Anime DVDs pulled after Muslims protest

'JoJo's Bizarre Adventure' called offensive

TOKYO -- Shueisha Inc. has pulled an anime DVD series based on a popular manga after protests from Muslims about the negative portrayal of the Koran, the publisher said Thursday.

An episode of "JoJo's Bizarre Adventure" featured a villain looking at a copy of the Koran before ordering the killing of the hero and his companions, in a story set in Egypt.

Shueisha said the illustrators were unable to read Arabic and therefore unaware that the featured text came from the Islamic holy book, saying it was included to give "authenticity." The book doesn't appear in the original manga.

Protests and complaints, including calls for boycotts of Japanese goods, have appeared on more than 300 Islamic and Arabic Web sites.

An apology posted on Shueisha's Web site Thursday said the offending section will be remade along with "other additional inappropriate scenes," including, "buildings that look like mosques illustrated in fight scenes."

In 1991, Hitoshi Igarashi, the Japanese translator of Salman Rushdie's "Satanic Verses" was stabbed to death near his office at Tsukuba University, in a crime that was never solved.