There is an interesting editorial published in The Independent reflecting on the Qur’an disposal incident in Afghanistan and the furore it has caused.
From The Independent:
“The admission that Nato troops at Bagram airbase in Afghanistan "improperly disposed of a large number of Islamic religious materials which included Korans" was never going to pass without incident.
“The tragedy is that we have been here before, not least last year when a Florida pastor soaked the Muslim holy book in kerosene and set it alight. At least 10 UN workers were killed in the ensuing protests. Something similar happened after Guantanamo Bay interrogators flushed a Koran down a loo to upset prisoners.
“Knowing how incendiary such incidents are, one might suppose that huge care would routinely be taken over such sensitivities, particularly in a fiercely conservative Islamic country such as Afghanistan. Apparently not. Will the US never learn?”
The article gets right to the point of the need for international forces to take care and have formal guidelines and procedures on the handling of religious texts which are held so dear by the relevant faith communities, including the Muslim community, and whose mishandling can produce a deep and widespread feeling of insult. With the knowledge now that protests have spread across Afghanistan and have left at least eight people dead, one can only hope that this is the last time such an incident will take place, and that it is finally a lesson learned for American and other international forces.
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