US Burns Qurans at Bagram, Sparking Major Protests

Gen. Allen Promises to Stop Burning Qurans in Future

by Jason Ditz, February 21, 2012

Thousands of Afghans are protesting outside of the Bagram Air Base today after Afghans working inside the facility revealed that US military personnel were burning large numbers of Qurans at the base.

Though claims that US forces desecrated copies of the Muslim religious text have historically been denied, that does not appear to be the case today, as General John Allen, the current commander of the Afghan occupation, confirmed that the burnings took place and said he is taking steps “to ensure this does not ever happen again.”

Indeed, the US even took Provincial Council chief Ahmad Zaki Zahed to the “burn pit” which contained the Qurans. They told him that they did not know exactly how many of the books destroyed in the book burning were Qurans, but there were several.

A number of Afghan workers were also injured during the burning, when they realized that Qurans were being destroyed and attempted to pull them out of the fire, suffering serious burns.

One military official said that the book burning was a collection of “extremist” literature from the prison library, and said that Qurans were being used to “fuel extremism” among the detainees.

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