News / USA

NATO Military, Civilian Chiefs Condemn Quran Burning

Afghan protesters burn an effigy of U.S. President Barack Obama during a demonstration in Jalalabad, Afghanistan on Sunday, April 3, 2011
Afghan protesters burn an effigy of U.S. President Barack Obama during a demonstration in Jalalabad, Afghanistan on Sunday, April 3, 2011
Ayaz Gul

The top U.S. commander and NATO’s civilian representative in Afghanistan have condemned the burning of a Quran by a radical pastor in the United States.  Afghans have taken to the streets to protest against the incident, and violent demonstrations have left at least 22 people dead, including several foreigners working for the United Nations.  

The burning of the Muslim holy book by members of a small Florida church has outraged people across Afghanistan. Angry Afghans took to the streets for the third straight day on Sunday to protest the incident.  

Authorities say that clashes between police and stone-throwing protesters left at least two more people dead. The latest demonstrations took place in the eastern city of Jalalabad, and the southern city of Kandahar.

Speaking to reporters on Sunday in Kabul,  the commander of U.S.-led international forces, General David Petraeus condemned the  Quran burning and offered condolences to the families of all those injured and killed in the protests. "We condemn the action of individual in the United States who burned a Holy Quran. That action was hateful, it was intolerant and it was extremely disrespectful. We condemn it in the strongest manner possible," he said.

General Petraeus says that in the wake of ongoing protests international forces are working closely with Afghan partners to try to bring the situation under control. He says the issue also came under discussions with President Hamid Karzai at Sunday’s meeting of the Afghan National Security Council.

"Needless to say all leaders are calling on all elements here in Afghanistan to demonstrate calm and to demonstrate the opposite of what the individual in the United States demonstrated, to demonstrate tolerance, to demonstrate respect and that is what we have sought to do and that is what I believe our Afghan partners have indeed also have sought to do," he said.

The top NATO civilian representative in Afghanistan, Mark Sedwill also reiterated that the burning of the Quran was an act of disrespect to the Muslim faith, saying the act does not in any way represent the views of the nations and their citizens in the international alliance.

Muslim clerics leading the demonstrations in Afghanistan are urging President Karzai to demand that Pastor Terry Jones of the small church in Florida faces justice for burning a copy of the Quran.

The violent protests began on Friday when angry Afghans stormed a United Nations office in the northern city, Mazar-e-Sharif, leaving five protesters and seven foreign U.N employees dead.

The killings prompted international condemnation while the radical U.S. pastor has denied any responsibility for the violence.

The burning of a Quran took place on March 20 and initially received little press attention in Afghanistan . But a strongly-worded statement by Afghan President Karzai condemning the act and subsequent sermons at mosques across Afghanistan apparently brought the issue to the attention of many Afghans.

You May Like

UN Fears Rights Violations in China-backed Projects

UNHCHR investigates link between financing development and ignoring safeguards for human rights More

Boko Haram Violence Tests Nigerians’ Faith in Buhari

New president has promised to stem insurgency; he’s scheduled to meet with President Obama at White House July 20 More

Social Media Network Wants Privacy in User’s Hands

Encryption's popularity in messaging is exploding; now it's the foundation of a new social network More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugeesi
X
Carolyn Weaver
July 06, 2015 6:47 PM
In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugees

In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Rice Farmers Frustrated As Drought Grips Thailand

A severe drought in Thailand is limiting the growing season of the country’s important rice crop. Farmers are blaming the government for not doing more to protect a key export. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Video

Video 'From This Day Forward' Reveals Difficult Journey of Transgender Parent

In her documentary, "From This Day Forward", filmmaker Sharon Shattuck reveals the personal journey of her transgender father, as he told his family that he always felt he was a woman inside and decided to live as one. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Floodwaters Threaten Iconic American Home

The Farnsworth House in the Midwest State of Illinois is one of the most iconic homes in America. Thousands of tourists visit the site every year. Its location near a river inspired the design of the house, but, as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, that very location is now threatening the existence of this National Historic Landmark.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.

VOA Blogs