2005-05-18

 

Recent Anti-US Protests

The US-based magazine "Newsweek", in its 9th May issue, reported that some interrogators at the US detention facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba "in an attempt to rattle suspects, flushed the Holy Koran down a toilet". This news sparked an angry reaction from students at the medical college at a university in Jalalabad, the capital of Ningarhar province. The demonstrations which originally started in the eastern province of Ningarhar, spread throughout the country. In Kabuk, Kapisa and Takhar, the protests were calm and ended peacefully. But in Ningarhar, Wardak and Logar, the protests turned violent. A dozen buildings were destroyed and burned including the governor's offices. Several other government buildings were set on fire, plus dozens of vehicles and a number of offices belonging to the UN. The worst demonstration was in Ghazni where five people were killed. In Ningarhar, four were killed, and in Badakhshan three people were killed. Two people were killed in Badghis and Khost provinces and more than 130 people were injured, including Afghan security officials. In the latest reports, the death toll reached 17. According to the officials, some protestors were carrying guns and five people were arrested with explosive materials.

Demonstrations occurred in many large cities and small cities across Afghanistan in protest against the desecration of the Holy Koran by some US soldiers in Guantumana Bay, Cuba. Demonstrators demanded an apology from the United States and punishment for those who allegedly carried out the act of destruction and asked the US government to put on trial and prosecute and punish anyone found guilty of desecration. Such sacrilege was unacceptable to every Muslim. The American government officialy announced that it would conduct an investigation into this matter and promised to deal legally with the culprits found guilty. Investigations will be made to determine who was behind the demonstrations. Officials claim
that militant groups and outsiders were helping to stoke protesters. In my point of view the enemy's hand was behind the destruction and casualties. The people came to protest against the Holy Koran desecration, but there were some enemy among the people, who destroyed government and civilian property. I condemn the desecration of the Holy Koran, but I also condemn the destruction. People have a right to demonstrate, but not to destroy and cause problems for civilians and government.

I hope the government investigates to identify the "enemies of peace and stability" who are allegedly behind the violence, including the attack on the Pakistani consulate. Also, people in Ningarhar, Badakhshan and Gazni provinces have not ruled out the interference of mercenaries and said armed men from inside the protestors opened fire on police and law enforcement agencies. The enemies of Afghanistan should not take the recent demonstrations as a big acheivment for themselves. These violent protests do not reflect their popularity among Afghan people because none of the Afghan participants in the demonstration took part for their own sake. I think the demonstrations in some parts of Afghanistan were conducted by the Taliban, who turned it into violence because they still hide in some provinces. The worst violence happened in Ghazni and Ningarhar, and Taliban insurgents are hidden in these provinces. But they dont have influence in Kabul. In the northern provinces therefore, the demonstrations were more calm, and patriotic Afghans peacefuly participated in the rallies and expressed their dislike of those culprits who insulted their religion by desecrating the Holy Koran. They didn't come to murder and damage their own property.

If the Newsweek magazine's report turns out to be true, the criminals should be punished for their action. The Holy Koran desecration was carried out by few American soldiers, not by all Americans, and Afghanistan still wants a good relationship with the United States. The enemies wanted to take advantage of the recent demonstrations, but they failed, and the Afghan people will never be deceived by them.

Comments:
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Waheed, you have NO IDEA how far Afghanistan is away from reality. First of all you need to understand that your country was training terrorists who attacked America. America could have NUKED YOUR ENTIRE COUNTRY in response. Instead of that, it brought you a democracy and financial aid. Why aren't the demonstrators thanking the US for its AMAZING kindness, tolerance and generosity? Or why aren't they demonstrating against the crimes that the prisoners in Guantanamo Bay did against both America and Afghanistan?

Next, you should understand that the US is a DIFFERENT COUNTRY. It's ALLOWED to do things differently from you.

Next, it's my HUMAN RIGHT to flush anything I damn well want down the toilet. I can flush the Koran, the Bible, the US Constitution or the Australian Constitution down the toilet. That's MY FREEDOM. It's no-one else's business. If I bought the Koran with my own money, it is my freedom as an individual to use it as toilet paper. I can burn it, or eat it, too. It's MINE.

In Afghanistan and Pakistan, people are killed for speaking out against Mohammed. That is a CRIME AGAINST HUMANITY. People have a HUMAN RIGHT of freedom of speech. They can say anything they damn well want. It's YOUR COUNTRY that is VERY VERY WRONG. It is intolerant and backwards.

Guess what? America realises that Afghanistan is backwards, and that is the ONLY REASON why Condaleeza Rice said "it is unacceptable to desecrate the Koran". Because Afghans simply wouldn't understand how backwards and wrong they are. Rice is being VERY KIND to Afghanistan, by apologizing EVEN THOUGH AMERICA DID NOTHING WRONG. Rice is trying to calm the situation down to SAVE AFGHAN LIVES. Once again, instead of just nuking Afghanistan to the ground as a "backward, intolerant society", it is hoped that with freedom of speech and a modern education in Afghanistan, you will eventually become "normal" and "tolerant". But basically, from our perspective, you are NUTCASES. People are dying for INSANE reasons.

In fact, that's why there was the muted reaction to 9/11. Before annihilating all Muslims and all Arabs from the face of the earth (which is within the US's capability), it was decided to knock on a few doors and enquire "excuse me, but do you SERIOUSLY want war with us (and our allies for that matter)?".

It is hoped that the Muslims will grow out of their intolerance in an environment of freedom. But trust me, you guys are WAY WAY WAY behind us. Personally, I think it was wrong to leave you way behind us in the first place, so I'm glad that someone is finally giving you a chance to better yourselves.

By the way, with the internet, there is an unlimited amount of "blasphemy" against Mohammed. Free people all over the world say whatever they damn well want about Mohammed. They also make fun of Jesus, who incidentally was technically a bastard, unless someone can come up with the original gynaecology report that purportedly alleged Mary was a virgin.

This is FREEDOM. FREEDOM OF THOUGHT. How you can kill someone for THINKING and saying what's on their mind, is beyond me. It's so grossly intolerant. It needs to change, but the key is that it doesn't need to change immediately. There's work that needs to be done, and if Afghanistan wants to have some infringements on freedom of thought, that will keep for another day. Lack of freedom of thought will keep you backwards though. You're harming yourself.
 
BTW, watch what happens now. There's going to be an endless stream of videos posted on the internet of people flushing the Koran down the toilet. Terrorists put out videos of beheadings. Free people put out videos of flushing "holy books" down the toilet.

I remember when I was at school, just when school finished, a friend of mine ripped out every single page of his bible and put it in the bin. He said he took out all the bits that were lost in translation, not relevant anymore, or symbolic. All that he was left with was the cover and a Dick Smith catalogue. It was a Christian school, so everyone needed to have a bible, even though we were atheists.
 
Paul, you seem to forget that not everyone in Afghanistan were rioting, just some and a very few at that. Also, while many, if not most, there view the desecration as wrong, their opinions as to what should be done is, I'm sure, widely varying.

Other than the few causing damage, most demostrations and demonstrators were peaceful. And guess what, they were exercising the freedom you argued we have a right to do, namely freedom of speech, not to mention freedom of association and freedom to peaceably assemble. And while, possibly annoying to some here for the reason they exercixed those freedoms, they did not things differently than what is often done here.

But you are right in a sense, that the demonstrations would have been much better and the demonstrators' opinions would have had a much more sympathetic ear had they been "against the crimes that the prisoners in Guantanamo Bay did against both America and Afghanistan." Even in this, though, it is the demonstrator's right to be wrongheaded, ineffective and, at times, counterproductive.
 
First off Paul Take a pill. Calm down.

Rather than getting irate you might want to point out that Newsweek has admitted that it was a flawed report.

I tend to agree with you. In principle I do. However, most of us in the United states do not believe in genocide. Therefore we would not “NUKED YOUR ENTIRE COUNTRY”. When backed into a corner with no other perceived options maybe then.

The important thing to remember is that we all have to learn to live together in peace. Respecting each other is where that needs to start. If we all act in an arrogant manor peace is the last thing we will have.

When I was in the military I was taught to measure all of my actions because like it or not if you wear the US uniform you are an unofficial ambassador. Everything you say and do reflects upon your country. I cannot remember the exact words it has been twenty years after all. But you get the point.

If we want to foster good relations with others we have to show them some amount of respect even If we are the biggest kid on the block. The military is trying to show that respect. I checked into it and there are strict procedures on how to handle the Holy Koran. If someone in the military were to do what was claimed they would be prosecuted. What most people from that part of the world do not understand is generally speaking we go out of our way not to offend people.

Anyway, thanks Waheed for your thoughtful commentary. I find it useful to know how other people think.
 
Thank you for your thoughts Waheed. Aside from the fact that it is immpossible to flush a whole book of any kind down the toilet and/or even tear out the pages and do so (they clog it up) .. and that it is wrong, period .. the part that confuses me is: why do ME people riot, loot, burn, kill, destroy .. whenever they don't like something? This is not civilized. This is an act that totally defeats the purpose. It draws no sympathy or remorse from those who have (allegedly) done the wrong deed. I always turn it around, as: If you flushed a Bible here in the US, would we riot and burn cars, kill people? NO, of course not. This is such an enigma to those outside the ME. I appreciate your input Waheed, keep up the info. It all helps us understand if not agree.
 
dstrong, "If we all act in an arrogant manor peace is the last thing we will have."

I agree that the US government should be humble. That is the correct ideology for gaining and keeping an alliance (e.g. NATO). Did you know when Rumsfeld said "old Europe", it was actually in response to a question about "new Europe" being chastised. It wasn't US belligerence.

However, as individual citizens in a free country, we certainly do have the right to flush the Koran down the toilet. NOTHING is sacrosanct. EVERYTHING is open for question, for scrutiny. It is the OTHERS who must learn that free people have a RIGHT to do this, and learn TOLERANCE of those who have a different opinion. The US government will defend its citizens right to do whatever they want to the Koran. Defend it to the hilt. They may ban it for GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES to do, but the average citizen's freedom will be defended at all costs.
 
dusty, "And guess what, they were exercising the freedom you argued we have a right to do, namely freedom of speech, not to mention freedom of association and freedom to peaceably assemble."

They were demonstrating in support of RESTRICTING FREEDOM OF SPEECH. They should have instead been demonstrating against the BRUTAL STATE MURDER in both Afghanistan and Pakistan, of anyone who blasphemes against Mohammed.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/4557929.stm

"Insulting the Koran or the Prophet Muhammad is regarded as blasphemy and punishable by death in both Pakistan and Afghanistan."

This intolerance is UNACCEPTABLE and NEEDS TO CHANGE, although I agree that it doesn't need to change immediately. There's more important things to do. It is UNACCEPTABLE to MURDER people for expressing their thoughts.

If those demonstrators want to exercise their freedom of speech (against freedom of speech), that is their right, but the CONSTITUTION should protect against those people from having their way, even if they are a majority. A majority of bigots who discriminate against a minority is not acceptable (Australia actually takes in a lot of Afghan refugees who are from the Hazara ethnic group, because Afghans discriminate against them (because they are descended from the Mongols)). The same situation exists in Egypt, if democracy is allowed. The religious bigots will take over. Minorities have INALIENABLE RIGHTS. I agree that we must be pragmatic and not attempt to protect Afghan's human rights to "blaspheme" at this point in time. But we should spend more time trying to denazify Egypt than trying to democratize it. Government should be RATIONAL (separation of church and state), HUMANIST (not discriminate against people based on race/religion/sex) and NON-SUBJUGATING, *IN THAT ORDER*. These protests, especially violent protests, are the tip of an ugly iceberg. It's the same ugly iceberg that did 9/11. At some point, the iceberg needs to be addressed. I agree that now is not the time to address it. Now is the time to do geostrategic manouvres, getting into position for the final assault.
 
I have to agree with everyone's assessment here. Muslims, do to their traditions, probably don't want to here it, and the extremists absolutely refuse to. However, lets say someone where to publish a special Wahabi version of the Quran, complete with all the BS their mullahs and the Saudi princes that invented them said to turn them into murderour ludite radicals. Imho by publishing such a version (assuming I believed an idol could be 'sacred') would they not already have desecrated it? Is it them acceptable to rip out all the stuff they falsely added? What if its footnotes on every page or lines of smaller text between passages 'explaining' how a good Wahabi should act. Burn it, flush it, bury it, rip it up, or is it 'still' sacralege to destroy something aleady desecrated by the additions? Now.. What if you think Mahammed was a fool, or that Christ was, or that OT based religions are nothing more than power mad radicals who want to force feed people nonsense? The moment you allow yourself to question the value of the belief system, none of its symbols can be 'sacred', for to be so, they must reflect the perfection of a God. By definition, if they do not, then they where not sacred in the first place. And that doesn't even include the consideration that God might not exist either.

The terms 'sacred', 'sacralege' and 'desecration' are not about protection, they are about forcing ones own views on others on the false assumption that you can 'never' be wrong. But there has never been a religion that didn't claim things that later turned out to be inaccurate or flat out wrong at least in some part about 'something' in the world, which with the OT describes numerous things that geologic and archeological evidence shows never happened in the way or, in the worst cases, even when described.
 
Isn't it also against Islam to turn a mosque into a battlefield, yet that is exactly what some Muslims do. First the story was wrong and it was admitted to. Second: how would you feel if every time a Christain was killed in the Muslim world because they were not Muslims or Arab Muslims (like in the Sudan)or an American flag was burned or a Bible, we blamed all of you. How would you feel if we protested you and burned your flag throughout the streets of America because of it? If one has done something someone doesn't like in the family should the whole family be punished (like Saddam and the Taliban use to do)? Mohammed think about the American soldiers you have met, if all the Muslims in Afghanistan and Iraq thought about the American soldier they and their children have come into peaceful contact with they would see that the American soldier is caring, generous and fair. Think about this, Muslims around the world are upset because they think we are condemning all of them for what some of them have done. Yet we have done exactly the opposite, we have fought those who have declared themselves our enemy,while giving the Afghanistan and Iraqi people the chance to have freedom and democracy (democracy, what they want of their live).
Our soldier have put themselves in harms way to avoid innocent Muslims from getting killed during major combat.
Ours soldiers die and are wounded because they are trying to make the people of Afghanistan and Iraq safe. Our soldier cries and holds tight the children killed and injured by the gun or bomb of the Islamic extremist.
Our soldiers have rebuilt/built schools, handed out shoes, clothes, water, food, medicine, toys, candy, school supplies, medical supplies. They have built hospitals, brought water to villages, they have made the water clean. They have fixed roads, all these things have done by putting themselves in even greater danger. They have given the Iraqi and Afghani people a view of the world they have not had in years through the internet and media, they have given the people of Afghanistan back which is ever so precious, they gave you back your music. They gave you TV's, video's and books. They have removed your fear of the government that ruled you, even though the Islamic extremist is trying to stop this by killing who, other MUSLIMS. The American soldier has given you a chance only some can dream of. I could go on but you know what they have given you. How about a pro American soldier rally to show your support or maybe a thank you to a American soldier you see on the road.
Ok maybe it's only 3% of Muslims who are terrorist (which I doubt), at a population of 1.2 billion it's an army. But if truth be know even if it is .1% of American soldiers who are not to courteous in the tradition of Islam it's still only a handfull, and they are not killing Muslims freely as the terrorist are. People get your minds straight and realize what that American soldier you seem to hate has given you.
 
Waheed I apology for calling you Mohammed istead of Waheed, it was an honest mistake.
 
Dear Waheed,
I am so ashamed of our media. I am also mystified at the comments, well, most of them. They do live were you do, so they do not understand what life has been like for you.

I know that the people in Afghanistan appreciate what America has done. How do I know? It was much reported here, but many people showed up to vote! The first voter was a 19 year old woman. I was so happy and proud I cried tears of joy. Somethings just don't need words. Actions do speak louder than words, anyway.

About our press, Newsweek in particular, They had 1 source who had no evidence, but he did have something against our President. They had to recant and apologize, because when they went back to further research they found that he never saw any evidence of anything. He is a paper pusher with a grudge. Why Newsweek felt it was necessary to print something so harmful, I will never understand.

Our Military has been instructed on how to handle the Ko'ran. They even built a place for the people in Guitmo so that the Ko'ran would not touch the floor. Yes, they know they cannot handle it unless they are clean. Then they wear gloves so as not to get anything on it. We provided them with the Ko'rans to begin with. What we didn't know in the beginning, we corrected.

BTW, I am a Christian. It bothers me very much when people take my Holy Bible and destroy it. There is nothing I can do. They think I am a nut for even mentioning that it bothers me. It is a matter of respect which seems to have been lost on some of our people. They don't have to believe what I do, but don't abuse what is important to me and expect everything to be okay.

I hope you are well. It is good to hear from you again. Have a good day.
 
correction: they do NOT live where you live. Their freedom has gone to their brain. Some of them don't even want to fight for it, yet they want all it's perks. Go figure.
 
It was NOT reported (the vote).
 
Waheed,

Keep up the good work -- I enjoy reading your blog.

But I do need to clarify something for you. Forgetting the virtual impossibility of flushing any book down a toilet, if a military person in Guantanamo flushed a Koran down a toilet it would NOT be a criminal act. If done against orders it could be a violation of the military code of justice (UCMJ).

If something like that did happen it could be considered a religious, political, cultural and/or desecration issue, but not a criminal one. You would probably be amazed at the desecrations of religious items, symbols and people that happen in North America and Europe under the guise of "art," but with no legal consequence.
 
Waheed:

The Liberal Media in the US and elsewhere hates this President and the Military.

they are even more pissed they are about to loose the Judiciary.

Any chance they can get public opinion to go against this President, regardless of the facts, is a guarantee they will try.

If the Newsweek reporter was an Afghani, we would be watching him get stoned on CNN.
 
Dear Paul
you dont know any thing about Afghan people i DID NOT SAY PEOPLE DONT LIKE AMERICA DID I?? i have always said people are thanking united stated because it was untited state who brought us peace stability and established a democratic government and they did not DEMONSTRATE AGAINST US PEOPLE they only demonstrate against the desecration of holy Koran by some US soldier i still can not believe if they did or not i hope they investigate and punish any anyone found guilty of desecrating, such sacriledge is unaceptable to every muslim.Paul we have to respect others religions and if we dont respect they wont respect ours you told me we are all like a brother so tell me WHY A BROTHER MUST HURT HIS MILLIONS BROTHER? and hell no Paul its not your freedom to cause problem for many other poeple freedom means to live in peace and to veiw your opinion not to INSULT THE PEOPLE OKKKKKKKKK if you think insulting is freedom then you are way far from freedom its not freedom to insult some one its SILLYDOM as i said its still not clrear if some US soldiers insulted are not there are many good american people who want to make a better world but paul you made me really Upset by saying that its my right to flush anything I damn well want down the toilet i know paul its your right to do any thing you want but there is something that you cant do it" insuling Holy books and religions are not freedom even you dont like it you said you can buy Koran with your own money, it is your freedom as an individual to use it as toilet paper. or you can burn it, or eat it, i think THIS IS VERY STUPID first you spend your money second you insult some ones religion and you cause problem for many people is it freedom?? for doing a stupid action which cause problems for many people for example there is a guy live in your area he is a bad person and you hate him so is it your freedom to go and kill this guy? because you dont like him and its your freedom? insulting holy Koran is worst than killing for muslims you said we are like a brother WHAT KIND OF BROTHER YOU ARE??? i got comments from some other people and they said waheed it was sad to hear the insulting report and they were against this i personaly respect all religions i LOVE BIBLE ITS A HOLLY BOOK even if i dont like some religions i dont mention it i dont want to hurte people freedom is to bring love brotherhood not to cause problem Afghan people still support the US presence and we want good relationship a long term relationshop with the united states of America Paul Afghan people are very good people it was terrorists who cuptured our country and used it WE WANT PEACE and we want good relationship with all countries in the world especially United State of America as i said there was enemies hands behind the destruction there was many eyeswitnesses that gunman among the people opened fire against police and caused the casualties Paul your thuoghts are wrong bout afghan people i hope you come and see with your eyes to know what is REALITY OK
 
Waheed, "you dont know any thing about Afghan people"

I know that they are so intolerant of other people's opinions that they kill those who have opinions about Mohammed/Koran that they don't like.

"they did not DEMONSTRATE AGAINST US PEOPLE they only demonstrate against the desecration of holy Koran by some US soldier"

You may as well demonstrate against the American people, because they enshrine freedom of speech in their constitution, allowing ALL CITIZENS the RIGHT to do whatever they want to the Koran.

"i hope they investigate and punish any anyone found guilty of desecrating"

There's nothing to be "guilty" of. People have a RIGHT to "desecrate" THEIR OWN PROPERTY. You should instead be hoping that Muslims learn how to be TOLERANT of those who have a different opinion to them.

"such sacriledge is unaceptable to every muslim."

Then every Muslim is intolerant and doesn't believe in freedom.

"Paul we have to respect others religions and if we dont respect they wont respect ours"

There is no requirement for other people to respect my religion. They can make fun of it if they want.

"you told me we are all like a brother so tell me WHY A BROTHER MUST HURT HIS MILLIONS BROTHER?"

The free world is brothers FOR FREEDOM. And freedom includes FREEDOM OF SPEECH. And a HUMAN RIGHT to not be murdered by the government because someone doesn't like my point of view.

"and hell no Paul its not your freedom to cause problem for many other poeple freedom means to live in peace and to veiw your opinion not to INSULT THE PEOPLE"

Freedom is different from peace. If we want peace with the Islamofascists, we need to surrender. If the Northern Alliance wanted peace, they should have surrendered to the Taliban. Freedom is more important than peace. Although I agree that the freedom that the Afghans are missing is not worth fighting for at this point in history.

"OKKKKKKKKK if you think insulting is freedom then you are way far from freedom its not freedom to insult some one"

Yes it is. I get insulted ALL THE TIME on the internet. The Prime Minister of Australia gets insulted ALL THE TIME. I insult the leaders of Iran ALL THE TIME. I insult the left-wing of Australia and America ALL THE TIME.

"there are many good american people who want to make a better world"

Yes, a better world where people have FREEDOM.

"you made me really Upset by saying that its my right to flush anything I damn well want down the toilet"

And people make me "upset" by insulting George Bush and John Howard who have brought freedom to 52 million people. People have a right to say whatever they want, even if I don't like it. Have you ever heard "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it"?

"i know paul its your right to do any thing you want but there is something that you cant do it"

I don't have a right to DO anything I want. I have a right to SAY anything I want. There is freedom of speech, not freedom of action.

"insulting Holy books and religions are not freedom"

YES IT IS. It is part of freedom of speech. If you make it illegal to insult the holy books, you may as well make it illegal to criticize the Afghan president. Any time you ban freedom of speech, you LOSE YOUR FREEDOM. You lose your soul. You are not a free person.

"you insult some ones religion and you cause problem for many people is it freedom??"

If people have a problem with my opinion, then it is THEY who are wrong.

"for example there is a guy live in your area he is a bad person and you hate him so is it your freedom to go and kill this guy? because you dont like him and its your freedom?"

No, I don't have freedom of action to kill someone I don't like. The other person has the freedom to NOT BE ATTACKED by me. He has the RIGHT to not live in fear of me.

"insulting holy Koran is worst than killing for muslims"

Then Muslims have severe mental problems and don't value life.

"you said we are like a brother WHAT KIND OF BROTHER YOU ARE???"

A brother who believes that you should not be subjugated, like you were under the Taliban. The Taliban were ALSO intolerant. They even considered the Buddha statues to be an insult to Islam and blew them up.

"i got comments from some other people and they said waheed it was sad to hear the insulting report and they were against this"

People are free to be against flushing the Koran down the toilet. And no-one should force them to flush the Koran down the toilet. But they also don't have the right to stop ME from flushing MY Koran down the toilet.

"i personaly respect all religions"

What about the Taliban's religion? Did you respect that or fight against it?

"i LOVE BIBLE ITS A HOLLY BOOK"

Did you know that the bible says that if your child is disobedient, you should STONE HIM TO DEATH? And that anyone who works on the sabbath should also be STONED TO DEATH? This is a very CRUEL book. I have a RIGHT to say that. I have a RIGHT to say that GOD DID NOT WRITE THIS. Being able to QUESTION these things is what has enabled our societies to become VERY TOLERANT, and we came up with our OWN rules instead of blindly copying the bible.

"even if i dont like some religions i dont mention it i dont want to hurte people"

Then stop calling the Taliban "the enemy". Why do you want to hurt them? Why don't you respect their religion (which includes beating women, AS MENTIONED IN THE KORAN).

"freedom is to bring love brotherhood not to cause problem"

So why don't you have brotherhood with the Taliban instead of treating them as the enemy?

"Afghan people still support the US presence"

Then the Afghan people are capable of making wise decisions. The US presence has brought both peace and freedom. Even though the Afghans themselves have violently restricted the freedom of others, by having the death penalty for blasphemers. It is SO STUPID to do that. You can kill Afghans who blaspheme, but it is not going to STOP THE OPINION, because their opinion is shared by others in TRULY FREE COUNTRIES, so Australians and Americans can say the SAME THING. You can't stop the message being said.

"Afghan people are very good people it was terrorists who cuptured our country and used it"

Sure, I understand that.

"WE WANT PEACE"

You should also want freedom. And you should want freedom for others, not just yourself. And that includes the freedom of others to say things you don't like.

"Paul your thuoghts are wrong bout afghan people i hope you come and see with your eyes to know what is REALITY OK"

I'm not going to go to a country that doesn't protect my human rights. Maybe someone will inform the government that I said that the Koran was WRITTEN BY MOHAMMED NOT REVEALED FROM GOD and have me killed. No thanks. Let me know when Afghanistan becomes a tolerant country like Australia. Where the police and army protect my freedom of speech instead of killing me for using my freedom of speech. However, it is true that there is a LOT more freedom in Afghanistan now than there was under the Taliban. But the country is not yet free. It even has religious discrimination in the name of the country! "Islamic State of Afghanistan". How would you feel if the name was "Jewish State of Afghanistan"? Is that freedom of religion? How would you like to be a second-class citizen in the country you were born in? The Afghan people should be protesting against religious discrimination of minorities. And protesting about women's rights not being respected. An adultress was stoned to death in Afghanistan recently. Why did no-one protest about this CRUEL treatment of a fellow human being instead of only caring about a book getting flushed down the toilet IN ANOTHER COUNTRY? Afghanistan is a LONG WAY BEHIND. But I am pragmatic. I realise Afghanistan needs time to catch up. But you should realise that it is Afghanistan that is VERY WRONG, not people who flush books down the toilet.
 
PAul I respect all religions DID I SAY I DONT LIKE TALIBAN'S RELEGIONS???? DID I?? PROVE IT????
I ALWAYS SAID I DONT LIKE TALIBAN BUT I DIDNT SAY I DONT LIKE THEIR RELIGIONS RELIGIONS IS SOMETHING DIFFERENT OKKKKKKKKK
 
paul trust in me afghan people friend and they know every things they are not animal WAR destroyed everything we had a great history i dont know what to tell you cos you dont listen i am sad
 
Paul Edwards comments here have been extremely aggressive and a bit offensive. But he has a point, even if it's buried under a very agressive style. Asomewhat similar point is articulated in a nicer manner by Ali Al-Ahmed at: http://www.opinionjournal.com/editorial/feature.html?id=110006712

This quote is quite central:

As a Muslim, I am able to purchase copies of the Quran in any bookstore in any American city, and study its contents in countless American universities. American museums spend millions to exhibit and celebrate Muslim arts and heritage. On the other hand, my Christian and other non-Muslim brothers and sisters in Saudi Arabia--where I come from--are not even allowed to own a copy of their holy books. Indeed, the Saudi government desecrates and burns Bibles that its security forces confiscate at immigration points into the kingdom or during raids on Christian expatriates worshiping privately.


As an endnote I must add that I really like to read this blog and is very glad it's here. Keep writing!
 
waheed, "I respect all religions"

That is your choice. Communism and fascism were essentially religions too, with their own holy books. Do you respect them too? It is your choice whether you respect all religions or not. But it is also other people's choice not to respect ANY religions. Different people are different. You need to be tolerant of others who have a different opinion to you.

"DID I SAY I DONT LIKE TALIBAN'S RELEGIONS???? DID I?? PROVE IT????"

You call them "the enemy". The Taliban find that very offensive. Why do you insult the Taliban? Shouldn't you respect their religious interpretation which included destroying the two Buddhas?

"I ALWAYS SAID I DONT LIKE TALIBAN BUT I DIDNT SAY I DONT LIKE THEIR RELIGIONS"

Ok, so you respect their religion of beating women with sticks, banning music, banning photography, banning happiness?

"afghan people friend and they know every things they are not animal"

I never said the Afghan people were animals! I just said they're way behind in learning tolerance for others, and respecting human rights.

"WAR destroyed everything we had a great history i dont know what to tell you cos you dont listen i am sad"

I'm sorry you are sad. But how sad do you think the people being executed for blasphemy are? And how sad do you think that Afghan woman stoned for adultery was? Why was no-one protesting about this terrible treatment of humans in Afghanistan? They care more about a book than human life. That is quite disgusting.
 
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
 
Despite PE's shouting (CAPS), I have to agree with virtually everything he says.

Waheed, paper is just paper. Ink is just ink. Unless a book is an antique, a historical relic, and/or rare, it's worth what it will fetch in the local bookstore -- as an object. Symbolically, if I make a show of damaging or performing crude acts with a copy of a book whose contents and message you revere, you are right to take it as an insult. But insults are not crimes, and calling them blasphemy has relevance only to those who share your beliefs and specific faith.

Historically, blasphemy has been criminalized and punished only by the more repressive theocratic or church-dominated states, and that's what you are labelling Afghanistan as if you subscribe to this terminology. Sorry. And since Islam casts (currently and in practice) such a wide net in terms of barring human intellectual and other freedoms, it is as Paul said: you consign yourselves to more decades at the very BOTTOM of the world's development and creativity and research and writing and thinking ladders. If you don't believe me, name ONE notable or significant achievement of the Islamic world in any of those areas in the last century.

Human rights and freedoms are not frills and optional conveniences for progressive and functioning modern societies. They are essential and basic. To the extent that your public policy, opinion, culture, and religion block them, you are committing mental and economic suicide.
 
Brutally honest as Paul has been - and painful though it may be to hear what he has to say - he is absolutely correct.

Think about it. Even if you would be stoned to death for saying it out loud in your country - you can think about it in the privacy of your own head in safety.

Paul and Brian and Sven and Betsy and Kagehi and many other commenters are right. I'm sorry it is so painful to realize but after you grapple with it for a bit you will realize that you will be okay.
 
There are hundreds of thousands of people in the US military or working with the US military. I can promise you that any crime that people can do has been committed by somebody in the military at some time in the past. They are, for the most part, young people away from home for the most part, not particularly well-educated or well-trained. Things have certainly happened which would offend any thinking person.

Rioting against such activity makes no more sense than cursing the wind, and it is more of a crime, in this case, than anything they are complaining about. If a piece of paper is destroyed, even if it contains the most perfect and beautiful message in the world, the message is in no way diminished. If an innocent human life is destroyed by foolish action, then we are all diminished.
 
I was interested to hear that the rioters attacked the Pakistani embassy. I have heard that many people in Afghanistan regard the Taliban as being puppets of the Pakistani government - the Taliban came out of Pakistani madrassas and Pakistan was one of two governments to recognise the Taliban as the official rulers of Afghanistan (the other was Saudi Arabia) The fact that the rioters attacked the Pakistani embassy makes me think that perhaps the Taliban were not behind these riots at all. Waheed what do you think ?
 
Waheed:

Paul has the same problem as most English speaking people. We have about zero diplomatic skills.

Although this has been a tough week for you, the message is important. Try not to take things personal even though they feel that way.

You are doing an excellent job of things and should be proud of yourself. However, sometimes a 20 year old living in a country that has almost no access to the outside world could learn something from a crass, beligerent old fart like Paul. He means well even if he bit your head off, a lot.
We are opinionated old warhorses that have been around for a while and have some wisdom to share if you can extrapilate it from our no-nonsense, to the point, in your face responses.

The people you work with(American Military) are not much older than you. They may be Colonels and Majors but they are still as young and inexperienced as you, almost.They are however the only sucessful military in 5,000 plus years to instill their will on the people that terrorized Afghanistan and the rest of the free world.
They are the only people that have given Afghani's the precious gift of freedom. That is something that has NEVER happened in your 5,000 plus years existence.
Embrace the message and ignore the messanger. In about a year or so we can buy you your first beer and do this again.

Love and kisses - well not really

Mr.B

P.S. - Budweiser is way better than Fosters - or not

to be continued..........
 
Paul why you change your word? You said
"I don't have a right to DO anything I want. I have a right to SAY anything I want. There is freedom of speech, not freedom of action"
you said there is freedom of speech not action right?? But why you said you can buy a holy Koran and flush it down .IS THAT FREEDOM OF SPEECH???? HELL NO that is action not speech you said you don’t have a right to do anything but right to say anything but buying and flushing a holy book is not freedom of speech its an action you do because you don’t peck the book from the shop with your mouth or do u its only Animals that use their mouth to peck something right??? It’s your hands that takes and flush which is not freedom of speech
The holy Koran is not only a book for Muslims its worsted more than their lives more than family and more than anything’s in the world the criminals who stoned a woman to death are in jail they don’t have the right to stone some one its up to court to decide and i hope it never happen again and the people who prostitutes they must be punish but not by some ignorant locals but they must be punished by court and law because prostitution is not freedom of speech it happens by action we must use freedom of speech to make a better world and it should be useful i believe
that respect for each other's faith is one
of the most valuable principles of the civilized world. Offense to the
Basic rights and beliefs of each other
Will turn the human society into a jungle and efforts of the betterment
of the world, formation of a global
Society as well as global family will remain
Unsuccessful and incomplete forever. Dear Emma Pakistan government used to support Taliban but after the 11 September tragedy Pakistan didn’t have choice Pakistan had to support the US to defeat the terrorists and pakistan stopped all financial and military support to Taliban and that is why most Taliban don’t like Pakistan for supporting US invasion and few times the Alqaida and Taliban tried to kill president Musharaf i hope its good answer for you Emma
 
Waheed, "But why you said you can buy a holy Koran and flush it down .IS THAT FREEDOM OF SPEECH???? HELL NO that is action not speech"

Ok, correct. Now you're into PERSONAL PROPERTY laws. As someone else said, it is paper and ink. I own the paper and I own the ink. I can flush my own property down the toilet, subject to council regulations regarding sewerage.

If someone then says that this is desecration or blasphemy, then they are WRONG. It is FREEDOM OF SPEECH. It reflects my opinion on the contents of the paper.

"The holy Koran is not only a book for Muslims its worsted more than their lives more than family and more than anything’s in the world"

Yes, that is their opinion. Other people have different opinions, and enjoy flushing the Koran down the toilet.

"the criminals who stoned a woman to death are in jail they don’t have the right to stone some one its up to court to decide"

The story I read was that the court gave that sentence!

"and i hope it never happen again and the people who prostitutes they must be punish"

Well, this is another aspect of freedom. Some of the more backward countries (e.g. America) still punish prostitutes, but more enlightened countries (such as Australia) have legalized prostitution.

"because prostitution is not freedom of speech it happens by action"

Yes, it's true that it's an action, but it is done by consenting adults in private.

"we must use freedom of speech to make a better world"

Yes, I'm VERY happy that we can discuss these things in freedom on your blog. And I am VERY happy that you didn't delete my comments. Thankyou Waheed. I realise this is your blog and you have a RIGHT to delete my comments if you want to. Thankyou for not exercizing your RIGHT. Just the same as I am not exercizing my RIGHT to flush the Koran down the toilet!

"that respect for each other's faith is one
of the most valuable principles of the civilized world"

I respect your RIGHT to have a different religion from me. But I would normally not allow you to impose your religion on others. The "Islamic State" of Afghanistan does that. But I'm not willing to go to war to make your country stop discriminating against non-Muslims. There's so few non-Muslims in Afghanistan we can just take them in as refugees here instead.

"Offense to the
Basic rights and beliefs of each other will turn the human society into a jungle"

In all western countries, there is no restriction on offending other people's beliefs. Do you think that western countries are jungles? I thought Afghanistan was the jungle?! Do you ever hear of western countries forcing women to wear burkhas and hitting them with sticks?!

"formation of a global
Society as well as global family will remain
Unsuccessful and incomplete forever."

In my opinion, the global family will not be reality until everyone has adopted three principles:

1. rationalism.
2. humanism
3. non-subjugation.

Restricting freedom of speech and MURDERING people for blasphemy violates all 3 principles.
 
Dear Waheed,
This is why they consider me a "kook." I believe, as you do, that freedom of speech does not include the desecration of any religious artifact, book, house of worship, etc., all in the name of "art."

I am considered a conservative. They are trying to make it a bad word by linking it to the Mullahs in Iran! We are so far away from them, but what can we do? They have the media on their side. Who do I mean? Democrats. The people who did not want us to come and free 50 million people who were being held against their will! They call themselves liberals. They actually have the words backwards! LOL.

I really hope you are well. Please do not let one person upset you. I know how difficult it is, but if you just try not to read him...! That is what I do. I do like mean people. Why? Because they are mean! LOL. Yes Paul, I mean you.

You are a good man, Waheed. You have much respect and love. You have your family, your blog, your job, a beautiful countryside, many many things to occupy your life. You are very blessed! What a priviledge to know you. Thank you.
 
The residual, unbridged, basic disagreement still here seems to me to be Waheed's belief that "respect" for Islam requires that others treat copies of the Quran with some degree of the same reverence that Muslims do.

This would be very hard to enforce. And it WOULD have to be enforced, with lots of force, world-wide, because there are billions of copies kicking around. So not only is this a huge practical problem, it assumes a special status and major investment in enforcement apparatus.

This is all ridiculous on the face of it. It cannot and will not happen. Anyone who wants it to and imagines it will is tacitly or openly espousing the Global Caliphate. There are plenty of people who will fight to the death to be free of that kind of enforcement and fate.

Telling Paul or anyone that insulting Muslims is unwise because it will result in outraged violence is issuing threats. Is that what you are doing, Waheed? Some kinds of speech, such as issuing threats, are a lot less "free" than others.

Insults are often unwise, but they are only illegal if they are public attacks on someone's reputation; that's called libel. Holy Books are not protected from libel anywhere except in theocracies.

Be careful what you ask for. You might get it.
 
Paul you sad freedom of speech not action but buying and flushing some things happen by action your out of your mind i i dont wana arge with some one who dont know shit about afghanistan the women have been never beaten my stick in Afghanistan we respect women you are not here to see no one force them to wear burkhas yes only during the taliban they were forced and beaten but sticks now NOW OK so stop this bullshit becaue there is no forcemnt for women and before taliban we have some other gvernment and women had right 45 years back women had sports team during the kingdom of Zahir Shah i will scan some pictures and send you some photos from 1960 so you will see that women was free only during the taliban regime there was forcement ok i dont know what the hell os wrong with you. you dont know much about here and you talk so hope it will be the last comment
 
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New reports suggest the Muslim world will not support putting those who desecrated the Qur'an on trial after all. Turns out it was the detainee's at Gitmo. Will the riots resume? I doubt it.
 
Waheed, "the women have been never beaten my stick in Afghanistan"

YES THEY WERE. I've seen videos of the Taliban beating women with sticks. That's was the Taliban's RELIGION. So, do you respect the Taliban's religion? You said you respected all religions. So does that include the Taliban's religion that includes beating women with sticks and forcing them to wear a burkha?
 
Paul you must go to doctor
only during TALIBAN THEY BEAT WOMEN not in all afghan histoy you KNOW THAT TALIBAN WERE MOST FROM OTHER COUNTRIES THEY WERE NOT REPRESENTING AFGHANS so if you dont know shit about here stop there is women respect in afghanistan only ONLY DURING Taliban they beated wonen ok tht is all you frist comment was not polite and it was full of lies
 
Waheed, "Paul you must go to doctor"

There is no need for me to go to a doctor. You just need to provide a BETTER ARGUMENT than me.

"only during TALIBAN THEY BEAT WOMEN not in all afghan history"

I know. So? I never said anything about the rest of history, I only talked about the TALIBAN'S RELIGION. Do you respect the Taliban's religion? Yes or no? It is up to you if you respect ALL RELIGIONS including the Taliban's. But I choose to NOT respect the Taliban's religion, because I believe that such behaviour is AWFUL, and I will never respect it.

"THEY (TALIBAN) WERE NOT REPRESENTING AFGHANS"

I NEVER SAID that they represented Afghans. That's why they didn't allow freedom of speech and democracy. Because they knew that they would LOSE the elections, because they were NOT representative.

"so if you dont know shit about here stop"

So far you haven't shown that there's something inaccurate that I've said about Afghanistan.

"you first comment was not polite and it was full of lies"

WHAT lies? Name ONE. What I told you was the truth. The Afghan government is committing STATE MURDER of people who exercise FREEDOM OF SPEECH. Maybe you agree with that law, but that doesn't mean it shouldn't be open to DEBATE.
 
There are a few poeple who run the controversy
 
Okay, Lets say that a single individual did in fact take a Quran and flush it down a toilet. Let’s say a single soldier, airman, seamen, marine or even a government agent actually flushed a book down a toilet. So what! Really! So what!
What to hell are we dealing with here?
An American based political bias world circulated publication claims that an undisclosed informant without evidence said that a Guantanamo Bay individual flushed a book down a toilet. By and large I have seen and heard worse things, much worse things even today! And though I burned my toast today whether or not the publication was correct in its accusation or not, the underlying problem as I see it is how could so many people resort to such juvenile behavior over this alleged incident? Really, think about it, rioting to the point of taking lives! What is the maturity level of people that will riot over accusations of a book being flushed down a toilet; but will celebrate when planes fly into American buildings killing thousands of people and destroying untold family structures not to mention destruction of property.
Surely flushing a book down a toilet is more important. I can’t completely relate to this mentality.
But let’s say the kinder gentler side of me sees that showing sensitivity in the act of the alleged desecration of a holy book could be disturbing to the followers of the book, I still have to wonder the maturity level of the reaction. One single person may have flushed the Quran down a toilet. Because of this, millions of people will riot, destroy property and take lives. That is the mature reaction? Followed by the publication retraction of the flushing accusation still clerics encourage further rioting. Shit, these hot heads are on a roll.
A book that promotes peace (The Quaran) is being used as a reason to commit mass violence. A magazine that promotes opinion for money has more impact than the Quaran. Somehow Newsweek is the voice of truth.
Guess you could say Air America is getting its way! Promoting continued violence around the world through the dissemination of lies.
Liberals should finally learn a lesson and think before they lie. Dead people have occurred from Newsweek’s lies; now it’s only a matter of time that liberals will need to explain that their inaccurate loose lips sink ships.
A magazine that should be flushed is responsible for millions rioting. But more so, shouldn’t those Jihad promoting bastards get it right and grow to fuck up? Flush that!

www.sizzlelog.com
 
i didnt know that my blog about demonstration against holy koran will cause insult for Afghan people from paul edwards
honestly only few people demonstrated from 30 milions of afghan population only 20,000 poeple demonstrated in few provinces which is less than a percent of population most afghan still think that the Newsweek report was wrong therefor there was not protests in 20 other provinces while there was demonstrations in some provinces i got some emails from some readers and they requested me to write a blog about protests and i wrote and send but when i checked my comments i found the first comment from Paul Edwards which was very mean wrong and impolite and he wrote many bad words way far from my blog and insulted all Afghans as i said few people demonstrate but paul used mean and bad words against all afghan poeple which i condamn i never said afghan people are not happy with the US presence i have been always in my most blogs mentioned that Afghan people are really happy with the US overthrow taliban and installed new government if you guys dont believe me you can read my perviews blogs so all of you will see but paul said in his comment why afghan people not thanking united state instead of demonstration paul you dont know they are thanking and appreciate the united state for its great help you are in sydney not in afghanistan so you dont know any thing about our people my blog was about protests but paul worte many thing far away from the subject like "America could have NUKED YOUR ENTIRE COUNTRY" again you dont know any thing and you say these words the Attacks on towers carried out by a terrorist group which illegaly used our land for their terrorists activity and it didnt carry out by All muslims you cant balme all muslims for that evey muslims condamn attacks on new york and Washington because innocent people lost their lives killing of a humna from any religion and color is against humanity and the biggest crime in islam paul my country is not wrong its your thought which is wrong afghans are not intolerant and backwards.only during the taliban regime women beaten by sticks not before the taliban people had freedom and good lives especially during the kindom of Zahir Shah Father of nation from 1938 till 1992 there was freedom not terrorists education for man and women thousands of tourims were comming to enjoy visiting of afghanistan's beautiful and historical places and it was a safe place only during war against sovit union there was fight in some parts of the country
again i say just because of few terrorists groups you can not blame all muslims paul United state will not annihilate all Muslims and all Arabs from the face of the earth but united state will cupture and punish those few muslims who were behind this crimes
i hope paul you change your mind and be an open minded person dont say muslims or christain all the time i believe all people from different religions must live in peace and have good relationship and i hope that paul will not add fuel to the fire by the name of religion and just because of extremist taliban regime you must never blame all afghan people dont call them by bad names like NUTCASES and again you must know that taliban used our country they were not the afghan government it was working for pakistan government's intrests and again and for last time listen and understand that only just during taliban regime women beaten sticks and forced to wear burka not in other regimes. i appreciate the comments of other readers even few of them was opposite but they were polite every one can express their veiw but politly not like paul
 
Waheed, "only 20,000 poeple demonstrated in few provinces"

You are TOTALLY CORRECT. No-one should judge Afghans by what a very small percentage of the population does in the form of demonstrations. You should instead judge a country based on opinion polls.

"insulted all Afghans"

I'm sorry if you think I insulted all Afghans. I don't consider 100% of the population of ANY country or group to be exactly the same.

"Afghan people are really happy with the US overthrow taliban"

Yes, you said a MAJORITY are in favour of this (not 100% of course), and we are all very happy about that.

"the Attacks on towers carried out by a terrorist group which illegaly used our land for their terrorists activity and it didnt carry out by All muslims you cant balme all muslims for that"

Yes, you are totally correct. In actual fact, Afghans were the biggest victims of the Al Qaeda terrorists. I don't judge all Muslims based on what a minority do.

"evey muslims condamn attacks on new york and Washington because innocent people lost their lives"

I think you're VERY WRONG about "every Muslim" condemning the attacks. Many of them were very happy to see the US suffer. Many actually cheer when there's a natural disaster in America too. There's a lot of SICK PEOPLE in the world, and part of the War on Terror is to address this.

"killing of a humna from any religion and color is against humanity and the biggest crime in islam"

EXACTLY. And that includes killing people who flush the Koran down the toilet, or question whether the Koran is really perfect or whether it contains some stuff that is no longer relevant.

"afghans are not intolerant and backwards"

While ever the state is willing to MURDER people who use freedom of speech, and the majority doesn't seek to overturn this HORRIBLE state of affairs, a majority of Afghans are intolerant.

"united state will cupture and punish those few muslims who were behind this crimes"

Yes, that's the current plan. To see if that works. The alternative plan of complete annihilation may or may not be invoked.

"extremist taliban regime you must never blame all afghan people dont call them by bad names like NUTCASES"

It is not because of the Taliban that I think a majority of Afghans are nutcases. It is that they don't think that there is anything wrong with STATE MURDER of anyone blaspheming, and they care more about paper and ink than human rights. How can anyone KILL someone else because of paper and ink? What sort of country allows people to be MURDERED because they have a different opinion?

"just during taliban regime women beaten sticks and forced to wear burka not in other regimes."

I understand this. But I'm just pointing out you should not respect ALL religions blindly. The Taliban had a religion too. It was AWFUL.
 
I am confused. I keep hearing comments like the following from Paul.

“They should have instead been demonstrating against the BRUTAL STATE MURDER in both Afghanistan and Pakistan, of anyone who blasphemes against Mohammed.”

“a HUMAN RIGHT to not be murdered by the government because someone doesn't like my point of view.”

“It is that they don't think that there is anything wrong with STATE MURDER of anyone blaspheming, and they care more about paper and ink than human rights.”

Waheed, is it still true that the Afghanistan government condones the murder of blasphemers? I did not think that was still going on.

Waheed, in your opinion, what percentages of Afghani’s think that execution is the appropriate punishment for Blaspheming?

The point of my questions, besides the fact that it interests me, is if state murder is not going on and most people wouldn’t agree with it I can completely understand why Waheed is getting frustrated.
 
dstrong, I doubt that Waheed knows Afghan laws any better than we do, although he can gauge public opinion better than us.

I gave the reference to the Afghan law before (but it got truncated, so I split it this time), assuming that you trust the BBC as a source:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/
4557929.stm

"Insulting the Koran or the Prophet Muhammad is regarded as blasphemy and punishable by death in both Pakistan and Afghanistan."
 
"There are hundreds of thousands of people in the US military or working with the US military. I can promise you that any crime that people can do has been committed by somebody in the military at some time in the past."

I can promise the same for any group of people of that size.

"They are, for the most part, young people away from home for the most part, not particularly well-educated or well-trained."

For the most part, that statement shows you know squat about those people. I know quite a few of them and almost all of them belie your opinion of them. I'm sure Waheed knows more about them than you do and could attest to how well they may be trained and educated.
 
Personally I have no problem with Americans or anyone else flushing a Koran down the toilet or any other desecration of the book as they choose. The same goes for the American flag. Don't get me wrong I have great great respect the U.S Flag. Millions of U.S servicemen gave their lives to defend the freedom of every American to burn our own flag in protest and I for one will not take that away from our veterans. We've all witnessed the desecration of our flag by Muslim nations all over the world and I don't like it but like I said before our American brothers and sisters died giving us that freedom so I say go ahead and do it. BUT remember what goes around comes around! Now, as for the Koran... There is no law/s on the books that says I can't FLUSH the Koran down the toilet, At least on American soil & that includes Guantanamo Bay. Infact I dare anyone to arrest me for desecration of the Koran! If the Muslim world wants westerners to respect their religion they should show some respect to the western world and denounce the extremists who kill unarmed civilians and publicly celebrate when thousands of Innocent people die at the hands of a freak murdering bastard who has a strong hold on a bunch of weak minded Muslim followers.
 
I am American and love reading Waheed's blog, but I am scared someone like Paul Edwards may nuke a conversation unnecessarily. I mean, Waheed is one of the few who is outspokenly supportive, he is going to bat or us, no need to ride HIM. I think you are doing a wonderful job Waheed and your influence, as a man on the street in Afghanistan is immeasurably valuable.
 
"he is going to bat or us"

should be "he is going to bat for us."

In response to Betsy "This is such an enigma to those outside the [Middle East.]"

Yeah, to take it further, when Americans see this they will say "Middle Easterners don't want freedom, see, they prefer Islamic Law." But I disagree. I subscribe tp Natan Sharansky's [great book] view that everyone yearns for freedom and that Democracies do not engage in wars with each other.
 
Waheed, I thoroughly enjoy your blog. I wholeheartedly agree with you that the Qua'ran should be treated with the utmost respect. The US as a country become offended when we see other countries burn our flag or bible. I believe that your culture should be given the utmost respect. I do not feel that you or your fellow citizens are not realistic. You are as entitled as anyone on this planet to have and hold any beliefs you feel are important, as long as those beliefs do not interfere with the lives or beliefs of others. I believe that no one person on this planet has the right to disrespect any other person on this planet or intentionally hurt another. I can not listen to Paul Edwards because he does not educate himself before he speaks. If Paul would read the Qua'ran and THEN comment on the Muslim religion, I will listen to him. I have educated myself on the Muslim religion, which is far more than simply the five pillars. I believe that what happened at Guantanamo was that certain individuals did indeed treat the Qua'ran in a disrespectful way to obtain a reaction from their prisoners. Had I not seen the disrespectful photos of the US guards with the unclothed Arabic men, I may have felt unsure. Because of this, I lost much respect for those soldiers.
 
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We hope you don't mind our comment on your site and do so repectfully.
Thank you and God Bless.
 
I really like your ford related blog site. I have a ford related web site at ford. If you're into ford. You will want to check it out.
 
Interesting blog, be sure and check out my site / blog when you get a chance at www.shoes-apparel-discount-fashion.com Thanks and have a great day.
 
Try flushing holy books yourself at
Flush A Holy Book.com Where you can flush any holy book like the bible, koran, torah, vedas, mormon, avesta, guru, etc...
 
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