US Likely to Let Military’s Quran Burners Off the Hook

Personnel Might Receive 'Written Reprimand'

The already strained US relationship with the people of occupied Afghanistan is likely to get even worse going forward, with the revelation that the official recommendation for the handling of the February burning of Qurans at the Bagram Air Force Base.

The US troops selected a collection of religious texts they believed were being used to “fuel extremism,” including several copies of the Quran itself, and had them thrown into a burn pit for subversive literature. Afghan workers discovered the desecration of the religious texts, sparking mass riots across the nation.

The final decision hasn’t been made on what to do with the soldiers who were involved in the burnings, but the official recommendation is for them to receive a “written reprimand,” but no actual punishment, and that no one face criminal charges over it.

The Afghan investigation concluded that the burnings were intentional, though the US insists that it was a “mistake” to include Qurans in what was an organized religious book burning. Afghan officials have warned that any light sentence would spawn more unrest, and this is liable to be doubly so with no sentence at all.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of