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Kabul protest demands foreign troops withdrawal

Morningstar | 06 September 2010

Around 500 citizens have rallied in central Kabul to demand the withdrawal of foreign troops from their country, chanting: “Long live Islam” and “Death to America.” The crowd outside the capital’s Milad ul-Nabi mosque listened to fiery speeches from members of parliament, provincial council deputies and Islamic clerics. Some threw rocks when a US military convoy passed.

Protesters also condemned the decision of the Florida-based Dove World Outreach church to burn copies of the Koran on church grounds to mark the ninth anniversary of the 2001 terrorist attacks in the US. They raised placards and flags emblazoned with slogans calling for the death of US President Barack Obama and held up a cardboard effigy of Dove World Outreach’s pastor Terry Jones, who made US headlines last year after distributing T-shirts that said “Islam is of the Devil.”

The US embassy in Kabul said the “United States government in no way condones such acts of disrespect against the religion of Islam and is deeply concerned about deliberate attempts to offend members of religious or ethnic groups.

“Americans from all religious and ethnic backgrounds reject this offensive initiative by this small group in Florida. A great number of American voices are protesting the hurtful statements made by this organisation,” it said in a statement.

Muslims consider the Koran to be the word of God and demand that it, along with any printed material containing its verses or the name of Allah or the prophet Mohammed, be treated with the utmost respect. Any intentional damage or show of disrespect to the Koran is considered deeply offensive.

In 2005, 15 people died and scores were wounded in riots in Afghanistan sparked by a story in Newsweek magazine alleging that interrogators at the US concentration camp in Guantanamo Bay flushed a copy of the book down the toilet to get inmates to talk. Newsweek later retracted the story.

Meanwhile, a US soldier was killed in fighting in eastern Afghanistan on Sunday, Nato has revealed. No other details were given.

The death takes the US toll to five so far this month, following the deaths of more than 220 US troops over the past three months.

September 7, 2010 - Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Islamophobia

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