take protests against an inadvertent Quran burning by
into a second week. About 40 people have been
killed in the demonstrations
Republic of Iran
Muslim Silence in
the Face of U.S. Quran Burning 'Unjustifiable'
possible that U.S. troops in Afghanistan, rather than making a mistake by
burning a number of Qurans, were actually taking part in a 'test' of Afghan
religious sensitivity and their tolerance for the presence of Westerners?
According to this news item from Iran's state-run Kayhan, beyond this
accusation from an Afghan analyst, a major Islamist Organization in Iran has
criticized the lack of reaction from Muslim clerics to the U.S. Quran burning.
TEHRAN: A prominent Iranian Islamist
organization lashed out at the Muslim world's silence regarding the burning of
the Muslim Holy Book by American troops in Afghanistan, and urged the Muslim
Ummah to display a strong and extensive reaction to this sacrilege of Islamic
"The Muslim world's
silence in the face of this provocation by U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan is unjustifiable,"
said a statement issued by the International Union of Unified Ummah [IUUU] on Monday.
The IUUU called on Muslim
scholars and elites to show the correct reaction to such insults, particularly at
a time when Islamic awakening movements are sweeping the region.
Since it first emerged that
copies of the Quran and other religious materials had been thrown into a fire
pit used to burn garbage at Bagram Airbase, at least 25 people have been killed
and hundreds wounded in Afghan protests.
A senior Afghan analyst said
that the recent provocation and desecration of the Holy Quran by American
soldiers was a test by the U.S. of the Afghan people's religious sensitivity.
conspiracy is underway by the Americans, who want to assess the religious
sensitivity of the Afghan people," Vahid Mojdeh told the Fars News
Agency on Sunday.
Recalling the reaction of
Afghans to the burning of the Holy Quran by an American pastor in Florida last
year, which led to widespread protests and the killing of foreign nationals in
Mazar Sharif, Mojdeh asked, "How could the Americans have forgotten the
Afghan people's reaction?"
Mojdeh stresses that the United
States is studying the effects of its decade-long presence in Afghanistan, and
said actions like this insult to the Holy Quran are actually "an effort by
the U.S. to asses the extent of Western influence in Afghanistan."
On Sunday, Grand Ayatollah
Nasser Makarem-Shirazi called for the prosecution of those who burned copies of
the Holy Quran and other Islamic texts at the U.S. military base. Addressing a
group of seminary students in the city of Qom, the grand ayatollah condemned
the silence of certain Muslim states, namely Saudi Arabia, over the desecration
of the Holy Quran.
“As long as anti-Islam
foreigners are present in Muslim states, such problems will persist,” said the grand
The senior cleric urged
Muslims to stand united and expel the enemy from their countries.
“The perpetrators of this
[crime] must be punished. A mere apology does not suffice as burning the Quran
... is not something that an apology can fix,” the grand ayatollah said.
Following the incident, U.S.
Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum criticized President Barack
Obama’s apology for the burning of the Qurans, adding that Afghanistan should
apologize to America for the deaths of four U.S. soldiers during the six days
of violence that were sparked by the incident.
“There was nothing
deliberately done wrong here,’’ Santorum said Sunday on ABC’s This Week.
“This was something that happened as a mistake. Killing Americans in uniform is
not a mistake. It was something that deliberate.’’
Newt Gingrich, another U.S.
presidential hopeful, deplored President Obama’s apology for the burning of the
Holy Quran by American forces in Afghanistan, describing it as
"astonishing" and undeserved.
In a campaign address to
hundreds of Americans in Spokane, Washington, on Thursday, Gingrich criticized
President Obama’s formal apology to Afghan President Hamid Karzai, claiming that
the United States didn't owe Afghans an apology for the incident.
France has condemned the attacks
over the Holy Quran desecration and said it is making arrangements to withdraw
French advisors supporting the rebuilding of public institutions.
Originally seen affecting
several hundred people, the measures would in fact only concern around two
dozen people, the spokesman said. He could not say where in Afghanistan they
were located or in what time frame they could be repatriated.
France has 3,600 troops in
Afghanistan as part of the 130,000-strong NATO-led force, mainly patrolling
Kapisa, a mountainous province near Kabul. In March they are scheduled to shift
their focus to training, and leave at the end of 2013.