This incident follows the usual pattern that we have come to expect from Muslims and the Western dhimmis who truckle to their every whim: A real or imagined insult to Islam occurs. Muslims take to the streets in violent outrage. Western officials then grovel and apologize in an attempt to appease violent members of the Religion of Peace.
But what I notice in this incident is the reference by Gen. Allen, the apologetic American commander, to the “Islamic Republic of Afghanistan”. This is the first time I’ve seen this designation.
Yes, I know we wrote sharia into their constitution, and that the constitution of Iraq is much the same. But when did the “Islamic Republic of Afghanistan” become the official title of the country?
Did I miss this landmark event?
Many thanks to Vlad Tepes for uploading this brief Reuters video:
The Telegraph has the story:
Afghanistan Erupts Over Koran ‘Burning’
Furious protesters firing petrol bombs and slingshots have besieged the largest US-run military base in Afghanistan after reports that Nato troops had set fire to copies of the Koran.
The enraged crowd shouted “Death to Americans” and “Death to infidels” at guards at Bagram airbase, north of Kabul. The guards responded by firing rubber bullets on the crowd, said an AFP photographer, who was hit in the neck.
US helicopters fired flares to try to break up as many as 2,000 demonstrators who massed outside several gates to the base.
Hundreds of other people protested in the Afghan capital as security forces dispatched reinforcements in a bid to stop the demonstrations from spiralling out of control in the fiercely conservative Islamic country.
The US commander in Afghanistan, General John Allen, apologised and ordered an investigation into a report that troops “improperly disposed of a large number of Islamic religious materials which included Korans”.
“I offer my sincere apologies for any offence this may have caused, to the president of Afghanistan, the government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, and most importantly, to the noble people of Afghanistan,” he said.
Gen Allen’s remarkably candid statement, apparently aimed at damage limitation after similar incidents led to violence and attacks on foreigners, was played repeatedly on Afghan television.
Allegations that Nato troops at Bagram had set fire to copies of the Muslim holy book were first reported by Afghans working at the base, a senior government official said.
Ahmad Zaki Zahed, chief of the provincial council, said US military officials took him to a burn pit on the base where 60 to 70 books, including Korans, were recovered. The books were used by detainees once incarcerated at the base, he said.
“Some were all burned. Some were half-burned,” Zahed said, adding that he did not know exactly how many Korans had been burned.
A local police official said more than 2,000 people were demonstrating outside the sprawling US-run Bagram base at one stage.
The AFP photographer saw at least seven other protesters hit by rubber bullets, some of them bleeding.
Sediq Sediqqi, an interior ministry spokesman, said that by early afternoon the demonstration was under control and there was no further violence.
Gen Allen’s statement reflected concern over the impact of the latest incident in the country, where US troops have been fighting against a Taliban insurgency for more than 10 years and supporting President Hamid Karzai’s government.
“I have ordered an investigation into a report I received during the night that ISAF personnel at Bagram Airbase improperly disposed of a large number of Islamic religious materials which included Korans,” he said.
“When we learned of these actions, we immediately intervened and stopped them. The materials recovered will be properly handled by appropriate religious authorities.
“We are thoroughly investigating the incident and we are taking steps to ensure this does not ever happen again. I assure you — I promise you — this was NOT intentional in any way.”
Gen Allen thanked “the local Afghan people who helped us identify the error, and who worked with us to immediately take corrective action”.
A version of the same news story appeared in Stars and Stripes (hat tip HD).
Hat tip: EDO.