US commander apologises over Quran mistreatment

By AFP
Published: February 21, 2012

The US commander of Nato troops in Afghanistan apologised on Tuesday over reports that foreign troops had set fire to copies of the Holy Quran and ordered a full investigation into the allegations. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

The US commander of Nato troops in Afghanistan apologised on Tuesday over reports that foreign troops had set fire to copies of the Holy Quran and ordered a full investigation into the allegations.

“When we learned of these actions, we immediately intervened and stopped them. The materials recovered will be properly handled by appropriate religious authorities,” General John Allen said in a statement.

“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.”

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Reader Comments (39)

  • Andrew
    Feb 21, 2012 - 12:13PM

    He is not saying What Punishment will be given to stop future such incidents. They appologize because they are running out supplies .

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  • arsalan faraz
    Feb 21, 2012 - 12:13PM

    good that they have apologised and ordered an investigation.when will we apologise for killing people under the excuse of their being not muslim enough or killing non-muslims and burning their homes as religious fanatics did to christians in punjab? we should learn something from these foreigners in respecting the beliefs or non-beliefs of others.they stopped what was happening,realised it was wrong and apologised for their mistake.but we throw rose petals rather than apologising .

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  • Umer
    Feb 21, 2012 - 1:03PM

    May be time to apologise for Gojra too, oh wait we are not done yet, there is more to come almost every week.

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  • Usman
    Feb 21, 2012 - 1:14PM

    @arsalan.. they apologized to mitigate any retaliation… which I guess would come considering muslims are fundos especially the one fighting for freedom (oops sorry terrorists)…

    Liberal west at its best spreading the message of peace and freedom by mutilating dead bodies burning the holiest book of all for the “locals” and also killing millions of them in the process…

    Anyways no big deal its not like we (the so called muslims) read the Quran ourselves.

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  • Anon
    Feb 21, 2012 - 1:53PM

    This is an example for those who think secularism and liberalism is the answer for all problems especially in Pakistan, because even secularists and liberals can abuse freedoms to an extreme level in a way that is hurtful and incitement to a larger population. It’s easy to indulge in mullah bashing, but if mullahs indulge indulge in extremists acts in the name of religion than secularists tend to indulge in extremists act in the name of freedom of expression! More than 10 years ago there was no such thing as liberals vs conservatives, but since this war, the US is equally guilty of dividing people into camps and provoking hostilities. Who are they to lecture us on human rights when they can’t even control the way their soldiers behave???

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  • pakistanibaloch
    Feb 21, 2012 - 2:02PM

    @arsalan faraz:
    good for what???? the question is why nato has come in afghanistan and interfering in muslim world ……. you are sooooo!!!!!

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  • Zain Gilani
    Feb 21, 2012 - 2:22PM

    What goes around. Comes around ! About time ..Recommend

  • INDIANmuslim
    Feb 21, 2012 - 2:47PM

    @arsalan faraz:
    surely this was also happened in gujrat (india)

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  • pakistanibaloch
    Feb 21, 2012 - 2:48PM

    @arsalan faraz:
    you donot seem pakistani …

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  • Chilli
    Feb 21, 2012 - 3:07PM

    If they come to RESCUE Balochistan …we expect similar acts from US and allied forces here..

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  • Osama
    Feb 21, 2012 - 3:28PM

    @arsalan faraz

    What kind of apology was that. No one punished? Arsalan sahb i think your totally unaware of whats happening around you. Which American has been hanged(penalized) till now for innocent civilian killings in Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam even in Pakistan (davis for example)??

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  • some one
    Feb 21, 2012 - 3:31PM

    Apology is not enough…The guilty soldiers should be punished! They come to our land, kill our people and disrespect our holy scriptures…All the muslim ummah shoud be united against such vile actions of foreign troops. Stop all Nato supplies until all the guilty soldiers are court martialled!!!

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  • KMR Overseas
    Feb 21, 2012 - 3:43PM

    This shouldn’t be on news at all..

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  • Nasamajh
    Feb 21, 2012 - 3:45PM

    @arsalan faraz: instead of giving it a positive touch you need to learn to read between the lines .. dude this is one of the pranks they love to play on the Muslim and to hurt their emotions..

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  • Nasamajh
    Feb 21, 2012 - 4:44PM

    the entire Muslim ummah should pass a law against such incidents where such culprits should be strictly and mercilessly dealt with

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  • Citizen
    Feb 21, 2012 - 4:57PM

    shameful act . there should be strict international laws against such incidents.

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  • Umer
    Feb 21, 2012 - 4:57PM

    Why does burning of Quran in a distant land become a big issue, and burning of churches, bibles and Christians alive in Pakistan does not, and the culprits are let scot free? Pot calling the kettle black. Why should anyone care for the sentiments of those who do not care for the sentiments of other?

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  • A Pirzada
    Feb 21, 2012 - 6:28PM

    What happened was disrespectful no doubt. But this has to be put in perspective. How do you expect a non-Muslim to respect the Quran? If he doesn’t it only shows his ignorance. Are Muslims expected to respect the Bible or the Torah? Of course not.

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  • Feb 21, 2012 - 6:50PM

    @Osama:
    What kind of punishment given to Pak soldiers when they looted, raped, killed millions of East Pakistanis. What punishments you give to the mainland Paks for the crimes committed in Balochistan. If burning a book create a situation of burning a city, then Pakistan will be burned if one mad man burns a book in every city.

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  • antony
    Feb 21, 2012 - 6:52PM

    I am wondering whats in a printed paper book if its called GITA or BIBLE or QURAN .. Does it have human life form ? . IF the printed paper book if its GITA or BIBLE or QURAN gives you immense spiritual guidance and strength and a copy of it in another place for another person does not give any thing probably because it was never read then what is your problem. You did not lose anything and you have to just go home and read your Holy book and advance in spiritual strength..But even after reading the Holy book if you want to kill some one somewhere then what actually did you learn from your Holy Book? to kill ?

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  • Dude
    Feb 21, 2012 - 7:01PM

    @Ghazia Khan:
    And what about indian army doing in kashmir and israel in ghaza and palestine and what is doin US in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan????

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  • Ozymandias
    Feb 21, 2012 - 7:08PM

    @arsalan faraz:
    Yes they are.

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  • some one
    Feb 21, 2012 - 7:19PM

    @Anthony

    The Quran is the True word of God. The other scriptures are man made. For your information, the Quran not only guides a person spiritually but provides a complete way of life for persons and nations as ordered by Allah. Killing the killers, oppressors and troublemakers is prescribed in the Quran so as to bring peace on the land. Oppression is the worst form of crime and the Quran prescribes fighting against the oppressors. Those who burn Allah’s true word are extreme oppressors

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  • Feb 21, 2012 - 7:35PM

    @Dude:
    Since you unnecessarily brought Israel here, I request you to view the following video in youtube.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xU9CauJP4Pg. Atleast ready history to know the truth.

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  • Wonderful
    Feb 21, 2012 - 9:37PM

    @pakistanibaloch: you ask why USA is in Afghanistan. The real question is why Pakistan is meddling into Afghanistan affairs. If your answer is it is a Muslim, then for Allah sake, do it in KSA, Bahrain, Syria, etc. I DARE YOU MEDDLE INTO THEIR AFFAIRS.

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  • antony
    Feb 21, 2012 - 10:58PM

    @someone, Bible(new testament) is true word of god through holy spirit guidance as per christian faith. West also believes in free speech and if say you will kill them for uttering some words you will be jailed or if you attempt to kill they will kill you or drone you before that ..These are all violence focussed behaviour .. IF you think your belief of holy quran will not dim a bit whatever others say and dont bother about them then you will see nobody will provoke you and peace will prevail..Think once before jumping for a knife…you will lose anyway…Recommend

  • Anon.
    Feb 22, 2012 - 12:46AM

    If US is serious about the apology than the guilty must be brought to justice, it is not a matter of simply ‘burning of the Quran’ , the Holy Book was first disposed of in the rubbish dump before being set on fire and they did this in the dead of the night. So this time the following actions should speak louder than words. No one believes these tired contrite apologies anymore.

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  • Mumbai kid
    Feb 22, 2012 - 1:00AM

    What punishment you have for those who destroyed Buddhist figures in Afghanistan ? You expect world to respect tour religion, have you ever done so ? Islam may be peaceful and tolerant, it’s followers are certainly not. Your preachers ingrain false values in you by saying that you should not tolerate non muslims and try your best to convert them. Listen to your extremist they want the whole world to turn into Islam. That shows how tolerant “muslims” are. Ofcourse those who burned Quran are idiots they are punishing something innocent. But am sure quite many complains muslim worlds have against non muslims will diminish if they themselves start being tolerant and respectful to others.

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  • Brave Baloch
    Feb 22, 2012 - 5:30AM

    US army has muslims soldiers serving in it as well, i met one during pakistani earthquake in Oct 2005 in balakot pakistan, i am sure they would take necessary action as any other regular army would do in such case. Few weeks back there was a video of US marines urinating on corpses, that doesnt represent US marines training, an individual act should not be tagged to a group who do not represent or practice it. Islam is a peaceful religion and its teachings advise tolerance and accomodation of other faiths and beliefs.

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  • Khan
    Feb 22, 2012 - 5:35AM

    @Mumbai kid:
    Good on you Mumbai Kid, I am true Pakistani and i totaly appreciate and agree with your comments and views. Islam certainly is a peacful and a true religion BUT unfortunately its in the hands of so-called radical Muslims who are using this Great Religion for their own sake and benefits. The true teachings of Islam through all the Prophets and through the Holy book are totally different to what is in practice these days/currently.

    God knows where this xtreme race of radical Muslims would lead this beautiful religion and God knows when they would find the right path and direction and understand the true teachings of Islam..?? Oh well….we can only pray and beg to Allah for the right direction and guidance of right path……..Fingers crossd….Recommend

  • Khan
    Feb 22, 2012 - 5:51AM

    @Mumbai kid:
    Also my friend, i wanna assure you that in Islam and in Islam’s true and actual teachings, there is NO physical OR worldly punishment for the Blasphemy. Being a true Muslim i wanna assure you that any worldly punishment against any of the anti-islam act is strongly prohibited in Islam. We as Muslims are not in any case or form are allowed to punish anyone on his/her anti-islam act as this is would clearly be a matter between that person and Allah and Allah is always the Great Judge. Only Allah is the one WHO can punish someone who challenged HIS Commands, NOT any of HIS creature at all. (nOT EVEN THESE SO-CALLED MUSLIMS) who are claiming to be the contractors/guides/responsible (thekaydars) of Islam.
    Its clearly mentioned in Quran that ”the one who killed a person is to be considered the killer of the whole humanity”.Recommend

  • Ali Tanoli
    Feb 22, 2012 - 7:50AM

    SHAME SHAME SHAME and may god save us from his punishments amin.

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  • Umer
    Feb 22, 2012 - 10:00AM

    @pakistanibaloch:

    you donot seem pakistani …

    I am sure one doesn’t need to act bigoted to prove one is a Pakistani. At least I hope not.

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  • O B Server
    Feb 22, 2012 - 10:48AM

    @ A Pirzadah

    Yes Muslims are expected,I should say, required to respect the Bible and Torah as the revealed books. In fact one should respect scriptures of all religion. How can you expect others to respect the Holy Quran if you do not accord respect to what is holy to them.

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  • Anon.
    Feb 22, 2012 - 2:38PM

    @khan
    Stop coming up with your own versions of Islamic laws, it is universally recognized by islamic scholars that punishment for blasphemy is death. It is only these New Age, American favour seeking tv mullahs who come up with apologetic excuses and water down everything. But the law is clear and punishments on blasphemy have been accorded in Islamic history. The punishment for blasphemy also existed in other faiths like Christianity, except they have completely watered down their restrictions, which is why you see in these day and age people are losing their morals and respect for values and desecrating religious symbols of all faiths.

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  • kamran
    Feb 22, 2012 - 4:53PM

    What disturbed me most is polarization in the interpretation of Islam. The punishment of Blasphemy, even here in the comments i see proponents and opponents of being punished by death. I stand confused, can Islamic scholars come on a verdict, because both side of the arguments pro-death and anti-death support themselves by quoting the Quran and Hadith, it leaves a common man like me confused.i see non muslims raising this point to me usually, but i am unable to give a plausible answer.

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  • Muhammad
    Feb 25, 2012 - 12:40AM

    @kamran:
    There is no punishment for blasphemy in the Quran. This is a man made concept that comes from hadith traditions that are man madeRecommend

  • Muhammad
    Feb 25, 2012 - 12:42AM

    @some one:
    You believing that Quran is the ONLY book from God is your belief only. Your belief is not binding on the rest fo the world. To a person of a different faith, their book is the true book from God so making statements like “Quran is from God” and other books are man made is futile.

    If Muslims follow a true God, why are they in such a deep mess!!!!

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  • Feb 25, 2012 - 10:13AM

    An apology is simply not enough. This is not the first time they are degrading a scared religion. First they came up with rubbish on Facebook last year. Then came the Danish Newspapers with the silly cartoons. If that was not enough the US Pastor from Florida tried to fill the gap. Then the news came from Guantanamo Bay. In a series now comes this event. Even it incites me as a moderate & enlightened Muslim. Mere apology wont do. Bring all these perpetrators in front of the world.

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