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» Saturday, May 21, 2005

Desecrating The Qur'an

The Beginning
    On Anderson Cooper 360 Khan was asked about his statement concerning the Newsweek article that he quoted as confirming the desecration of the Qur'an.   His news conference is supposedly the beginning of the Newsweek ordeal and was and is still being reported by some news outlets as the major reason for the rioting there and the following riots and deaths in Afghanistan.   Asked if he thought mentioning the article was the major contributing factor, he said : (paraphrased)
No.   The statements about the abuse of the Qur'an was public knowledge and had been raised by former prisoners for months, a fact widely known thoughout the middle east.
Asked if he felt responsible for the rioting, he responded : No.   He said he felt he had a responsiblity to speak out about the issue.

Juan Cole :: link

There are 1.2 billion Muslims in the world. Most Muslims were not upset by the news or took no action about it. Pakistani politician and ex-cricketer Imran Khan couldn't get out more than a couple hundred people in Lahore, Pakistan, for a peaceful demonstration. Nobody much cared. Even in Afghanistan, go back and read the reports (links at the bottom). A lot of the people killed were not killed by rioters. They were demonstrators shot by local Afghan police, police who may have been over-reacting in some cases, and who had been installed in power by the United States. For this, you blame the Muslim religion per se and the whole Muslim world?
Imran Khan :: wikipedia   ::

Wikipedia :   Since retiring from Pakistani Test cricket, Khan has been devoting most of his time to the Shaukat Khannum Memorial Hospital, a state-of-the-art charitable Cancer Hospital that he established using donations in Lahore. In recent years he has started a socio-political movement in Pakistan known as 'Tehrik-i-Insaf' or 'Movement for Justice' and ran for office in the National Elections. He became a Member of Parliament for Mianwali in the October 2002 elections.
Newsweek :: link

The spark was apparently lit at a press conference held on Friday, May 6, by Imran Khan, a Pakistani cricket legend and strident critic of Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf. Brandishing a copy of that week's NEWSWEEK (dated May 9), Khan read a report that U.S. interrogators at Guantánamo prison had placed the Qur'an on toilet seats and even flushed one. "This is what the U.S. is doing," exclaimed Khan, "desecrating the Qur'an." His remarks, as well as the outraged comments of Muslim clerics and Pakistani government officials, were picked up on local radio and played throughout neighboring Afghanistan. Radical Islamic foes of the U.S.-friendly regime of Hamid Karzai quickly exploited local discontent with a poor economy and the continued presence of U.S. forces, and riots began breaking out last week.
From :: link

Although the original report in Newsweek was small, it was re-broadcast by television networks such as al-Jazeera and al-Arabiya and in Pakistan it was quoted by Imran Khan, the cricketer-turned-politician, at a press conference. He said it would strengthen the impression that America's War on Terror was against Muslims.
newsweek :: wapo :: cnn :: bbc :: bbc :: afghania portal ::

Tehrik-i-Insaf : Movement for Justice   ::   global security   ::   ::   economist

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