Many Christians - many non-Muslims from any and all backgrounds, for that matter - don't understand just how central the Koran is to Islam. Perhaps I should try to explain that before going on.
To Christians, the living person of Jesus Christ is the Word of God. The Gospel of John states at its commencement:
"And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth." (John 1:14, NKJV)
In that light, to call the Bible the Word of God is not sufficiently precise. Biblical theology would rather argue that the Bible records what was said and taught by the person who was, and is, and will forever be, the living Word - Jesus Himself. Therefore, in that context, it's more correct to say that the Bible contains the Word of God, rather than that it is the Word of God - a title reserved to Jesus in person by the Bible itself.
To Muslims, however, the Koran is far more than their equivalent of the Christian Bible. They believe that its text was literally dictated, word-for-word, to the prophet Mohammed by the angel Jibrīl (Gabriel). As such, the text itself is sacred: the words of the Koran (always in the original Arabic, the language in which they believe it was dictated) are, in that sense, equivalent in stature to how Christians regard Jesus Christ himself. That's why desecration of the Koran arouses such anger among Muslims. In their eyes it's an insult to God himself, not just damage to or disrespect for the pages of a book.
That's also why elaborate editions of the Koran have traditionally been regarded by Islam as an expression of piety and reverence for God. To a Christian, a highly decorated Bible may be a work of art, but it has no particular holiness in and of itself - it's just a book. Not so for an ornate copy of the Koran. The effort put into embellishing it is an act of worship, and the finished book has, in Muslim eyes, a sacred status vastly greater than that accorded to any Bible by Christians.
In that light, you'll understand why the inauguration of a vastly oversized, hand-drawn copy of the Koran in Afghanistan was an occasion of enormous religious significance in that country. The Daily Mail reports:
The completion of the world's largest Koran was hailed as a major achievement for Afghanistan when it was officially unveiled in the nation's capital.
Measuring more than 7ft long and 10ft wide, the text's 218 pages are decorated in 30 different calligraphy designs and took almost five years to finish.
Its inauguration ceremony was held yesterday in front of key religious figures, clerics, scholars and government officials to coincide with the opening of Hakim Nasir Khusraw Balkhi Cultural Center and arts exhibition in Kabul.
. . .
Calligrapher Mohammad Saber Yaqoti Hussaini Khedri and his students started the composition in September 2004, which involved at least two years of continuous work for the shafting and archiving.
All the 30 parts of Koran has been done in 30 different designs. It was finally completed in September 2009.
There's more at the link, including more (and much larger) photographs.
Let's hope and pray that the devout faith displayed by those who created this work may spill over into their fractured, tormented country, and help to bring peace. Yes, that may be a pipe-dream . . . but I'll pray for peace for them regardless. If I pray for it for myself, who am I to deny prayers for it to others?