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Volkskrant, The Netherlands

Quran Burning Came as a Gift
from Heaven for the US



By Ferdows Kazemi

One torture method or one humiliation more or less will not easily upset them. They have developed an undefined threshold for pain. But do not touch their faith; then there are limits to their tolerance.

Translated By Anne Hukkelhoven

27 February 2012

Edited by Janie Boschma


The Netherlands - Volkskrant - Original Article (Dutch)

Bin Laden is dead, Afghanistan is a mess, negotiations with the Taliban have resumed and the Americans can leave. “Afghanistan has again been pushed back 50 years in history; mission accomplished,” asserts Ferdows Kazemi, columnist for vk.nl.

I had to smile when I read on vk.nl that the Kunduz mission has been temporarily shut down because of the Quran protests all over Afghanistan and especially because of the violent demonstrations in Kunduz city. No explanation needed on who is the missionary here.

An Afghan soldier and police officer shoots dead four American soldiers because their colleagues, whether or not on purpose, supposedly burned the Quran. Subsequently, thousands of protesters go out into the streets to demonstrate their anger. They are not Taliban supporters but are part of the normal Islamic Afghan population — a population that supports the Taliban rather than, in their eyes, pagans who show no respect for their sanctuaries.

Whoever knows the Sunni Islamic faith even slightly knows that such an act will surely not remain unpunished. The Quran is the word of God and therefore the holiest of the holy in Islam. You are to touch the holy book only after you have ritually cleansed yourself. You are not allowed to put a book or other object on top of the Quran. You can never take the Quran to places that you suspect to be unclean. And burning the Quran is even worse in Islam than violating the Ten Commandments in Christianity.

Afghanistan is not the first Islamic country that has been attacked by NATO. And the Americans have had enough friendly Islamic countries sitting with them at the table for decades. You would expect the American soldiers to be well-informed on the consequences of such a deed. That they have apparently overlooked this simple fact demonstrates a large lack of professionalism. That they pee on corpses and torture prisoners might be understandable. They do not endanger their own lives or the lives of their colleagues with these.

Before the reports and pictures of these crimes surfaced, they had long landed back in their safe haven. Moreover, the Afghans have become accustomed to such acts during the already decade-long wars, the suppression and the bloodshed. One torture method or one humiliation more or less will not easily upset them. They have developed an undefined threshold for pain. But do not touch their faith; then there are limits to their tolerance.

Illiteracy

Many missions have been carried out in Afghanistan and all of them without result. One missionary steals the country from another at frequent intervals and, oddly enough, no one succeeds in saving them from their biggest enemy, illiteracy. The low level of education in that country has ensured that they are unable to choose their own destiny. And thus, they will never have a reasonable level of education. A vicious cycle!

The U.S. has been in that country for more than 10 years, where bin Laden was supposedly hiding but who was then found by a courier in Pakistan. Bin Laden’s mountain roads were, of course, impenetrable. Meanwhile, bin Laden is dead, Afghanistan a mess, negotiations with the Taliban have resumed and the Americans can leave. Afghanistan has again been pushed back 50 years in history; mission accomplished. The Quran burning came as a gift from heaven for the U.S. to quickly withdraw from that country. The Taliban can take care of the work themselves again from now on.

Poor Afghans, who happen to live in a country surrounded by neighbors who have an atomic bomb, are rich in natural resources or are important international economic players.



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