MPAC Meets with Defense Dept. Officials about Quran Burning in Afghanistan

February 23, 2012


Today, Feb. 23, 2012, MPAC met with senior Department of Defense officials, including representatives of U.S. Central Command, to discuss the recent Quran burning incident in Afghanistan. During the meeting, DOD officials delivered a formal apology from Gen. John Allen, Commander of International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan.

SEE:“Obama Apologizes for Quran Burning in Afghanistan” (Associated Press)

Senior DOD officials stressed their commitment to building and maintaining a strong relationship with the Muslim American community, and they also committed to visiting the ADAMS Center in Sterling, VA, to deliver a message from the Secretary of Defense and generals on the ground in Afghanistan to the Muslim American community before Friday prayer.

Earlier this week, thousands of Afghans began protesting outside an American Air Base in Afghanistan after reports emerged that ISAF soldiers burned Qurans as part of a routine cleanup of materials found. The unfortunate incident happened as a result of soldiers unknowingly disposing of what they thought were just books and materials from prisoners. This unrest has led to the deaths of 12 Afghans and two NATO troops.

“The Pentagon’s and the President’s condemnation and formal apology for this unintentional incident have been immediate and clear,” said Haris Tarin, MPAC’s Washington, DC, Office Director.“We call on the noble people of Afghanistan to address their grievances in nonviolent ways and preserve the sanctity of human life as revered in the Holy Quran.”

U.S. officials in Kabul immediately began engaging with Afghan political, religious and civil society leaders to express their sincerest apologies for the unintentional mishandling of the religious text.

This incident is just another example of the growing tensions in Afghanistan where a perceived pattern of abuses by American soldiers has been met by an overreaction; however nothing excuses the killing of innocent lives.

ALSO SEE: “MPAC Condemns Senseless Killing of U.N. Workers in Afghanistan (2011)” (www.mpac.org)

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