It turns out that terror suspects have been complaining about Koran abuse for some time now. Perhaps they are lying but I fear the worst.
Rarely is it explained just how important the Koran is to Islam. As I understand it, the Koran itself is seen as holy, the closest to an extension of God that we have on earth. No, Muhammed is not parallel to Jesus, but in some regards the Koran is. That is one reason why it is so important to learn the book in Arabic.
Desecrating the Koran approaches a direct attack on God; it is much worse than tearing up a Bible in Christianity. Of course this sacred status for the Koran also makes it harder to have a Reformation in Islam.
For many years I failed to understand the attraction of the Koran (for the record, I am a non-believer). It seemed to me rather simple and not as dramatically gripping as the Bible. Then I heard an amazing Koranic recital in Arabic. This was the best introduction to the Islamic world I have found; it hadn’t occurred to me that a musical dimension was needed. You can buy my favorite Koranic recording here. I recommend this highly, both as an aesthetic, musical (not until Robert Ashley did Western music catch up), educational, and for some religious, experience.