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.

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Comment Sorting
Comments page of 2
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!
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