Reportedly as many as 20 U.N. workers were killed today in Afghanistan during a protest turned violent, and at least two of the dead were beheaded. Demonstrators were protesting the March 20 burning of a Koran by controversial Gainesville, Fla., preacher Terry Jones.
Jones had threatened to burn Korans last September 11 to mark the anniversary of the attacks on America by a group of Muslim extremists. He was pressured, talked, or bribed out of doing it, to the great relief of an anxious nation. But apparently he was determined to carry out his threat sooner or later; on March 20 — “International Judge the Koran Day” — he conducted a mock trial of the Muslim holy book. The book was found guilty of causing murder, rape, and terrorism and was burned.
There was no way under American law to stop Jones’ actions last September, and while he was eventually dissuaded, it was not until after he’d been given far more than his 15 minutes of fame by our ogling media. To the media’s credit, they stayed relatively quiet about the recent book burning. Still, word reached Afghanistan, with deadly results.
An Islamophobic Christian preacher, protected by our Constitution, deliberately desecrates the holy book of more than a billion Muslims. Outraged Muslims half a world away in Afghanistan react violently and kill U.N. workers, none of whom were American.
So who’s to blame for this tragedy? Where does the responsibility lie?
Are you sure?
Update: A later story in the New York Times gives more details of the incident.