Pakistan condemns Quran burning in Afghanistan

By AFP
Published: February 24, 2012

Foreign ministry spokesman Abdul Basit was speaking at a press briefing in Islamabad. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Friday strongly condemned the burning of the Holy Quran at a US airbase in Afghanistan, saying it was important that “utterly irresponsible and reprehensible things do not recur”.

“On behalf of the government and the people of Pakistan, we condemn in strongest possible terms the desecration of the Holy Quran” in Afghanistan,” foreign ministry spokesman Abdul Basit told a press briefing in Islamabad.

“It is absolutely important that such utterly irresponsible and reprehensible things do not recur,” he added.

US President Barack Obama was Thursday forced to apologise for the incident, which the Afghan presidency blamed on a US officer at the main US-run airbase of Bagram in Afghanistan.

At least 14 people, including two American soldiers, have been killed in three days of furious anti-US protests in Afghanistan over the burning.

Foreign interference to destabilise Balochistan

Basit said that there was evidence of foreign interference to destabilize Balochistan and said that Pakistan will not allow foreign interference in its internal affairs.

He said Pakistan does not interfere in the internal affairs of other countries and that it expects the same from them.

He said that Pakistan is fully aware of the problems in Balochistan and is trying to resolve them politically.

The spokesman said, “Pakistan considers the US resolution on Balochistan as an arrogant step and ignorance on the part of a few US legislators.”

He said that the US delegation, during its meeting with Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani yesterday, had also declared that acts of a few individuals do not represent the policy of the US and its Congress.

The spokesman expressed confidence that this ill-conceived move will get no attention and will be rejected by the US house.

Khar-Clinton meeting ‘positive and constructive’

Responding to a question about the meeting between Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in London, Basit said the two sides discussed a range of issues.

Describing the meeting “positive and constructive” he said, Pakistan-US relations are important and efforts are being made to make them more transparent.

He said that at present, the parliamentary process is underway to determine new terms of engagements with the US which he hoped will be completed by the mid of March and then the country will move forward in the light of those guidelines.

The spokesman said that any visit from US Special Representative on Pakistan and Afghanistan Marc Grossman will be made after the completion of the parliamentary process.

Answering a question, the spokesman said that Khar had raised the issue of Balochistan during her meeting with her British counterpart.

‘Drone attacks unlawful, unacceptable’

Answering a question about drone attacks, the spokesman while terming them “unlawful and unacceptable”, said that Islamabad has been raising this issue with Washington bilaterally.

He said the drone strikes are counterproductive in the war against terrorism.

Answering a question about the US pressure on Pakistan-Iran gas pipeline project, the spokesman said Washington has its concerns on the project but Pakistan will pursue it in its national interest.

He said, “We are continuing with this project which is expected to be completed by 2014.”

Reader Comments (47)

  • Anon
    Feb 24, 2012 - 2:12PM

    Thanks Pakistan, you guys have woken up really soon. After 3 days of hungama, one meek expression of outrage by the FO!

    Recommend

  • Tony Singh
    Feb 24, 2012 - 2:17PM

    I am just curious. How does one dispose of religious books? Any ideas? I remember an incident where an illiterate woman was accused of blasphemy when she used a torn page of holy Qoran to carry food. Any solutions. I know in Hinduism they either burn or dispose them in the river. Not sure about Islam/Christianity

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  • Mohammad Ali Siddiqui
    Feb 24, 2012 - 2:20PM

    Muslims holy book Quran is always burnt by the Non-Muslims, but Muslims have never burnt neither Christians holy book Bible, nor any other holy book of other believers of other faiths.

    No matter how many Qurans are burnt by the Non-Muslims, but Muslims holy book Quran is safe in the chests of uncounted Muslims.

    The credit goes to Muslims only.

    Recommend

  • Zeta
    Feb 24, 2012 - 2:38PM

    As usual, The responsible will be “investigated”.

    The American Zionists make more and more (if not already) clear that this war is on islam, terrorism is just a cover label.

    -Iraq
    -Iran
    -Syria
    -Egypt
    -Libya
    -Yemen
    -Sudan
    -Somalia
    -Pakistan

    Recommend

  • STRIVER
    Feb 24, 2012 - 3:08PM

    This is the battle to ‘win the hearts and minds of Mulsims’

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  • Anon
    Feb 24, 2012 - 3:52PM

    What the americaans did is soo downright stupid and pointless. Holy or not, no book of anything should be burnt or dumped in the garbage. You might as well give it to charity, or a library or a children’s centre.

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  • KMR Overseas
    Feb 24, 2012 - 4:12PM

    utterly irresponsible, don’t poke your nose everywhere!

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  • siddiqui
    Feb 24, 2012 - 4:49PM

    this is the difference of Islam and other religions. Islam teaches respect of all religions in the universe. God is Himself the custodian of Holly Quran therefore, it is and will present safe in the chests of Muslims..proud to be a Muslim

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  • Travian
    Feb 24, 2012 - 6:08PM

    As usual meddling in others affairs. So trypical Pakistani. And when the same happens with them they run around crying and whining.

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  • Umer
    Feb 24, 2012 - 6:19PM

    @Travian:

    this is the difference of Islam and
    other religions. Islam teaches respect
    of all religions in the universe.

    Then how come incidents like Gojra and Shanti Nagar occur where bibles, churches and Christians are burnt, and how come so many innocent Christians are killed or in jail over false Blasphemy charges? Anyone going to be punished for all these atrocities any time soon, now that you demand the same from Americans?

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  • Umer
    Feb 24, 2012 - 6:22PM

    Pakistan condemns Quran burning in
    Afghanistan

    When is Pakistan going to condemn bible burning and persecution of Christians in Pakistan itself?

    Pot calling the kettle black.

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  • Umer
    Feb 24, 2012 - 6:26PM

    Muslims holy book Quran is always
    burnt by the Non-Muslims, but Muslims
    have never burnt neither Christians
    holy book Bible, nor any other holy
    book of other believers of other
    faiths.

    Here is a real reference for you, just one of numerous such incidents;

    A Pakistani Christian displays a copy of the Bible burned on Thursday, Aug 6, 2009 during an attack by a mob in Gojra, 360 kilometers ( 224 miles) from Islamabad, Pakistan . Eight Christians lost their lives in the last week attack by angry Muslim’s mob

    Recommend

  • Yuri Kondratyuk
    Feb 24, 2012 - 6:27PM

    @Mohammad Ali Siddiqui:

    Muslims holy book Quran is always
    burnt by the Non-Muslims, but Muslims
    have never burnt neither Christians
    holy book Bible, nor any other holy
    book of other believers of other
    faiths.

    Does desecration, demolition, conversion and loot (ghazwa) of temples and synagogues count in your opinion? Or we are intentionally being naive?

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  • Mehdi
    Feb 24, 2012 - 6:30PM

    @Travian:

    Burning of Quran by any one anywhere in world is a business of every Muslim. So stop dividing us or fooling us by saying it is not a Pakistani’s business. (Mehdi)

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  • Umer
    Feb 24, 2012 - 7:08PM

    @Mehdi:

    Burning of Quran by any one anywhere
    in world is a business of every
    Muslim. So stop dividing us or fooling
    us by saying it is not a Pakistani’s
    business. (Mehdi)

    What happened to respect for sovereignty for a country?

    Can others do the same such as complain about Baluchistan atrocities as human rights issues are every human’s business?

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  • Hindustan ki shakti
    Feb 24, 2012 - 7:11PM

    Very sad that holy book(Quran) preaching peace is being burnt.
    Worst is that 14 People are being killed in retaliation/protest of discretion of holy book which actually gives message of peace.

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  • some one
    Feb 24, 2012 - 7:13PM

    @Yuri

    Ghazwa is an attack and fight by the muslims against the oppressors. The early muslims did Ghazwas against the unbelievers of Makkah who had turned them out of their homes, murdered and forcefully taken all the wealth and possessions of the muslims.

    Ghazwa does not involve burning any non muslim’s holy book. As regards to breaking of idols, that’s done because none should be worshipped except Allah. However when there is a peace pact with the idolators, the muslims are bound to honour that pact and not attack or destroy any idol. In all historic battles of early muslims, it was the non muslims who always broke the peace pacts first and the muslims then only retaliated against the conspirators and oppressors.

    You being an Indian consider Amitabh Bachchan to be the best hero of Indian History. But 99% of Amitabh’s films involved lots of violence and fights against the villians and oppressors. So in your dictionary if the early muslims did anything wrong, then your greatest hero Amitabh becomes an all time notorious villian of films just because he fought against the oppressors.

    Recommend

  • I'mCrazy
    Feb 24, 2012 - 7:29PM

    These Mullahs keep pumping up these gullible people into a frenzy about burning a book and the only ones dying are them. Recommend

  • some one
    Feb 24, 2012 - 7:35PM

    @Yuri

    Ghazwa is an attack and fight by the muslims against the oppressors. The early muslims did Ghazwas against the unbelievers of Makkah who had turned them out of their homes, murdered and forcefully taken all the wealth and possessions of the muslims.

    Ghazwa does not involve burning any non muslim’s holy book. As regards to breaking of idols, that’s done because none should be worshipped except Allah. However when there is a peace pact with the idolators, the muslims are bound to honour that pact and not attack or destroy any idol. In all historic battles of early muslims, it was the non muslims who always broke the peace pacts first and the muslims then only retaliated against the conspirators and oppressors.

    You being an Indian consider Amitabh Bachchan to be the best hero of Indian History. But 99% of Amitabh’s films involved lots of violence and fights against the villians and oppressors. So in your dictionary if the early muslims did anything wrong, then your greatest hero Amitabh becomes an all time notorious villian of films just because he fought against the oppressors.

    @Hidustan ki Shakti- Thanks for your comment bro/sis. It shows that not all our neighbours harbour ill feelings.

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  • Falcon
    Feb 24, 2012 - 7:56PM

    @Yuri Kondratyuk:
    Usually your comments are based on more information than this. For your information, Islam does not allow disrespect of anyone’s Gods, scriptures, and places of worship. Even during war, Muslims are not allowed to hurt any innocent human being, property, animals, or even plants. Mistakes of followers should not be assumed for teaching of a religion.

    Recommend

  • Haytt
    Feb 24, 2012 - 8:06PM

    @Hidustan ki shakti ,

    every scared scripture must be respected be its Bible , Gheeta , Quran or any other scripture that people give high reverence. The act of Nato forces is extremely wrong .

    coming to your point , I 100% agree that , when Quran teaches us peace and it does teaches peace and humanity , then there should not be any violent act , Our Golden period , which was dark period of west , had knowledge society with dynamic intellectual capabilities and we are superior in not in philosophy and religious , spiritual sciences but also the in natural sciences , Brother just a look a Fatimid Civilization of Muslims , which was extremely diverse and pluralist society , where jews ,christain , parse , Muslims work together for the prosperity of empire ,

    now most of us (Muslims) , are getting radicalised, educated yet not enlightened , not ready to tolerate minority in the country, Islam is essentially pluralistic and tolerant faith ,its just these uneducated mullahs in last few decades have corrupted the real face of Islam

    I request moderator to do not block my comments

    thanks peace and happiness

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  • some one
    Feb 24, 2012 - 8:22PM

    @Hindustan ki Shakti

    you are right bro/sis. But just to let you know that the 14 people who have been killed are the protesters not the American soldiers (only 2 american soldiers have died). So what the foreign soldiers are doing is they are desecrating our holy book and then they (or their pawns) are killing our protestors which oppression at its peak. Consider this that the foreign soldiers are doing all this after invading a country forcefully.

    How will the Americans feel if some alien invaders attack their country, make alien military bases all across America, destroy their parliament, oust the American govt, burn their bibles, take the American people hostage and kill them? The Afghans are also human beings and very attached to their family ties unlike the Americans who live a lone life.. Killing one afghan means killing a whole afghan family, while killing one American means killing one person only. Recommend

  • Rajendra Kalkhande
    Feb 24, 2012 - 8:29PM

    @ Mohammad Ali Siddiqui: Burning Koran or any other religious book is a very bad act. However, you need to be reminded that Muslim invaders burnt more books than anyone else. Entire Library of Nalanda University in India was burnt by a Afghan Muslim invader. Library was full of Religious and other important books. Also a famous Library in Baghdad was burnt by Muslims. At least Americans have regretted the incidence. Has Muslim Ulema ever expressed regret for burning the Library in India?

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  • Azim
    Feb 24, 2012 - 8:37PM

    This is really a very sad incident, but worse is the reaction on Muslim countries. Out of 50 Muslim states only Afghans, Pakistan and to some extent Malaysia has made a public condemnation of this incident.

    This very much shows how Muslim around the world are straying away more and more from giving as well as asking for respect towards their faith – Islam !

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  • Indian muslim
    Feb 24, 2012 - 8:38PM

    @Travian:
    this is the difference of Islam and other religions.

    This statement of yours is highly prejudiced Stop thinking that “your way is the best way”.

    I am also a Muslim and thinks that every religion provides moral ethical way of living life and everyone should respect each other. And no way is the best way.Recommend

  • Muhammad
    Feb 24, 2012 - 8:43PM

    The Pakistanis, and muslims in general, persectue religious minorities in their midst and then complain about non muslims burning the Quran. Lol..what Hypocricy. How come the rest of the muslim countries are never concerned about such events but only the south asian muslims?

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  • some one
    Feb 24, 2012 - 9:13PM

    @Rajendra Kalkhande

    Get your facts straight…the library burnt in Baghdad was a library of the muslims and it was burnt by Gengis Khan (A non muslim mongol). There is no historical evidence that afghan muslim conquerers burnt religious texts. One afghan conquerer Mahmood of Ghazni destroyed the temple of somnath and that was to turn people away from idolatory and also because the rajput tribes of somnath were a threat to his kingdom. Another Afghan ruler Ghouri fought battles in India but that was more for kingdom expansion (just like what rulers like Gengis Khan, Roman Empire, Raja Jai Pal, Raja Ranjit Singh, British Colonial empire did for kingdom expansion).

    Do you even now that Raja Ranjit Singh used the Baadshahi Mosque in Lahore as a stable for his horses. So its high time you get your facts straight and stopped accusing muslims of being fanatics.

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  • Asif Mahmood
    Feb 24, 2012 - 9:29PM

    Why only Pakistanis are so much in to this protest thing whenever something happens to Prophet or Quaran. This incident even didn’t occur in Pakistan. Why not any other muslim nation (read Holy Land Saudi and other middle eastern) did not protest like Pakistanis. Why we Pakistanis are too much into religion and not paying attention to basic issues in our society such as education, healthcare, women rights? Recent report on education suggested that there is an emergency in Pakistani education system and guess what? No protest from our Mullahs on this very basic issue.

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  • Ammar Raja
    Feb 24, 2012 - 9:48PM

    So burning Quran is such a big issue for us that we have to condemn it on Government level just to please the molvees and mullas of Pakistan but negating every thing which is written in that book on a daily basis is religious duty of every single person in Pakistan. Some are taught that book in Arabic and they just get the sawab from that book but no wisdom and the remaining exploit this naivety and become their peers and exploit them for their own purposes.

    Quran is the most unfortunate book in this world because we Muslims don’t want to understand that book and just read it for sawab of there after.

    Condemn yourself O People

    Because we have burnt the essence of the message of Quran

    and made it just a sacred piece of paper which has no use and no significance for us.

    p>Recommend

  • Mj
    Feb 24, 2012 - 9:56PM

    Why the selective outrage? Did the Foreign Ministry condemn the recent destruction of ancient Buddhist and Hindu artifacts in Maldives (a 99% Muslim country) at the hands of Islamists? Not a single word of condemnation from Muslim religious authorities any where in the world. Respect is a two way street.
    Trouble in paradise: Maldives and Islamic extremism

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  • wolfie love kulfi
    Feb 24, 2012 - 10:28PM

    **this is really stupid..

    I agree burning the quran is wrong..

    but does burning a book destroy Islam ?..

    is Islam so fragile?

    this is fanatics just playing with people emotions..

    when Afghans destroyed the ” Bamiyaan Buddha’s” there was no back lash ..

    It is very hypocritical of people talking about religion when they dont themselves respect people of other faiths…

    im not justifying this ..

    but this is a sad fact which we all must agree too**

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  • Cautious
    Feb 25, 2012 - 12:01AM

    Pakistan govt knows that the Balochistan resolution was sponsored by one member of a 435 member House of Representatives – it also knows Obama has made every effort not to support this resolution and has no ability to stop it. Pakistan’s rhetoric is for public consumption designed to inflame anti American attitudes and somehow make a weak and inept govt look strong.
    .
    Pakistan govt knows full well that neither the American govt nor the American military condone burning of Quran’s – whether it’s an extremist red neck minister in Florida or someone in the military their response is consistent and immediate. The US has a population of over 300 million and doing things that offend Islam or any religion happen – the important thing is that the American govt and American public loudly criticize those actions – whether they offend Muslims, Jews, Hindus etc. But once again — Pakistan govt prefers to inflame/encourage the issue which probably result in innocent lives lost.
    .
    No wonder American’s view the Pakistan govt as weak, pathetic and duplicitous.

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  • WoW
    Feb 25, 2012 - 12:41AM

    I have an iPad and a laptop computer and downloaded Quran onto them. I lost my iPad and a virus wiped out my notebook. Does it mean that Quran is ‘lost’.

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  • Ganga
    Feb 25, 2012 - 12:46AM

    Siddiqui Sahib,

    If Islam teaches ‘respect of all religions in the universe’ then why do the Muslims attempt to convert non Muslims,force them to pay ‘jiziya’ tax, and have such intense hatred for non Muslims’ religion and beliefs.

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  • John B
    Feb 25, 2012 - 1:13AM

    I have a problem. My iPad containing an electronic copy of Quran is inoperable. Can I throw it now in trash bin?

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  • R. Rai
    Feb 25, 2012 - 1:41AM

    @Tony Singh:
    it should be disposed in CLEAN and runing ( flowing) water

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  • John B
    Feb 25, 2012 - 2:34AM

    @Mj:
    As an observer, I see PAK heading in the same direction as Maldives.

    Ironically, it will happen under democratic setup as each political faction will cater to the religious fanatics for their votes. This will create a social tension in PAK due to its diversity of culture and very likely the PAK army institution will step in when this happens, owing to PAK nukes.

    The alternative is a period of fundamentalist dominated political democracy with social unrest.

    Next ten years is period to watch in PAK politics.

    Recommend

  • John B
    Feb 25, 2012 - 4:17AM

    @Tony Singh:
    Put it in a shredder and recycle. That is how we disposed the unwanted copies of bible.

    I Remember sometime ago our church in all its wisdom asked the congregation to donate a bible for some upcoming church. The church circular meant donation for money to buy bibles but the congregation took the opportunity to clean up their garage and attic and dumped all their unwanted copies of bible they have accumulated since they disembarked in American soil from May Flower.

    The church ended up hiring a commercial shredder to dispose them off. Lucky me, I got a few collector’s copies of bible printed in early American press!

    Recommend

  • Naser
    Feb 25, 2012 - 6:49AM

    @some one,
    The library of the ancient university in Nalanda was indeed burned by not an Afghan invader you are right. But it was burnt by a Turki invader named Bakhtiyar Khaljee, a Muslim indeed. In 1193, he sacked Nalanda University, killed thousands of Buddhist monks, converted them by sword and burnt the library. Before he sacked the library, he asked if there was a copy of Quran in it.

    Burning of Bilble was as recent as in Gojra. It will do good to Islam if you come out of your denial mode.

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  • antony
    Feb 25, 2012 - 8:15AM

    The interesting knowledge I want to share to my muslims folks who are charged up to kill is most of non muslims 3/4th of human population that is appx 350000000 human beings dont think quran is word of god ..If they think they will become muslims right? . So what they do with a copy of this book at their place should not bother you at all.. You go home and read your Holy Quran and find what is the teaching for this kind of problem . After reading and you say killing is the solution written in it then the word Holy is not appropriate.

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  • Feb 25, 2012 - 11:09AM

    @Tony Singh:
    Normally the old books of Quran are handed over to Mullahs and they will give new books free or charging. Then these old books are burnt by them or throw them outside after tearing each and every page. I am living nearby a Masjid and I observed this every time they do this. It was never an offence but now everything has changed.

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  • Zeta
    Feb 25, 2012 - 1:10PM

    @Travian:
    Look Yourself in the mirror. Islam is not just Afghanistan’s religion or Quran isn’t specific only to them. Recommend

  • Feb 25, 2012 - 3:28PM

    @WoW:
    When you download Quran, it also carries a virus. Be careful in future, delete any Quranic verses if found on your computer and save the system. There is no anti-virus programme for Quranic virus.

    Recommend

  • let there be peace
    Feb 25, 2012 - 5:08PM

    @some one:
    As regards to breaking of idols, that’s done because none should be worshipped except Allah. However when there is a peace pact with the idolators, the muslims are bound to honour that pact and not attack or destroy any idol.

    so you mean if there is no peace pact (what peace pact?) it is right to do that?

    I want to worship idols and for me Idols are more sacred than holy Quran is sacred to you. Then I should also have right to say and believe “As regards to burning a book, that’s done because ………………………………(any excuse can be typed here saying that ‘it is my belief’ or ‘my god says so’)……………….. However when there is a peace pact with the Muslims, the non-Muslims are bound to honour that pact and not attack or destroy any their books/mosques.”

    If you don’t accept this, it would be bigotry and double standards.

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  • Straight Fire
    Feb 26, 2012 - 5:33AM

    @let there be peace:
    No you are wrong, no-one is allowed to worship ‘matter’ that occupies space and have mass …
    It cannot be sacred by the laws of quantum physics. The same physics that always fail to prove the creator only because he is not ‘matter’ but it firmly believes that there is a complete control of a super-natural being on physical process who runs this world (by the 2nd law of Thermodynamics and Law of Inertia) … we call him Allah and ‘Allah’ literally means ‘The God’ …

    You can’t and hence not allowed to worship material which you yourself is made up of

    Recommend

  • PPP
    Feb 26, 2012 - 2:51PM

    Dear @Mohammad Ali Siddiqui and other great 30+ people recommneding this:
    These types of news are not even covered by the independent media in Pakistan.

    can you click below links TAKE a LOOK and answer me what is this:
    if you have time to write comments about being great, please also read below news:

    http://www.christianpost.com/news/muslim-desecrates-bible-in-pakistan-to-avenge-quran-burning-49767/

    http://www.topix.com/forum/religion/islam/TS5GV1EH7LUB2675O

    http://www.libertynewsonline.com/article34130396.php

    Recommend

  • Yuri Kondratyuk
    Feb 27, 2012 - 10:42AM

    @some one:

    As regards to breaking of idols,
    that’s done because none should be
    worshipped except Allah

    My point exactly, and I can’t imagine how burning a holy book is worse

    @Falcon:

    Islam does not allow disrespect of
    anyone’s Gods, scriptures, and places
    of worship

    I can quote numerous historically documented examples to the contrary, but, I am afraid they wont get through our respected mods

    Recommend

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