UN workers killed in reaction to Koran burning

Last year the Café and other sources detailed the saga of a the Florida pastor who announced that he was going to burn copies of the Koran. He was eventually dissuaded. But about 10 days ago Pastor Terry Jones went through with his plan.

On Friday crowds in Afghanistan were encouraged to seek revenge for this shaming by punishing those who committed it. As a result large crowds broke into a UN compound and shot or beheaded a number of UN workers inside.

According to a report in the New York Times:

The mob also burned down part of the United Nations compound, toppled guard towers and heaved blocks of cement down from the walls. The victims were killed by weapons that the demonstrators had wrestled away from the United Nations guards, Mr. Noor said. He listed the dead as five Nepalese guards and two Europeans, a breakdown that varied from the one issued later by United Nations officials.

Mr. Noor also blamed what he said were Taliban infiltrators among the crowd for urging violence and even distributing weapons; he said 27 suspects were arrested on charges of inciting violence, some from Kandahar and other provinces where Taliban are more common.

[…]The Ulema Council recently met to discuss the Koran burning, Mullah Kashaf said in a telephone interview. “We expressed our deep concerns about this act, and we were expecting the violence that we are witnessing now,” he said. “Unless they try him and give him the highest possible punishment, we will witness violence and protests not only in Afghanistan but in the entire world.”

Mr. Jones was unrepentant. “We must hold these countries and people accountable for what they have done as well as for any excuses they may use to promote their terrorist activities,” he said in a statement. “Islam is not a religion of peace. It is time that we call these people to accountability.”

Jones called for immediate retribution against Muslims:

Mr. Jones said in an interview with Agence France-Presse on Friday that he was “devastated” by the killings of 12 people in a violent protest in Afghanistan when a mob, enraged by the burning of a Koran by Mr. Jones’s church, attacked the United Nations compound in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif. “We don’t feel responsible for that,” he told the news service.

[…]In a statement, Mr. Jones demanded that the United States and United Nations take “immediate action” against Muslim nations in retaliation for the deaths. “The time has come to hold Islam accountable,” he said.

He also called on the United Nations to act against “Muslim-dominated countries,” which he said “must alter the laws that govern their countries to allow for individual freedoms and rights, such as the right to worship, free speech and to move freely without fear of being attacked or killed.”

Let us pray that diplomats are given the time necessary to defuse this situation and that nobody trying to make more of a name for themselves makes things worse.

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