The burning of a Koran by Terry Jones in Gainesville, Florida, which was hardly noticed in the U.S., has sparked a riot in Afghanistan that has killed at least 12 people.
From The New York Times:
As my colleagues Enayat Najafizada and Rod Nordland report, thousands of protesters, enraged by the burning of a Koran at a Florida church, overran a United Nations compound in the Afghan city of Mazar-i-Sharif on Friday, killing at least 12 people.
The incident that so enraged Afghans, the burning of a Koran after a mock trial in a small Florida church on March 20, was barely noticed in the United States but widely reported in Afghanistan and Pakistan.The presidents of both countries have called on the United States to arrest Terry Jones, the pastor of the church.
Mr. Jones presided over the “International Judge the Koran Day” event, after which one copy of the Muslim holy book was “executed,” on camera, before 30 congregants. Britain’s Channel 4 News reported that the Web video of the burning Koran was shown on television in Pakistan and Afghanistan in recent days.
The pastor supervised the book barbecue at his tiny Gainesville church after declaring the Muslim holy text ‘guilty’ of crimes.
Last year Jones threatened to hold an International Burn A Koran Day on the anniversary of the terror attacks, sparking wild protests around the world.
Many feared it would endanger U.S. soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan and President Obama believed it might provoke a spate of suicide bombings.
It was only after the intervention of both the President and Defense Secretary Robert Gates that Jones withdrew the plans, claiming he did so because he had made his point, and at that time he promised not to do anything further.
According to Britain’s Channel 4 News, Terry Jones has told them he is not responsible for these deaths.
Shame on you, Terry Jones.
Here is some raw video of the chaotic scenes after Friday Prayers in Mazar-i-Sharif, showing protesters at the compound and shots being fired in the air by the security forces:
Photo Credit: Wyscan via Creative Commons
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