News

    Afghan Clerics Deem US Quran Burning Unforgivable

    Afghans shout anti-American slogans during an anti-U.S. protest in Ghani Khail, east of Kabul, Afghanistan over the burning of Qurans at a U.S. military base, February 24, 2012 file photo
    Afghans shout anti-American slogans during an anti-U.S. protest in Ghani Khail, east of Kabul, Afghanistan over the burning of Qurans at a U.S. military base, February 24, 2012 file photo

    Senior Afghan clerics have condemned the United States for the burning of Qurans at a NATO base last month, in a move that threatens to spark a new wave of outrage and violence.

    The Ullema Council called the burning of the Muslim holy books at Bagram Air Base a "crime" and "inhumane."  It also said apologies by senior U.S. military officials and President Barack Obama would not be accepted and called for those responsible to be "publicly tried and punished."

    The statement by the council was quoted Friday by the office of Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who met with the clerics earlier this week.  Their comments follow days of violent protests that left at least 30 people dead.

    Word that U.S. troops at Bagram had incinerated Qurans also sparked a series of deadly attacks on American service members.

    Following the incident, the commander of the U.S.-led international coalition, U.S. General John Allen, in Afghanistan issued an apology and ordered an investigation.  However, just last week, thousands of Afghans poured onto the streets to protest following Friday prayers, many chanting "Death to America."

    The incident also sparked protests in neighboring Pakistan.  

    President Karzai appealed for calm following the initial wave of protests, saying citizens have the right to demonstrate but should not resort to violence.  

    The Associated Press reports that the statement from the Ullema Council also called on the U.S. to end night raids and hand over its prisons in Afghanistan to Afghan control.

    Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments page of 2
        Next 
    by: Matthew
    March 06, 2012 4:23 AM
    This is not about a book. This is a tactic on our enemy's part to gin up hatred of America. It uncovers the true alliances in Afghanistan. Time to get out. Bin Laden is gone and we will return if they harbor dark forces against the US again. If their people want democracy they will have to fight internally for it. Time to turn our attention to Iran and neuter the mullahs If the Chinese want to get involved they will see their American markets evaporate overnight. That will never happen.

    by: Nancy
    March 05, 2012 1:41 PM
    I also do not understand why the men who wrote in the books in the first place aren't being condemned as well. They're the ones who started this mess in the first place, and I've read that writing in the books is just as bad. If the guys that burned the books are tried, so should those who wrote in the books. I would also think the Afghans would be mad at the writers, as well as those who protest in the name of the burning, but are killing innocent Afghans in the process. Time to come home.

    by: Ben Dover
    March 05, 2012 11:48 AM
    The Koran, the Bible, The Torah, etc are but mere paper and ink. Does destroying one extinguish or diminish God or His Word? NO. Do not confuse a physical thing with the Word.

    If it would make the muslims feel any better, let's burn some Bibles. Or send Bibles to Afghanistan and let the muslims burn them.

    by: Smith Hawkins
    March 05, 2012 10:04 AM
    They say the burning of the kuran was "inhumane". Really, worse than a person blowing themselves and two innocent civilians to death? More inhumane than shooting and killing two innocent US soldiers? Taking them away from their families because 4 books that had been desecrated by some radical muslims and were partially burned. These people are nuts. Either nuke the county into glass or get out. Let them hash it out among themselves.

    by: William
    March 05, 2012 8:16 AM
    What the hell is wrong with our government (US) and why the hell are we still in that Dog infested goat loving nation (AFGHANISTAN) , Just one american life is worth more than all the filth of that entire region.

    by: mbgodofwar
    March 04, 2012 9:23 PM
    This Ullema Council has NOs ay-so in US matters, night raids need to be stepped up, Karzai owes those dead American soldiers' families an apology! If these 'holy' men won't condemn the murder of the troops to be unforgivable, then the US should "follow the way of Michae,l" and any, and all, means used to bring those murderers to justice is perfectly fine.

    by: Shawn
    March 04, 2012 4:57 AM
    The actions of two people reflexes on us all. the action of forgives takes only one. And everyone will follow.

    by: Allan
    March 03, 2012 3:23 AM
    take your yong men home from the troubled area. It make you safer. Amireca you can not save the world.

    by: Lois Hu
    March 03, 2012 2:52 AM
    What human need most is peace.

    by: hamad part 3 of 3
    March 02, 2012 7:59 PM
    defeating evil after ten years of fighting and losing heavy losses in souls and budget. What a great news ? She was waiting for applaud at the end of her crippled speech whereas the audience were not excited. What a silly lady!
    Comments page of 2
        Next 

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Baghdad Bikers Defy War with a Roari
    X
    June 28, 2016 10:33 AM
    Baghdad is a city of contradictions. War is a constant. Explosions and kidnappings are part of daily life. But the Iraqi capital remains a thriving city, even if a little beat up. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on how some in Baghdad are defying the stereotype of a nation at war by pursuing a lifestyle known for its iconic symbols of rebellion: motorbikes, leather jackets and roaring engines.
    Video

    Video Baghdad Bikers Defy War with a Roar

    Baghdad is a city of contradictions. War is a constant. Explosions and kidnappings are part of daily life. But the Iraqi capital remains a thriving city, even if a little beat up. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on how some in Baghdad are defying the stereotype of a nation at war by pursuing a lifestyle known for its iconic symbols of rebellion: motorbikes, leather jackets and roaring engines.
    Video

    Video Melting Pot of Immigrants Working to Restore US Capitol Dome

    The American Iron Works company is one of the firms working to renovate the iconic U.S. Capitol Dome. The company employs immigrants of many different cultural and national backgrounds. VOA’s Arman Tarjimanyan has more.
    Video

    Video Testing Bamboo as Building Material

    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Orphanage in Iraqi City Houses Kids Who Lost their Parents to Attacks by IS

    An orphanage in Iraqi Kurdistan has become home to scores of Yazidi children who lost their parents after Islamic State militants took over Sinjar in Iraq’s Nineveh Province in 2014. Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by the U.S. airstrikes have since recaptured Sinjar but the need for the care provided by the orphanage continues. VOA’s Kawa Omar filed this report narrated by Rob Raffaele.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video New York Pride March A Celebration of Life, Mourning of Loss

    At this year’s march in New York marking the end of pride week, a record-breaking crowd of LGBT activists and allies marched down Manhattan's Fifth Avenue, in what will be long remembered as a powerful display of solidarity and remembrance for the 49 victims killed two weeks ago in an Orlando gay nightclub.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora