Afghan Newspaper: US Must Apologize for Koran Desecration
More Deaths in Demonstrations on Friday
An Afghan newspaper has said that the US must apologize for the desecration of the Koran alleged to have happened at Guantanamo prison. This is correct. President Bush should just come out and say that this allegation appeared in Newsweek; that the US military cannot yet confirm whether or not it happened; that if it did happen it is unacceptable and the US sincerely apologizes for the excesses of the interrogators, but we hope it never happened. And if Bush just did that (what would it cost him?), the whole thing would go away and the neo-Taliban would lose it as an issue. Bush is unwise to have let this thing feste for so long, and he can’t let Condi be the one who speaks on it, because that is not where the buck stops and everyone in the Muslim world knows it.
The News International (Pakistan) reports of Friday’s demonstrations against the alleged US military desecration of the Koran, partially depending on AP:
“In the southeastern city of Ghazni, witnesses said shooting broke out after protesters swarmed toward a police station and the governor’s residence after Friday prayers chanting “Death to America” and pelting the buildings with rocks . . .” (Two civilians and a policeman were killed and 21 persons were wounded; among the latter was the provincial police chief) . . . “In northeastern Badakhshan, three men were killed when police fired to control hundreds of protesters in Baharak district, Governor Abdul Majid told AP. Another 22 people were reported hurt, including three police officers. Another man was killed in the northwest when police opened fire during a protest after prayers in Qala-e-Naw, capital of Badghis province, provincial police chief Amir Shah Naibzada told AP. Four demonstrators suffered bullet wounds in a clash with police and government troops in Gardez, near the Pakistani border, and one died later in hospital, provincial police chief Hay Gul Suleyman Khel said. A protest in Kabul ended peacefully.”
There was also a fair demonstration in Gaza:
“Meanwhile, at the Jabaliya refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip, around 2,000 Palestinian demonstrators held aloft copies of the Koran and Hamas flags as they marched through the streets in a protest organised by the radical Islamist group.”