as a better burner than the Koran.
In his commentary, he said people should just "get over" the burning of books like the Bible or the Koran.
"I guess that's the point with all this crap," he stated.
"It's just a f---ing book. Who cares? It's your beliefs that matter. Quite frankly, if you are going to get upset about a book, you're taking life way too seriously," he added.
Stewart had told the Courier-Mail he expected people to be offended by the video but was not worried about reprisals, and that although it looked like marijuana, he was actually smoking lawn clippings.
Queensland Council for Civil Liberties president Michael Cope said he didn't believe Stewart had contravened the Queensland Anti-Discrimination Act.
He said penalties for blasphemy had also been removed from the Criminal Code.
"I don't think on the face of it that what he's done is an offence . . . nor do we think it should be," Cope said.
Anglican Church spokesman, Dean Peter Catt, labelled it a stunt that on one level was humorous, and encouraged people not to take offence, which would just escalate the issue. (ANI)