Burning the Quran

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This story is revealing. Some US soldiers decided to throw copies of the Quran over a pile of garbage and set them on fire. I know that the accounts of this incident are not consistent. We were told that Qurans were “mistakenly” tossed in a garbage dump and set on fire. The mechanics of the error have yet to be revealed to us. Some accounts claim – in justification of the act – that Qurans were being used to smuggle letters to prisoners. Would it have been difficult to search Qurans for secret messages?

Worse, the US military quickly announced that all US soldiers in the field would undergo special training in handling Qurans. Special training? One requires special training to figure out that holy books should not be tossed into a garbage dump before setting fire to them? One should require special training to figure that Muslims – like other religious groups – don’t like their holy books to be desecrated particularly by soldiers who are occupying their lands, and who have an accumulated reputation for insensitivity to Islam and Muslims? One should require special training to know that provocative acts are provocative?

But this incident, as it has been called, is indicative of the mentality of the occupiers of Afghanistan. The US has occupied Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001 and yet it has not occurred to those in charge that sensitivity is particularly required from the occupiers, although sensitivity – no matter how acute – can’t win over support from the natives for occupation? But it is amazing that after all those years the arrogant political leadership and the Middle East experts in the US government would not figure out the place of the Quran for Muslims.

If they read the old Orientalist books on Islam they would have figured it out. Philip Hitti used to describe in detail the place of the Quran among Muslims. He would say that Muslims would put the Quran on top of other books in a book case, or that Muslims consider the Quran to contain the word of god, literally. In Saudi Arabia, newspapers call on readers to carefully handle and discard the newspaper because chances are it carries Quranic text.

Insensitivity is not accidental to colonial powers which invade and occupy Muslims and Arab lands under different pretexts. Their occupation enterprise would not be undertaken if they didn’t operate based on the assumption that Muslims are inferior and religion is illegitimate. Christians of Europe took it upon themselves to determine which religions are legitimate and which are not (of course, only their religion is, and the rest are bogus).

The issue will not lead to any so-called soul-searching on the part of the occupiers. They will arrogantly blame the Afghans for being ingrates.

On the other side, fanatical groups in Afghanistan (like the Taliban and others) will exploit the issue and will whip up sentiments against “the West.” For them, desecration of holy books are fare worse than the desecration of lives and homes over the last decade or so.

It is utterly disingenuous for Americans to feign ignorance on the matter of discarding Qurans (it is possible that they were burnt by individuals who wanted to insult Muslims and Islams). After all, the American flag is semi-worshipped in the land and there are special rules and regulations for the proper way to discard of a flag. Most Americans even support a constitutional amendment to protect the flag from desecration.

The belief that the same people who have such reverence for the flag would not imagine that Muslims could be offended if their holy books were tossed over a garbage dump and then set ablaze is not credible. Muslims also have special methods for discarding Qurans. There were cases where ink was removed from Qurans before discarding them, although burial has been the common method of carrying out this task. But Newt Gingrich spoke on the matter: he called on Muslims to apologize.


While the act was regrettable so were the actions that preceded the act and followed the act.

It is important to remember that many American soldiers are dirt poor uneducated and plain ignorant.

Many of them would not recognize a Quran when they saw one.

While America and probably most Americans hold their flags and their bibles to be sacred it must never be forgotten that American law protects those who would burn flags and bibles, that is how strong their belief in freedom is.

In this neither side is right nor wrong, both sides are as guilty as each other of shameful actions and desecrations.

Personally I hold human life to be more worthy of respect than any book or flag made by a man.

Untill both sides come to the realization that as long as the fighting continues both sides lose ( apart from the rich who make huge profits from war ) then nothing will change.

It is time for people of good faith and good will to say "We want to live and work in peace with others not to hate them"

Imagine for a minute what an amazing country Afghanistan could be if the efforts put into killing and maiming ( by both sides ) had been put into building and creating a better society ?

It is time to set aside the past set aside the hate and work for a better world.

Very nice but you seem to be ignoring the question of whose country it is. If Afghan trrops were in the US burning not onlt Bibles, but buildings, babies & anything else that burns, would you frame the issue as both sides need to stop fighting? The US loathes feedom for anyone other White Anglo-Saxons. There are more Black Americans in prison than tertiary education & their country's wealth was created by African slaves. The US and its allies should get out of Afghanistan immediately. And every other country they occupy

Wow, I can't help but laugh and cry at the same time while everyone bickers over polictical nonsense...I believe one person got it right when they said the real outrage here is that militant movements will kill men women and children over the burning of a book, 'ink and paper'. Essentially the majority of you are wrong in thinking you can establish some ligitimate political bases for your actions thru the use of religion as a social model to force on your population. Its crap.
And if religion has to be pulled into this then lets use one piece of paper that the two warring religions say is their foundation, Hebrew Scripture - look up Psalm 146:3 and 118:8,9.
If for a moment people can put aside their prejudice they might see that they are all just being used by their leaders as cannon fodder to support corrupt rule, all corrupt rule on both sides.
Islamic governments and Western governements are guilty of the same thing..trying to legislate morality thru mysticism and fear...
One of the biggest mistakes made in confrontations between east and west is to think in terms of religion, when in reality its about thought and differences of opinion.
As a human being I am allowed to disagree with you, your ideas your actions, I can in actuallity SAY what i want,-you- whoever you are east or west, have NO rights to inflict PHYSICAL harm in retaliation for a NON-PHYSICAL attack.
Thats my rant, just wake up people and realised you are all being used on both sides.

Again, no recognition of the fact that the US is brutally occupying Afghanistan.

The basic problem is that most of us look at this issue as a separate case, but in reality it is an approach of hatred towards everything that represents Islam. It is obvious that the world is turning blind eye when the case is related to muslims and is openning two eyes when israel is in the picture. However, that doesn't mean muslims are not responsible in certain ways for what are they facing inside and outside their countries. They should undergo a precise criticism for their acts and strategies if they have any.

My name is Bosch and I’m a recovering Muslim.

That is, if Muslims don’t kill me for leaving Islam, which it requires them to do. That’s just one of the reasons I’ve been writing and drawing against Islam and its Jihad for a number of years now. But fortunately for us, Islam hasn’t been able to make every Muslim its slave, just as Nazism wasn’t able to turn every German into a Nazi. So there is Islam and there are Muslims. Muslims who take Islam seriously are at war with us and Muslims who don’t aren’t.

But that doesn’t mean we should consider these reluctant Muslims allies against Jihad. I’ve been around Muslims my entire life and most of them truly don’t care about Islam. The problem I have with many of these essentially non-Muslim Muslims, especially in the middle of this war being waged on us by their more consistent co-religionists, is that they give the enemy cover. They force us to play a game of Muslim Roulette since we can’t tell which Muslim is going to blow himself up until he does. And their indifference about the evil being committed in the name of their religion is a big reason why their reputation is where it is.



An ultra-Zionist website as a source of info about Muslims? I could rec equally "reliable" Nazi sources about the "threat of Jewish Bolshevism" for Robert Simpson if he believes we are SO stupid :)

As a matter of fact Jews and Christians were faring much better under Muslim rule during 1000 years of Western "civilization" with burning on stake anyone (including Christians) who was NOT liked by the Western Christian rulers and religion wars BETWEEN Western Christians and robber expedition aka crusades against Jews, Muslims, Christians and pagans. .

For more than 200 years the same Western Christians are waging colonial wars against Muslims (and Christians) and mass-murdering them, while Zionist Jews are doing the same with FULL support by the same Western Christians.

In the first third of the 19th century Godfrey Higgins, an English judge, had the courage and intellect to write about how all the major faiths come from the same source. Throughout his writings he bends over backwards so as not to offend Christians. Were he alive and writing today, Americans would burn him at the stake.

the outrage is burning of books get more response and attention and reaction than the killing of men, woman and children, by the same occupation forces.

this is where we draw the line?

the Outrage is that most arabs consider a book (paper and ink) is more sacred than a human life. this is backwardness not culture. and let me spare you the rehtoric, it does not matter if jews believes the same...
if fatwas are declared against heads of states in the same manner against writers and cartoonist, then we may be getting somewhere.

The many crimes of NATO mass-murdering Afghans are NOT enough for AH to condemn. He(?) prefers to condemn the victims of NATO crimes.

The outrage that AH consider himself a judge of the "most arabs", while saying NOTHING NATO/Zionist crimes aganst them is telling. Sure, "most arabs" deserve it, for being barbarians. The classical colonial mindset, as usual.

Are you condemning the overthrowing of the Taliban too. Or the US for overthrowing Saddam. Well Iran was very grateful and helpful to the west in this cases. Iran supports democracy in Iraq and Bahrain as well.

stay cool. The russians used the koran as toilet paper.

lidia. do you just recycle words? or is this how a broken record looks like. nothing in my comments condems the victims of NATO, but in fact it states the opposite. it's barabaric that you support a regime that uses tanks against its own people and you think it;s ok, becuase the operators of the tanks are syrian and not NATO.

AH is NOT against "a regime that uses tanks against its own people" - if the regime is USA lackey. AH is a supporter of imperialist crimes, so all his "humanitarian" posturing means zero.
And, of course, I would like to see AH to say a WORD about NATO tanks, warplines and WMD used against colonized people. Or about Zionist crimes.

AH is NOT going to say a word about NATO/GCC/Zionist war criminals supporting "liberation" of Syria. Sure, the butchers of Fallujah are the best liberators of Syrians.

Iran had no problem with foreign intervention in Iraq and Afghanistan. And they are more than willing to accept NATO Intervention in Bahrain for example.

kh 's usual "logic". If Iran "more than willing to accept NATO Intervention in Bahrain" (without ANY proof, of course, from kh) then kh is openly calling for NATO/GCC intervention against Syria. Does it mean that kh is against NATO/GCC or for it? I cannot for the life of me tell :(

And you using the mantra of "tanks against its own people" is not propaganda? You're the one that sounds like a broken record. Why in the world would an authoritarian regime fight protesters with tanks. From the beginning of the uprising there were armed opposition, but the arab media friendly to the opposition kept this hidden and so did the western media of course. And so the images of the tanks were made to look like this is how the regime is responding to peaceful protesters. This is simply B.S. Ghassan Bin Jeddo did speak from the beginning after his rift with Aljazeera that what's happening in Syria is not a peaceful protest. Nir Rosen went to Syria and spent months and he too said that the armed opposition said that they want to keep the fact that they're fighting hidden for as long as possible. That's because it helps weaken the regime in the media. So the mantra which you repeated developed about how a regime use tanks to kill protesters. That's why you're the broken record.

Lidia, the same Russia and it's Northern Alliance allies who backed the American invasion of Afghanistan? Your act is wearing thin and many of the Arab leftists, especially the so-called Neo-Liberals, are among the biggest supporters of Western imperialism and many of them have no problem begging the West to confront the Islamists. At least, the Islamists are criticised by their own when they collaborate with the West.

Hezbeleb, why can't Hezbollah and it's supporters abide by their "mumana'a" principles which they use in their propaganda. Everything which you accuse the Syrian opposition and rebels, your allies in Afghanistan and Iraq are guilty of, from inciting the Zionist Neocons to attack Iraq, to riding on American tanks into power, to taking billions in money and weapons from the Americans, and yet because of your blind sectarianism, you refuse to acknowledge this bitter reality. Yes, Hezbollah fought bravely against the Zionists and liberated the South, but that doesn't mean we have to accept all of their positions, especially its support of the Syrian regime. It doesn't have a monopoly on confronting the Zionists, as the Palestinians in Lebanon fought the Zionists, yet were stabbed in the back by your allies, Amal, in the War of the Camps. Hamas also fought the Zionists, and yet the supporters of Hezbollah are now accusing Ismail Haniyeh of being a traitor because he supported the Syrian uprising and took money from Qatar. Have you forgotten your allies who took billions from the Americans? The open and continuing treachery of your allies in Afghanistan and Iraq can't be swept under the rug and and the treacherous "Sunni" countries like Saudi, Egypt and Jordan were confronted and fought by thousands of their fellow Sunnis for decades. Show me one Hezbollah official who has condemned the treachery of their allies. "Al bayan 'ala al-mudda'i" as we say in Arabic, and your ilk have failed in their frivoulous takhween.


it seems religious matters always attracts the dumbest of the westerners to comment, with an overinflated sense of privilege, over such issues. I would really really would like to see how they will react when someone pisses on their flag, their country and their corpses, but even their enemies seem to have the dignity to treat their prisoners with respect.

Prof AbuKhalil should know that there is exactly one Qur'an (it may have many copies called, in Arabic, mushafs): there is no such a thing as Qur'ans. Very careless of him. C-

When Nazis occupied Yasnaya Polyana - the village of Leo Tolstoy, whose home had been turned into museum in the USSR -they put a toilet on his grave. They burned books from his library - while there were enough firewood. This odious crimes were committed against "lover race" culture just as other Nazi crimes were committed against "lover race" peoples. Colonialism is ALWAYS the same.

And let`s not forget the russian or soviets that have used the qoran as toilet paper as they have occupied afghanistan.

Could kh cite a SINGLE credible example of it? Not mentioning that USSR were brought to Afghanistan by the terrorism, fostered by the same USA whose occupation forces are now REALLY desecrating Qurans?

But for kh it is NOTHING, because he is begging USA to "liberate" Syria, just as they have Afghanistan.

"I mean, this is shocking really. So the Bin Ladenite militias that NATO armed and supported don't like the West? Really? This is like informing me that the Afghan mujahidin in the 1980s were anti-Western. Were they? (thanks Ahmet)"

This is a quote from today from so called anti-imperialist Abu Khalil. He used to refers to the libyan rebels as NATO Rebels. Is he now pro west or ant west. He is anti west when a secularist regime or a shia sectarian regime take over.

Of course no one should treat the holy books of another with disrespect.

But if the word of God in the book is holy and must not be desecrated, how much worse is it to desecrate the work of God that is seen in every human being?

It should shock all of us that a book, of which an infinite number of identical copies can be printed, should be valued more highly than a human being, of which only one copy is made.

So, yes, let us criticize the soldiers who burnt Korans perhaps as a crude way of punishing prisoners. But let us grieve more for the fate of humanity that Afghans and Americans both died as a consequence of the protests against the desecration of the book.

Of course, USA occupation mass-murdering, torturing and then urinating on Afghans is NOT a loss of life worth of grievance for the fate of humanity for the USA imperialist Charles.

This is not the first time that the Americans do such a thing. It is simply indicative of the bully and arrogant mentality of the Americans. Unfortunately, the Americans are unable to face the fact that they are only superior in matters of technology and its by-products and inferior in pretty much everything else that makes a being a down-to-earth human being. They equate intelligence and righteousness with technical strength and military might, just like insensitive robots are. Judging by the way things have been going and the fact that those who run America are totally unqualified and clueless regardless of their party affiliations, things will be getting worse pending a miracle. So hang on tight everybody. More misery is on its way and for many years to come.

The first question yet to be asked is: "Why did they have these Qurans in the first place"? Was there really no 'insensitivity' involved when they took in these books?

It was Hezbollah's allies, the Iranian regime and it's stooges, the Northern Alliance and Hizb Wehdat who were the biggest collaborators with the American invasion and occupation of Afghanistan, and this is confirmed by many Iranian officials. The "mumana'a" have no problems with "thuwar Nato" when they share the same sect.

That tireless Abu Umar, I have a feeling you're the new but not improved Karim Hari. I have a feeling you are Karim Hari.
I like how you go around from post to post repeating the same rubbish. Yes, Iran and its stooges collaborated with the Americans. Which wise Taliban sheikh taught you this? So if Iran helped the Taliban opponent's in the mid nineties (and who wouldn't really), then you jump to the conclusion that they helped the Americans invade and occupy Afghanistan. Share your knowledge. Please. Expose the rafidha for what they are.

it was obvious that there was no intention to offend. the afghani reaction was childish.

It is obvious that Mark would be very understanding if somebody burned in garbage hip something very dear to him, esp after taking over his home, murdering his child and raping his wife. It all would be NO intended to offend him, and his mature reaction would be to smile indulgently and ask for more.

the usa liberated afghanistan from the taliban

An odd "liberation", given that NOW USA "liberators" are talking with Taliban about their possible return to rule :)

USA colonial "liberations" are many - from Cuba till Iraq, and even before and after. Usually such "liberation" means a mass-murder of natives and than a wholesale robbery by USA (see S. Butler "War is racket", for ex.)

the "natives" gave sanctuary to al-qaeda, and there were given a chance to expel them, but they refused.

1) Is Marc doubting that Afghans are natives of Afghanistan?
2) Al-Qaida was made by CIA in order to snare USSR in Afghanistan (see Brzezinski interview 1996)
3) Taliban was asking for PROOF from USA in case of letting USA have Bin Laden. USA (!) refused,
4) ALL colonial wars were waged under some "noble" pretext. Afghanistan is but one example.
5) Marc is NOT being logical - if Afghans are NOT natives, how USA colonial war could "liberate" them from their rulers? But it is impossible to be a colonialist apologist and being logical in the same time.
6) Marc still does NOT explained why USA are NOW asking Taliban to return to rule :)

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