Once again the Afghani government and people have proven to be the farthest ally to the US, its endless efforts to protect Afghanistan, and endless sacrifice of its troops. It almost seems as if the Afghani people are always on the hunt for any reason to transfer their centuries-built-in-anger and violence against the very people and nations who sacrifice their lives and freedom for the sake of the Afghani people. In this case, it is the US and its decade long efforts to help the Afghani government and its people establish a fresh air of freedom to liberate them from decades of oppression; violence; and inhumane treatments and living conditions.
However, and despite all of that, in the past few days the world have been witnessing an intense stream of violent riots and protest over the accidental burning of some copies of the Quran at a US Air Field in Afghanistan (http://bit.ly/yeF21F). As a result of these riots, more than 30 innocent people were killing, including two US military advisors at the Afghani Ministry of Interior; a heavily guarded government ministry, a place that should have been the safest place in Afghanistan.
Even though the incident was allegedly committed by NATO troops, the US as always the case, is the one who ended up inheriting the brunt of the blame for the desecration of the Qur’an. An apology from both the US President and the US Commander, in an effort to calm down these acts of violence, has resulted in nothing. Furthermore, no signs of any serious interventions to-date have been shown by the legitimate Afghani government to enforce any form of law against the protestors, to put an end to such outrage, or provide some security and protection to others.
Although, no one should ever condone any acts of burning the Quran or any other religious books for that matter, the puzzling and confusing question remains, is such outrage justified to the extent it had progressed to? In my view, such reaction carries within it a number of explicit and implicit messages intended to draw attention to the inherent power struggle in Afghanistan, and only a foreshadow of what to come in the future, especially after the withdrawal of all US troops.
One of those reasons has to do with how conservative Muslims, who represent the majority of Afghani people, view the US relationship with their country. To them, the US is not an ally, rather is an occupier and an infidel nation who had desecrated their holy ground; as an Islamic republic.
It also emblems the traditional Islamic quest for superiority as symbolized in the Muslims scripture; The Qur’an, in which it reminds the Muslims of who they are in comparison to all other races and nations:
“Ye are the best of peoples, evolved for mankind, enjoining what is right,
forbidding what is wrong, and believing in God. If only the People of the Book
had faith, it were best for them: among them are some who have faith, but most
of them are perverted transgressors.” Q. 3:110
The anger is also a sign of built up outrage that has been boiling for years over the very existence of infidel troops and their unlimited un-Islamic amenities and behaviors (i.e. alcohol drinking, uncovered female soldiers and others, US Marines urinating on the bodies of Taliban fighters, etc…).
In other words, although the external reaction may seem somewhat justifiable, it actually bears a much deeper sense of inferiority by Afghani Muslims and their desperate attempt to flux their religious authority and sovereignty not only against NATO or the US, but also against their own westernized Afghani people who may have falsely assumed that the upcoming Afghani government will be a modernized one and will not enforce any form of Islamic law. Hence, such riots are deliberate and intentional, aiming toward sending a very explicit message to the Afghani society at-large that Islam is the only religion and form which will be followed in Afghanistan, and that Islam does not tolerate any foreign forces which oppresses the ultimate authority of Islam and its sense of religious superiority.
It is to that tone that an apology by the US was unnecessary since it will only provide to the Afghani religious hardliners (as the Taliban) that the US is weak and inferior. Such dangerous message can only add fuel to the religious fire originated from the very pages of the burned Qur’an. In fact, I find it hypocritical by the very same protestors not to ever question what happens to any excess copies of the Qur’an at Qur’an Presses or what happens to any deformed copies or pages, or how even the Pakistani government often times dump pages of the Qur’an in the sewer. No one of course will dare to direct such criticism against Qur’an Presses when it is being ran by wealthy countries as Saudi Arabia, or an ally as Pakistan who harbored the most wanted terrorist in the world; Bin Laden.
In fact, why can’t the protestors question the reason behind why the NATO burned these books in the first place? Was not that done because prisoners were writing messages inside the very pages of the Qur’an? Why was that action acceptable when it is a violation of how the Qur’an should be treated?
Finally, I like to ask the protestors and the Afghani government: Who will apologize to the families of those who were killed as a result of these riots? Was it worth it to committ such crimes? Is desecrating an innocent human life the best way islam can offer to preserve the honor of the Qur’an, the supposed book of PEACE?
Without a doubt, it is confusing to hear of the ongoing riots by Afghani Muslims (including their own police officers) over a book that contains a multitude of contradicting facts and tangible dilemmas worthy of examination, yet at the same time, we do not for once hear of any moderate Muslims being outraged or outspoken against such imagery that can only enforce the notion that Islam is NOT a religion of PEACE but rather of VIOLENCE. In my humble opinion, it is these acts of violence that keep moderate Muslims at bay out of fear of retaliation.
We have it said; Do not judge a book by its cover, yet ironically when it comes to the Qur’an, one can’t even pass its cover, never the less judge its content without facing violence and retaliation. Such dilemma leads us to ask the following question: If the Qur’an is truly a divine book that teaches and promotes peace, why do Muslims feel the need to protect it through means of extreme violence?
It is dilemmas such as these that prompted The Quran.com Group of former Muslims to write and publish our new book “The Qur’an Dilemma” (www.thequran.com) for the purpose of examining, analyzing, and critiquing the Qur’an in order to bring its imperfection to light.