January 28th, 2010
07:48 AM ET

Al Qaeda, ISI blamed for Quran burning

Kabul, Afghanistan - The Afghan government is blaming Pakistani intelligence agents and al Qaeda for burned Qurans found in Helmand Province last week, a spokesman for the provincial government said.

A sack of burned Qurans was discovered by troops with the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and Afghan forces, said Daoud Ahmadi, the Helmand government spokesman, on Wednesday. The Quran is the holy book of Islam.

They were found in a home in the district of Garmsir on Friday along with some ammunition, Ahmadi said. The owner of the home said the Qurans' burning was caused by an airstrike, but there was no other damage from an airstrike in the area, he added.

The owner of the home - whose son is a member of the Taliban - has been arrested in connection with the discovery, Ahmadi said. Two others have also been arrested, he said, for allegedly distributing pages of the burned Quran to area villagers.

The Afghan government has concluded that the Qurans are part of a plot by the enemies of the country to stir up the populace, Ahmadi said. He said it shows that ISI - or Pakistani intelligence agents - smugglers and al Qaeda are using such tactics to plot against foreign forces and have local residents turn against them.

Earlier this month, a violent protest broke out in the Garmsir district after rumors circulated that ISAF soldiers desecrated a Quran during an operation against the Taliban.

During the January 12 protest, an insurgent sniper shot an Afghan official, an ISAF statement said, and ISAF service members then shot and killed the sniper.

ISAF denied that its troops had any part in destroying a Quran.

"While denying these allegations, we take them very seriously and support a combined investigation with local Afghan authorities," said Maj. Gen. Michael Regner, deputy chief of staff for operations for ISAF Joint Command. "ISAF is an international force that includes Muslim soldiers, and we deplore such an action under any circumstances."

A fatwa, or religious legal ruling, has been issued by a group of religious scholars against whoever was involved in burning the Qurans found last week. The scholars were consulted by the local government in Lashkar Gah.

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Filed under: al Qaeda • Pakistan
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    May 10, 2010 at 7:42 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Andrew Duffy

    Al Qaeda burning Qurans is not in the least bit surprising. They are a political organization, masquerading under jihad, who have absolutely no scruples or integrity. Remember their denials of 911 attacks; they are liars. Remember the peace deals by the Taliban in the Swat valley that they immediately break; they are liarsalso. They slaughter the innocents in the name of god. The butcher the Shia muslims; they are psychopaths. This fits in exactly with their mode of operation. Wake up.

    February 1, 2010 at 7:22 am | Report abuse |
  6. iraqi

    USA and its troops are going to pay heavyly for what they are doing in iraq and other countries..they destroyed my country they killed civilians and i lost 5members of my family because of them...is that the new democracy ???
    i hope and i wish that no american troops will leave iraq alive and all will be burned or buriued there...
    thanks and please publish my opinion

    February 1, 2010 at 5:29 am | Report abuse |
  7. guest

    So the cowardly and ignorant-of-Allah Al Qaeda are burning Quran's? Sounds like something those useless hypocrites would do for the purpose of blaming it on some one else. Don't recall them doing anything constructive like helping out in Haiti or creating a vaccine for malaria.

    January 31, 2010 at 7:47 pm | Report abuse |
  8. StoneyBowes

    Peter is a strange name for a Muslim, Mahdi. 🙂

    As for the story, seems feasible enough to me. I have a hard time believing that there is anything that a person would not do, if they're desperate enough. Most people, especially fanatics, work under the assumption that the ends justify the means.

    January 31, 2010 at 6:07 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Verner McCall

    The taliban have stated that the US takes more care with civilian lives than Pakistan. The US spends millions of dollars and enormous man-hours avoiding civilian casualties. However, war is hell and this is war between western civilization and islamic extremest. Choose your side carefully, because western civilization will conquer the extremists, period

    January 31, 2010 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Verner McCall

    Ignorance is bliss, people. Who among you says the Taliban and their associates are not cablable of burning the Holy (?) Quoran? If the islamic extremists are capable of splashing acid on children's faces, destroying schools for femailes, physically abusing their wives, maiming killing innocent civilians, cultivating poppies for illegal drug trafficking, slaughtering jews their place of worship, slaughtering christians in their place of worship, etc. all of you idiots who buy into the argument that the Taliban are interested in saving humanity are ignorant backwards, uninformed stupid human beings.

    January 31, 2010 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
  11. ali

    iam an indian and presently working in saudi arabia the topic being claimed is that the quran was burnt let me hold all you people above the burning of quran is made an issue but not what all we muslims are doing in our daily deeds considered as above burning quran every muslim in saudi arabia or egyptian claims to be muslim of the highest creed. let me remind all my muslim brothers in asia we are not considered as muslims by the middle east and for godsake believe me who couldnot help the palestanians cannot help you so please shut your mouths and take life as it comes.a day will come when the purpose of muhammad pbuh will come true.u fight for islam and make a islam racist state and then asia gets converted to middle east. so please stop all this nonsense i am fed up listening |

    January 31, 2010 at 7:35 am | Report abuse |
  12. Disciple of Christ

    First of all l would like to say thank you to The Madhi for his comments and high standards and morals. Secondly, I wanted to say that there is a term in the Islamic book the Qu'ran which represents something that is used by Muslims for deceiving others for the benefit of Islam, the term is Taqiyya. Taqiyya was originally meant to be used for self preservation so as to not be killed for admitting your religious sect of Shi'i from Sunni. However,since then the Qur'anic verse 3:28 is often seen as the primary verse that sanctions deception towards non-Muslims: "Let believers [Muslims] not take infidels [non-Muslims] for friends and allies instead of believers. Whoever does this shall have no relationship left with God—unless you but guard yourselves against them, taking precautions." So if you believe that those evil people calling themselves Holy men of Islam are not going to lie about burning their own Holy book to satisfy their greedy deceitful ways then you are blind to all that matters and have no need to speak further on the topic. Go pray with an open heart and an open mind believing that God will answer your prayers as to the truth of these things and he will give you an answer if you are the pure of heart and seek his will and not your own.

    January 31, 2010 at 1:29 am | Report abuse |
  13. Widowmaker

    Also there is no such thing as Medhi, there is Mehdi, and i am sure you are not a Moslim.

    January 30, 2010 at 11:30 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Widowmaker

    This is answering (The Medhi), You have no clue of what is going on, and if you do not have anything to say regarding this article, then save it. If you can't read Arabic then do not generalize. Your name is Peter and you are descendant of the prophet, hahahaha dude you made my day thank you. Name me one moslim with the name Peter, are you high or drunk. I suggest next time you want to comment, drink some coffee and sober up bro.

    January 30, 2010 at 11:28 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Dan

    Some extremist muslims would burn the koran, and even destroy their own mosques for their political ends, ex: blaming the other side. The majority, the moderates, are generally good and peace-loving people, except they mostly sit on the fence...just in case the extremists win or gain power. They are afraid to act against their own extremists. I never understood allowing someone to shoot missiles from your neighbors house, and then being surprised when their target fires back and hits yours. All that needs to happen for evil to prevail is for good people to do nothing. Welcome to the 21st century.

    January 30, 2010 at 9:54 pm | Report abuse |
  16. The Madhi

    My name is Peter Madhi ibn Allah descendant of the prophet Muhammad. Those of you who claim to be Muslims should only be engaged in peace making conversations. The word Muslim is the ism faahl of sallam which means we are to be peace makers for humankind. If you are not advocating for the rights of all human beings to live freely and peacefully in these forums then do not speak. Speak only what is good, right, fair and just for all humans or I repeat, do not speak.

    January 30, 2010 at 1:53 am | Report abuse |
  17. kazi

    Petar you sir are either badly uneducated or are an idiot. Your correlation of world war II to these mindless religious zombies is hilarious. If Hitler hadn't of been born, Dresden would of remained untouched, but alas he was and the German people embraced the lunacy such as the Taliban have.

    January 29, 2010 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
  18. Ty

    So Bin Laddie is burning his own holy books to put the blame on others?

    So why is most of the Islamic terrorists ploys just really bad lies and set ups a 5 year old could see through?

    January 29, 2010 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
  19. wevern345

    Petar... That is the most one sided and ridiculous statement I have heard this week and that is saying quite a lot. Go back to your history books and stop picking out whatever you want to use to try and prove whatever point you are trying to make. in the US we have a name for people like you...conservatives.

    January 29, 2010 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
  20. wevern345

    Research the Pakistani ISI, and their involvement with the Taliban and Queda. You will find out that religious beliefs have nothing to do with actions such as these. Burning the Quran is just a tool to them. The Taliban, the ISI, and their Pakistani backers, both in and out of the government, are fighting against NATO. Unless the moderate Pakistani's can reclaim a new direction for their country and reign in the ISI, nothing will change. The most recent example of this is Pakistan stopping military action along the border regions. They did this so the Taliban have a place to hide as the build up of US forces drives them from the Afghan provinces.

    January 29, 2010 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
  21. The Madhi

    Most Muslims have no idea how to read Arabic and therefore do not know that the Qur'an only consists of those verses revealed during the month of Ramadan in Mecca. Anything from Medina is not part of the Qur'an because it was not revealed during Ramadan in Mecca. Those fools, Jihadists, cry and die over the Qur'an when they have no idea how to read it and do not understand it. If they understood it they would understand that the prophet Muhammad would love America where freedom of religion is the rule and not the exception. God will bless America, the home of religious freedom.

    January 29, 2010 at 10:24 am | Report abuse |
  22. Petar-Bulgaria

    US air force killed millions of innocent civilian people during WWII.Dresden was -1945-total destroid.Belgrad-1944-(only) 40% destroid with 100 Germans and 10,000 serbian-civilians dead.Sofia-bulgarian capital too.USA and UK were-WWII-allied with the most terrible murder of all times-Stalin-worse than Hitler! USA helped to Stalin to slave East Europa!Who is the biggest terrorist-USA or the talibans??

    January 29, 2010 at 6:16 am | Report abuse |
  23. Sam

    To Ahmed A Elhawary and all you naysayers – you are not here on the ground conducting these patrols so therefore, have NO IDEA what you are saying.

    Answer this: how is it a sack of burned Quarans was found INSIDE a house which was caused by an airstrike, but no other physical evidence around the area supports that "airstrike?" I would think the air munitions would cause significant damage around the the target area, correct?

    You lie and twist the truth to fit your ideology. You're not here on the ground and therefore have no right to comment or make baseless and false allegations against ISAF.

    By the way, the interviews and investigation was done by GIROA and ANA forces, NOT ISAF.

    January 29, 2010 at 3:48 am | Report abuse |
  24. downwithtaliban

    The story is not a story but a fact. They (the taliban and ISI) will go to any extent to impose there sadistic ideas. To be honest i think there idea of burning QURAN (extremely fanatic act) is successful people will not believe the report. Its always easy to blame everyone for your hardship and misery.
    As for Ahmed A Elhawary he needs to read the QURAN rather then relying on other people to tell whats written in it. "Taliban living by it and dying by it" big words but untrue to its very core.
    People please stop refering your words to Quran if you have not read it (in your own language)

    January 29, 2010 at 12:16 am | Report abuse |
  25. The Madhi

    Muslims burned the Holy Qur'an first. The first time the Holy Qur'an was burned took place in the seventh century by the fourth Caliph of Islam – his name was Uthmann. Osama bin Laden is a false prophet of Islam and making such a claim is hypocritical. Beware of what Muslims like Osama bin Laden have to say they do not speak the truth because they do not know or follow the Qur'an.

    January 28, 2010 at 10:31 pm | Report abuse |
  26. bluedenmant

    to: Ahmed A Elhawary (who commented above). Your comments are difficult to stomach. You don't think that men who would force a woman to kneel, dressed in a burqha, to the ground and then use a sword to behead her are above burning the Holy Koran??? How blinded are you, exactly? I'll tell you why the Taliban wouldn't hesitate to do this: "These Jihadist (who)would be happy to die in order to protect the Holy Quran and its principles would not under any circumstance burn, defile, deface, or in any shape or form damage it."....except for one - propaganda. And if you think they don't understand and value that your are not understanding concepts very well. What you also fail to understand is that this is not a war about religion. The Taliban seek power, plain and simple. Same for Al Qaeda. Let's say for argument's sake that you are right. They would die for that book, but not hesitate to kill innocent men, women and children without blinking. Which do you think is the more grievous sin?

    January 28, 2010 at 10:04 pm | Report abuse |
  27. lstro

    I don't doubt this story one bit. I wouldn't put anything past these lying killers. When are muslims and their symphatizers going to wake up and start seeking the truth rather than believing everything they hear. The Taliban and AlQaeda know how easily they can minipulate a reaction from other Muslins so they simply associate it with the Quran. Stop being a puppet to these lies and seek the truth before reacting. Ask yourself how many innocent muslims have been killed by the Taliban or AlQaeda. Where's the outrage there?

    January 28, 2010 at 5:49 pm | Report abuse |
  28. Anonymous

    To those of you who feel Taliban or A-Qaeda would never defile a Q'uran because they are Muslims. They also say they would never kill another Muslim. But holy smoke look again. This is not about religion its about money and power in the name of religion.

    Al-Qaeda and Taliban have been blowing up civilians – Muslims – all over Pakistan and Afghanistan for years. Shoot, their holy saint Osama had his two chief rivals assasinated when they threatened his power base – maybe they weren't Muslims.... Dont fool yourself...

    If burning a Q'uran gave them two minutes of fame causing a riot with local tribesmen they would jump at the chance – they'd burn their mother in a heart beat, Wake up!

    January 28, 2010 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
  29. Muahmmad Alawarah

    I believe the story. The ISI need to GET OUT OF AFGHAN AFFAIRS! NOW! Scumbags. The locals, whoever, are very gullible and will believe the evil clerics that are aligned with the ISI Pigs.

    January 28, 2010 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
  30. kazi

    Plain and simple. The Taliban are living in the wrong century, and they will be defeated because of their archaic lifestyle and beliefs, and yes I believe they would do anything to promote their mindless sick cause.

    January 28, 2010 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
  31. angie786

    This is stupid, a Pakistani would never burn a quran no matter what. This is such bull. They would kill themselves to protect a quran.

    January 28, 2010 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
  32. Ahmed A Elhawary

    So: the Taliban, and Al Qaeda, whose members fight till death in their struggle to keep their puritanical form of Islam burn the Quran. What idiot would belive this? These Jihadist would be happy to die in order to protect the Holy Quran and its principles would not under any circumstance burn, defile, deface, or in any shape or form damage it. They live by it and die by it, for it, and for its teachings. For the "Allied Forces" to claim this is preposterous, downright shameful, and stupid. The people of Afghanistan do not need this act to rile them up against the occupiers; they are angry and will remain as such. Keep throwing money at the rulers and maybe you'll have a more submissive populace under the threat of your military and their own. Are we to belive Karzai and his U.S. financed cronies when in fact they are the infidels, agents, and foriegn sympathiers in Afghanistan. I don't think so!

    January 28, 2010 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Glacier

      If only you had sources and quotes on the ground to back up your baseless rejection of this article, maybe then you would be take more seriously.

      Oh wait... you don't. Otherwise you would have provided them. Open your mind and accept that Al Qaeda and the Taliban are mere political groups fighting for control of the land and people, and they will not hesitate to attain victory (even thought they have lost the ideological battle). You discredit yourself when you espouse your wishful thinking with no credibility all over a message board.

      August 2, 2010 at 6:29 pm | Report abuse |