Response to Quran Burning in Florida: Protest and Dozens Dead in Afghanistan

Monday, April 04, 2011

The burning of a Quran at a Florida church has set off a wave of violence in Afghanistan. Thousands of protesters mobbed the United Nations building in Mazar-i-Sharif on Friday. Seven U.N. workers were murdered, and protests against the United States raged in Kandahar over the weekend, killing dozens. President Obama and General David Petraeus condemned the Florida pastor’s actions. Including the U.N. workers, 24 people have died since protests began last Friday.

Rod Nordland, Foreign Correspondent for The New York Times, reports on latest on the ground in Kandahar. Peter Galbraith, former U.N. Deputy Special Representative for Afghanistan analyzes what the protests mean for U.S. strategy in Afghanistan.

Guests:

Peter Galbraith and Rod Nordland

Produced by:

Jen Poyant and Jillian Weinberger

Comments [9]

Stewart from Dallas

"Gen. Petraeus has the free speech right to address someone's ignorant irresponsibility."
Margaret from Manhattan, I'll assume you've never served. No, Petraeus doesn't have that right. When you're in the military, your free speech rights are limited and it doesn't just go for the enlisted.
The US, as Heather pointed out, is not a junta. General Petraeus needs to keep his mouth shut on matters like this or forward them up his chain of command.
That is reality. You may not like it, but that's how it works in the military. Especially when you're brass.

Apr. 05 2011 11:21 AM
Margaret from Manhattan

The families of those lost in the murderous rioting in reaction to news of the Qur'an burning should sue the perpetrator, 'pastor' Jones. Point made that the domestic media had enough sense to ignore it when it happened, and the rioting didn't happen until Karzai brought it up; but after all those ranking people took the trouble to work at dissuading him, and he knowing the probability, he's complicit in murder.
We practically exult in insults being thrown being a style of stand-up comedy - it's a revered tradition to "roast" a public personality - but one doesn't have the right to cry "fire!" falsely in a crowded theater. He claims no fault if others 'are the way they are'; but his knowing how they are, and insisting on using the concision of his freedom of speech, is being the way he is. He is a pastor to his own self-importance.
Heather in Houston: Gen. Petraeus has the free speech right to address someone's ignorant irresponsibility. Dan Clayton is right. John Buford: An act of incitement is not a peaceful one.

Apr. 04 2011 04:46 PM
Heather from Houston

Gen Petreaus has no right to criticize any American civilian. That's end of story on that and shame on anyone who can't grasp that the US is not a junta. Second, I'm getting real sick of one side killing because another side burned something. It's past time that this nonsense was called out. If Salman Rushdie's The Satanic Verses was published today, I believe The Takeaway would spend an hour trying to examine Rushdie's 'motives.'
There is no justification for killing people, ever.
Ever.
And to not call that out or to not point out that the people killed burned no book at all is to abdicate our ethical understanding.

Apr. 04 2011 10:53 AM
Timothy Stinson from Delray Beach, Florida

As I’ve listened to this story on news outlets around the nation, I cannot help to ask where is our national conversation on why this environment exists in our nation to begin with.

In this country not only are Qur’ans being burned, but also Masjids are vandalized, members of the Muslim community face verbal and physical violence, (primarily) Republican lawmakers are openly creating and passing legislation which would in effect outlaw Islam in America and members of other communities such as the Sikhs have also been targets of violence and harassment.

While Pastor Jones’ actions have been characterized by our media as being limited to a small fringe group, hostility toward the Muslim community nationwide has not only become more widespread, but also more accepted as part of our societal fabric.

However, the killing of anyone simply because of disagreements of differences in opinion, is actually condemmed in the Torah, Bible and the Qur'an.

Apr. 04 2011 10:26 AM
Dan Clayton from Venice Florida

To John from Amarillo, for centuries our bravest Americans have fought and died for a number of reasons and freedom of speech is just one of them. National security is a big one along with many other freedoms that we enjoy. The freedom of stupidity is not one of them. The freedom to be responsible for the deaths of many people that are in no way related to you or this "pastor" or his cause. I did not serve nor did my father, grandfather or daughter for this fool hardy person to have the freedom to incite the people that we are trying to save, protect and attract to a peaceful resolution. If anyone should be ashamed sir it is you. It is very nice to be able to make inflamatory statement from the safety of your home without having to face the repercussions that others will face for you. Our troops already face enough without adding the idiocy of their own people causing more deaths.

Apr. 04 2011 10:04 AM
Dan Clayton from Venice Florida

To John from Amarillo, for centuries our bravest Americans have fought and died for a number of reasons and freedom of speech is just one of them. National security is a big one along with many other freedoms that we enjoy. The freedom of stupidity is not one of them. The freedom to be responsible for the deaths of many people that are in no way related to you or this "pastor" or his cause. I did not serve nor did my father, grandfather or daughter for this fool hardy person to have the freedom to incite the people that we are trying to save, protect and attract to a peaceful resolution. If anyone should be ashamed sir it is you. It is very nice to be able to make inflamatory statement from the safety of your home without having to face the repercussions that others will face for you. Our troops already face enough without adding the idiocy of their own people causing more deaths.

Apr. 04 2011 10:01 AM
Tim Young from NYC

Burning books of any kind is not exercising our freedoms. It is an act of ignorance and stupidity especially in regards to religious books in the world today knowing how radical certain religions have become. The Islamists killing people are no better. Mr. Jones should be held responsible for his actions.
What would the debate on freedom be if someone burns the bible?

Apr. 04 2011 09:41 AM
Tom Perkins from Detroit

Why do the actions of a backwater redneck lunatic rate the attention of international news? If this fool was ignored he'd look elsewhere for ego gratification and eventually crawl back under his rock.

This is just more proof that organized religions are one of the most destructive forces in human history. Just "Imagine" if there were none and everyone found inner peace!

Apr. 04 2011 09:40 AM
john buford from Amarillo, Tx

The people of the military love to claim that they are fighting for our freedom, well Mr. Jones exercised his first amendment rights in a peaceful manner. Gen. Patraeus should be ashamed for critizing an American for practicing their constitutional rights, after all isn't the preservation of freedom the entire reason we're fighting these wars?

Apr. 04 2011 04:53 AM

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