Breaking: President Obama Apologizes For Koran Burning

President Barack Obama has apologized to the Afghan people for the burning of Korans by American troops at a US base.

The President was responding to violent protests that have left at least five dead and others wounded yesterday as demonstrations over Koran burning intensified in Afghanistan.

This is sadly reminiscent of events last April, when Terry Jones, a pastor from Gainesville, Florida burned a Koran. Although hardly noticed in the U.S., his actions sparked a riot in Afghanistan that killed at least 12 people.

Korans Among Religious Materials That Had “Extremist Communications”

This time the Korans were reportedly among religious materials removed from a detainee facility at Bagram Airfield.

From CNN:

The materials were gathered for disposal and were inadvertently given to troops for burning, Gen. John Allen, commander of NATO’s International Security Assistance Force, said Tuesday.

“This was not a decision that was made because they were religious materials,” he said. “It was not a decision that was made with respect to the faith of Islam. It was a mistake. It was an error. The moment we found out about it, we immediately stopped and we intervened.”

A military official said the materials were removed from the detainee center’s library because they had “extremist inscriptions” on them and there was “an appearance that these documents were being used to facilitate extremist communications.”

Mr. Obama Expresses “Deep Regret”

In his letter to President Hamid Karzai, Mr Obama expressed his “deep regret” and said the incident earlier this week was a genuine mistake. The letter was delivered by the US ambassador to Afghanistan and assured the Afghan president that US authorities would question all those responsible.

From the BBC:

“I convey my deep sympathies and ask you and the people to accept my deep apologies,” the letter said.
“The error was inadvertent; I assure you that we will take the appropriate steps to avoid any recurrence, to include holding accountable those responsible,” it continued.

President Karzai told members of the Afghan parliament that a US officer was responsible for the burning, but added that his action was done out of ignorance.

How Did US Authorities Allow This To Happen?

But that hasn’t stopped the crowds Crowds shouting “death to Obama,” throwing stones and setting fire to the US flag.

Meanwhile the Taliban has called on Afghans to kill and beat all invading forces in revenge for “insulting” the Koran.
The U.S. Embassy in Kabul went into lockdown as the protests entered a second day Wednesday.

On Tuesday, thousands of demonstrators gathered outside a detention facility in Parwan, according to Brigadier General Carsten Jacobson, a coalition spokesman. He said protesters tried to penetrate the facility, prompting NATO helicopter to launch flares and authorities to fire rubber bullets to disperse the crowds.

On Wednesday, about 500 people rallied in Kabul, including university students who marched toward the Parliament building, police said.

It’s hard to fathom how authorities couldn’t understand how sensitive this issue is, and why this was such a dangerous course of action. What were they thinking?

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Photo Credit: rutty


William Y.
William Y.4 years ago

@ Ernest R. I am not a Islamophile. I don't like Islam or any other religion for that matter. They are all run by Misogynistic aholes. My point is that you are claiming that all Muslims are terrorists, that would be the same a claiming all Christians are terrorists because the KKK & the American NAZI party are Christians. Like I have said there are good and bad in all groupings of people.

LD B.4 years ago

Ernest, you continue to mistakenly conflate religion and culture.

Unless and until you are willing and able to make such distinction, you will have no understanding of the subject at hand.

GWB blundered into Iraq owing to his ignorance of such important details. And, now, we continue to pay the prize for his wanton ignorance.

Ernest R.
Ernest R.4 years ago

@ Anne C.. “like to apologize to the sane people all over the world, for Mike C. and the rest of the "phobes". It would be nice if you would also apologize for the “philes “

Ernest R.
Ernest R.4 years ago

@ William Y “ quit stereotyping the people by the insane powerhungry aholes.” I’m not. I am classifying people whose actions are inmoral and sickeningly criminal. The “insane powerhungry aholes” are actually a moderating influence on Islam because they don’t want to share power. For example they are not the man and his son who murdered his daughter to maintain his “honor in his community”[approved by his wife and other daughters] and that in Canada ! And another recently convicted of the murder of two daughters and his ex wife. They were not the abusive one whose wife ran away, was recaptured and had her nose and lips cut off. For you and Anne C, another Islamophile, it’s time to wake up and smell the coffee.

Tommy Back
Tommy Bäck4 years ago

People don't understand the cultural and religious sensibilities when it comes to a book they think came straight as a fax from heaven. And people seems to have missed that 40 Afghans were killed, only American soldiers counts.

Tommy Back
Tommy Bäck4 years ago

Patricia. How can Palestine belong to the Jews, a religion with people from different corners of the world, black Africa, Russian-Turkish Khazars who embraced Jewish AD600, Sefardic Jews from Northern Africa, Aschkenazi Jews with mainly Germna genes, Polish blue-eyed blond Jews. They have a common religion and are not e semitic people. YOU are Anti-semitic, because the only Semitic people existing are the Palestinians and the 2 % Orthodox Jews who supports the Palestinian cause. My people stood up for the Jews during the genocide by the Germans, just as I stand up against the genocide committed right in front of your eyes, making Israel pure, free from any Palstinian blood. Palestine belongs to the Palestinians, and not to blue eyes german and polish invaders who call themself Semitic. You arte no better than the Nazi thugs we saw 70 years ago. Same crime, different targets. And whatever you think about Switzerland, does that legalize American crimes in the Middle east?

Tommy Back
Tommy Bäck4 years ago

1. Has nothing with Islam to do. Why did Christinans innihilate the south American indians, or north Americans? Why did Christians annihilate the German Jews? Why did the Christins burn "whiches"? Why did Christian crusaders kills Christian Middle Easternes. Why did Christians fell two nuclear bombs i a Japan already defeated and napalm over Vietnamese who wanted independance, and I could go on for hours with Christian" crimes, and it really has nothing with Christianity to do but with Ego, Power and Greed. Except for the fact that the Christina church have stolen much from the people
2. Same as above.
3. You made that up. Prostitution trade comes from orthodox Europeans, mainly Russians. Albanians are very little involved.
4. Same can be asked, Why did the white Christian keep black slaves in USA for generations. Is it because of their religion or because they are white. What is worst in this case, the skin color or the religion? Answer, neither but greed and bad people, whatever relligion they have.
5. Why do you ask me why pirates were pirates, you have your mind made up already even though they were Christian pirates it must somehow be the fault of Islam..?? As for the Somalian pirates, it has nothing with their religion to do, but with the fact that the European countries have used they bay as a dump of waste making traditional fishing impossible forcing them into poordom. They saw a way out and used it. Personally I think they should be blasted from this w

Tommy Back
Tommy Bäck4 years ago

Carola M, it might be acceptable for you, but apparently not for the Afghans, and that's what count. How you, or I, or other Muslims interpret Islam rules doesn't matter. What counts is what we have in hand, a very upset Afghanistan. Of course it might not be so difficult to trigger them as they have Terry Jones Koran burning in their memories, which was hate burning.
Why is it so difficult to respect other religions. The wholly books did not come as faxes from heaven, so no one should believe that their religion have monopoly on God.
This outrage in Afghanistan doesn't come from burning the Koran, it comes from 10 years abuse of the people, 10 years occupation, 10 years of indiscriminate killings by both Taliban, and USA who targets anything moving. It comes from drones who don't ask if they are enemies or friends. It comes from making a corrupt country even more corrupt. It comes from putting people in charge who are no better than Taliban.

Tommy Back
Tommy Bäck4 years ago

@Lydia. Don't blame all Muslims for what some radicals do. Most muslims are just like us and want a life, which they are prevented from having. Look at us Christinans how we were a couple of hundred years ago, even worse. We are the ones who have kept them back in the stone age by arming their dictators.
Saudi as you mention, where I lived for ten years, is a good example of how a corrupt king is keeping his power with the help from especially US military. Supporting him is the main reason why 9-11 happened. We have a lot to answer for letting him steal the oil from the people. Got it?
Every cry for democratic change in the Middle East have been discouraged by the west, especially USA. 1953 they toppled the democratic government of Iran and gave them a dictator, loved by west, hated by Iranians. And see what that led to. They invaded Lebanon, what have Lebanon done to USA? They kept Mubarak, who murdered at least 40.000 political prisoners, in place forever. He even blow up the koptic Churches blaming the Islamists, to get more anti-terror money. Finally Obama had to bend for the NON-RELIGIOUS democracy movement in Tunisia and Egypt. That they were on the right side in Libya is not because they believe in freedom, but that Qadaffi belonged to the other side.
They are keeping quiet when the people of Bahrein and Yemen want the same as Egypt, still arming a brutal regime.
They invaded Iraq on lies, which have left 1.5 milion dead Iraqis, 200.000 widows without means to sup

LD B.4 years ago

The fact that 24% here voted "No," and 4% "Leaning no" in the poll demonstrates that very many here are neither so tolerant as they proclaim to be nor mindful of the possible consequences or such acts.

What a sorry lot.