April 7th, 2011
08:17 AM ET

Protesters in Kabul: 'Death to America'

A demonstration in Kabul on Thursday over the burning of a Quran by a U.S. pastor was peaceful, even if the rhetoric from protesters was not.

"The protesters were calling 'Death to America,' 'Death to Obama,'" protest organizer Abdul Fatah Jawad told CNN. "(W)e blame Terry Jones for his action (but) we also believe that American government is behind this burning of the Quran."

"Also, we have sent an official letter to the Afghan government demanding Terry Jones be sent to court in one of the Islamic countries for punishment," Jawad said.

The organizer said teachers, students and ordinary Afghans took part in the demonstration while police kept an eye.

Hashmutullah Stanekzai, spokesman for the Kabul police, confirmed that the demonstration was peaceful. He said about 100 police were deployed to monitor protesters, who numbered around 500, and that they went home after about an hour.

On Tuesday, 1,000 people demonstrated without incident amid a heavy police presence, said Kabul City police official Abdullah Mahboob.

This week's demonstrations marked a contrast with earlier protests, some of which turned deadly.

On Sunday, police and stone-throwing demonstrators clashed in Kandahar with as many as three people killed in the violence.

At least nine people were killed and 73 injured in Kandahar on Saturday, and 12 people died Friday - including seven U.N. employees - when angry demonstrators stormed a U.N. compound in Mazar-e Sharif.

The demonstrations were sparked by the actions of controversial Florida pastor Terry Jones, who presided over what he called a trial of the Quran on March 20.

The holy book of Islam was "found guilty" by members of Jones' tiny church and burned, according to a release posted on the church's website.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai strongly condemned the burning as did various U.S. officials, including U.S. President Barack Obama.

"The desecration of any holy text ... is an act of extreme intolerance and bigotry," he said Saturday in a statement released by the White House. "However, to attack and kill innocent people in response is outrageous, and an affront to human decency and dignity."

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Filed under: Daily Developments
soundoff (6 Responses)
  1. MoHam

    These s hit heads has to redo the whole thing again. Because the brave woman on the planet Ann Barnhardt use Bacon as bookmark for Quran and burn it page by page. Go Afghans! Go and Behead yourselves and leave the peace!

    http://pajamasmedia.com/rogerkimball/2011/04/06/ann-barnhardt-culture-hero/?singlepage=true

    April 7, 2011 at 10:52 am | Report abuse |
  2. milsyman

    you no what u.s will win and chinas on its way to help kill u soon

    April 7, 2011 at 10:08 am | Report abuse |
  3. salerno

    These protests are the real face of the Afghan people. They are against the US, even those who do not support the Taliban.

    April 7, 2011 at 9:10 am | Report abuse |
  4. andrew lubin

    difficult to explain freedom of speech to a country that has none. And if a riot broke out in this country as a result of Jones's deliberate actions, could he be charged with inciting a riot, or deliberate manslaughter? A shame this moron suffers no consiquences for his actions.

    April 7, 2011 at 8:23 am | Report abuse |
    • cput

      Terry Jones has a 2.4 million dollar bounty on his head. I doubt he will be with us much longer. Not that I feel bad.... He is an idiot a moron for being the instigator in all of this.

      April 7, 2011 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |