Thursday, February 23, 2012


Kabul, Afghanistan (AP) - Afghan police on Thursday fired shots in the air to disperse hundreds of protesters who tried to break into an American military base in the country’s east to vent their anger over this week’s Quran burnings incident. The fresh violence came one day after clashes between Afghan troops and protesters broke out in the capital and in three eastern provinces over the incident, leaving at least seven people dead and dozens wounded. The Quran burnings have roiled Afghans and set off riots in an illustration of the intensity of the anger at what they perceive as foreign forces flouting their laws and insulting their culture. The U.S. has apologized for the burnings, which took place at a military base near Kabul, and said it was a mistake. In Laghman province, protesters hurled rocks on Thursday and tried to remove the razor wire from the perimeter of the American base in Mehterlam, the provincial capital.

The demonstrators failed to push through and get inside the walls of the facility, which also houses a U.S.  a mix of military and international civilians who work to improve local governance, services and infrastructure.  President Hamid Karzai said he shared the Afghan people’s pain at hearing of the Quran desecration, but asked them to stay calm until an investigation is completed. The top U.S. and NATO commander, Gen. John Allen, quickly issued an apology and telephoned Karzai and major news organizations to explain that a collection of religious materials, including Qurans, had been mistakenly sent to be incinerated. As soon as someone realized what they were burning, they stopped and retrieved what was left, Allen said. Four copies of the Quran were burned before the incineration was halted, according to initial Afghan government reports. The White House said it was an accident that they were sent to be burned.

Anti-American demonstrations erupted on the outskirts of Kabul and in another Afghan city over an incident that the U.S. said was inadvertent burning of Muslim holy books. The unrest started when Afghan workers at the main American military base saw soldiers dumping books in a pit where garbage is burned and noticed that Qurans and other religious material were mistakenly put among the trash.  Tolerance is a necessary virtue no matter what religion one professes.

Every individual has his peculiar nature distinct form any other. So, obviously individuals will vary in their opinions and tastes and this is quite natural. It is an unnatural thing to attempt forcibly to encage individuals into one fold, faith or particular ideology. Accordingly cultivation of tolerance of others’ views is essential for world-peace and unity.  Indian sponsors of religion appeared to have got that insight and tolerance; hence many independent views have cropped up in India and have flourished simultaneously.  Want of tolerance makes us sectarian and that spirit motivates us for forcible conversion of others which brings turmoil and unrest in the world. Religion should give equal scope to all the individuals for their respective spiritual development according to their attributes.

Śrīla Bhakti Dayita Madhava Mahārāja :
“Realistic Solution for Diverse Humanity”
Speech at a ‘Spiritual Summit Conference’ - 1968 Calcutta.
Sree Chaitanya Gaudiya Math -

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