Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Afghanistan: Angry Crowds protest burning of Koran
Angry crowds are gathering at Bagram Air Force after reports that U.S, troops burned copies of the Koran. Thousands of protesters have been attempting to storm the base. Bagram is the largest U.S. base in Afghanistan.
General John Allen the senior U.S. officer in Afghanistan immediately offered an apology in effect confirming the incident took place. Allen also promised an immediate investigation. Other reliigious materials were also burned.
Allen stated:"When we learned of these actions, we immediately intervened and stopped them," "We are taking steps to ensure this does not ever happen again. I assure you ... I promise you ... this was NOT intentional in any way." One wonders why the items were burned and why they would not check with Afghan workers to find out what was being burned. Obviously some of the workers knew what was being burned. That is how the news came out.
Gen. Ahmad Naseeb of the Afghan defense ministry said he received reports "that the international troops have burned and thrown copies of Koran into the dust bins." Protesters have even closed some roads in the area of the base.
Islam experts say that if copies of the Koran are to be disposed of they are to be buried or released into flowing waters. However the locals do not dispose of the texts at all. Last April there were violent protests in Afghanistan after reports of a Koran burning in the U.S.
The road leading to Bagram has been blocked. Western security forces man the front gate to prevent protesters from entering. Apparently some charred remains of the Koran were smuggled out of the base and used as proof that the event happened. However authorities too obviously have admitted to the event. For more see this article.