Is Just About the Quran Burning? Why are Afghanis So Angry?

By Omid Safi

In the aftermath of the deaths of two NATO soldiers in the spiraling Afghan Qur’an burning demonstrations, the US is withdrawing soldiers from Kabul ministries.  

Media personalities everywhere have reflected on the Qur’an burning disaster in Afghanistan, and we have now officially reached the absurd point where conservative pundits blame everything on Afghanis themselves.

As is to be expected, Rick Santorum swung away from President Obama’s apology for the United States soldiers having burned the Qur’an, by stating that President Obama’s apology had “made it sound like there was something that you should apologize for, and there was no act that needed an apology.”

Loooovely. Exactly the kind of reasoned, compassionate, diplomatic qualties that one should look for in the leader of the most powerful nation on Earth.  

On the Afghani side, we have parliament members who are spinning the story the other way, and declaring Jihad against America:  “Americans are invaders, and jihad against Americans is an obligation,” said Abdul Sattar Khawasi.  

Equally Looovely.    Afghanistan is on on-going disaster, undergoing a frightening re-Talibanization, narco-violence is on the rise, and the elected officials are declaring Jihad left and right.

Why would the Afghanis be angry?  Because since 2007, there have been 11,864 documented civilian casualties in their country.    The actual number is likely to be much, much higher, given all the challenges at documenting casualties in a war-torn, difficult to navigate country like Afghanistan.

Click here to read the rest of the blog post, about how much there is at stake that goes beyond just the burning of the Qur’an.


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