Afghanistan Quran burning: Al Qaeda brushes aside apology, calls for revenge

Published: May 10, 2012

Zawahiri terms US apology over the burning as a "ridiculous farce." PHOTO: AFP/FILE

DUBAI: Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri has urged Muslims to avenge the burning of copies of the Quran on a US base in Afghanistan earlier this year, dismissing apologies for the incident as a “ridiculous farce”.   

Zawahri, who took up the reins of al Qaeda after the killing of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan just over a year ago, said Muslims should kill those responsible for desecrating their holy book and Afghan lands.

“Once again, the crusaders burned the holy Quran, in Kabul,” said Zawahri in the short audio message posted on Islamist Internet forums.

“After each of their numerous crimes they pretend to be sorry and claim they will investigate what happened. That is the ridiculous farce Obama and his defence minister repeated this time as well.”

The authenticity of the recording, which did not have an exact date, could not immediately be verified, but the speaker sounded like Zawahri in previous messages.

“Kill those aggressors who occupied your country, stole your wealth, violated your honour and attacked your Quran and your Prophet, (Peace Be Upon Him),” Zawahri added.

President Barack Obama apologised for the burning of the Quran in February, which sparked violent protests and frayed already tense US-Afghan ties.

US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta also expressed regret for the “inappropriate treatment” of Islam’s holy book.

In February, a tape of Zawahri was released in which he said US decisions to cut its defence budget and engage with the Afghan Taliban were signals of a decline in Washington’s power.

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Reader Comments (6)

  • Its (still) Econonmy Stupid
    May 10, 2012 - 4:06AM

    Look at the drapes green in color and the upholstry of the chair looks very posh place. His appearance is to coincide with the Clintons comments. He appeared so quickly it means he is in a big city closer to media.


  • Samir
    May 10, 2012 - 11:30AM

    @Its (still) Econonmy Stupid: It CLEARLY states that he said this in a short audio message posted on the net. This is just a file photo. Any other conspiracy theories?


  • j. von hettlingen
    May 11, 2012 - 12:57AM

    Ayman Al-Zawahiri spoke again. Of course he has to remind us that he’s still alive! Or else it would mean the demise of the Al-Qaeda.


  • Ahmer Ali
    May 11, 2012 - 9:48AM

    He is right on his this stance because Western powers have been used to burn the Holy Quran and blaspheme the Last Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (SAW) and later they apologize for it.Once they have to be given lesson strictly so that they couldn’t do so in the future.


  • Georgina
    May 11, 2012 - 3:36PM

    at Ahmer Ali:
    On the contrary, it is time that the islamic community learned the meaning of the term meum et teum.

    Book are owned: their owner may burn them, tear them up, throw them away!
    People are not owned: they should not be harmed.

    Killing people because they failed to give their own books the ‘care‘ you consider necessary, is as stupid as cutting off your head because I do not like they way you clean your shoes.

    This idiocy must stop. We of the West should cease all AID payments to islamic communities, including Gaza & Pakistan, until you all concede that you do not own other humans or their possessions.


  • Ahmer Ali
    May 12, 2012 - 9:42AM

    “This idiocy must stop. We of the West should cease all AID payments to islamic communities, including Gaza & Pakistan, until you all concede that you do not own other humans or their possessions”.
    Your this statement is always most welcome.Please cease all aid as soon as possible on priority basis because thus by your this act we “the Islamic countries/communities shall be able to protect our religion Islam and the muslims very strongly and firmly than now and we shall be able to learn you the lessons in the future after such these types of blasphemous attitudes/acts of burning the Holy Quran and blaspheming the Last Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (SAW).
    Now by depending/relying on West aid we are unable to defend Islam and the muslims just due to beggary and slavery of the West and USA.


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