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Archive for Sunday, March 4, 2012

Official: Mistakes led to burning of Qurans at base

March 4, 2012

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— A series of mistakes led to the burning of Qurans at a U.S. military base in Afghanistan and at least five American military personnel involved may face a disciplinary review over the issue, a Western official said Saturday.

The official said a joint investigation by senior Afghan and U.S. military officials had convinced them that there was no intent to desecrate the Qurans and other religious texts.

The Feb. 20 incident touched off a weeklong series of deadly riots that killed more than 30 Afghans, as well as six U.S. officers who were fatally shot by Afghan security forces or militants disguised in their uniforms. It also brought relations between the U.S.-led military coalition and the Afghan government to an all-time low and spurred the most serious wave of anti-American and foreign sentiment across the country during the 10-year war.

President Barack Obama and other U.S. officials apologized and said the burning was an accident. But the apologies failed to quell the anger, although Muslim protests over the burnings have now ebbed.

The Western official, who has knowledge of the investigation, said it could lead to a disciplinary review of five U.S. military personnel involved. The official did not elaborate and spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the case.

Full details of the incident are expected to be included in a joint Afghan-U.S. probe that is still under legal review by the military. Its release date is unclear. A more formal U.S. military investigation is still weeks away from completion.

If any action is taken against American troops involved, it would come under the U.S. military justice system, officials with the international coalition have said.

Afghanistan’s top religious leaders demanded Friday that those involved be put on public trial and be punished. In a statement issued after they presented the conclusion of their own investigation to President Hamid Karzai, the clerics strongly condemned the incident and blamed it on poor administration of the detention facility where the burnings happened.

Comments

purplesage 2 years, 9 months ago

I cannot believe the U.S. military would consider disciplining troops for this! If the Korans were being used as part of a scheme of passing notes and information between detainees, they descrated their own holy book.

Reverence is one thing. Idolatry is another. The attitude toward the Koran seems more in line with the second.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 9 months ago

The Koran-burning was merely the catalyst. The real outrage in Afghanistan is over 30-plus years of occupation-- by the Russians, Al Qaeda, Americans/NATO.

Ron Holzwarth 2 years, 9 months ago

A few copies of the Koran were accidentally thrown in the trash, and Muslims are outraged and rioting.

Thousands of people, almost all of them Muslims, are being killed in Syria, and Muslims don't seem to mind very much, there are no riots over that.

Think about what that really means.

Chris Golledge 2 years, 9 months ago

What it means is open to interpretation; so, what you are saying is unclear.

It could be like brothers willing to fight violently amongst themselves, but unwilling to let any outsider even insult their brother.

It could mean that Muslims are as irrational as the rest of humanity.

I doubt that the besieged residents, who don't even have adequate water, in Syria are spending much effort in protesting the burning. For that matter, I doubt that the soldiers at the checkpoints are spending much effort on it either.

Others are possible as well, but I suspect none of what I think is likely is what you are thinking of.

Cant_have_it_both_ways 2 years, 9 months ago

Seems the writing in those books constitutes defacing them, so we did them a service by destroying them.

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