2/27/2012

Analyst: US Testing Afghans' Religious Sensitivity through Quran Burning

TEHRAN (FNA)- A senior Afghan analyst said that the US soldiers' recent provocative act and desecration of the Holy Quran was a move by the US to test the threshold of the Afghan people's sensitivity to their religious values.

"A clandestine conspiracy is underway by the Americans who want to assess the religious sensitivity of the Afghan people," Vahid Mojdeh told FNA on Sunday.

He pointed to the Afghan people's reaction to the burning of the Holy Quran by a US pastor in Florida last year, which led to wide-scale protests in Afghan cities and the killing of some foreign nationals in Mazar Sharif, and asked, "How could Americans have forgotten the Afghan people's reaction?"

Mojdeh stressed that the US is studying the effects of its decade-long presence in Afghanistan, and said moves like insult to the Holy Quran are actually "an effort by the US to asses the extent of the West's influence in Afghanistan".

On Sunday, Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai called for calm in a televised address to the nation after the burning of Qurans at a US base sparked five days of violent protests.

He told the Afghan people that the Quran burnings are being investigated, and asked them to wait for the results of that investigation.

Meantime, a senior Afghan politician said trying the US soldiers involved in the burning of the Holy Quran at the Bagram air base in an Afghan court is the only way to appease the Afghan people's wrath.

"A mere probe or investigating the elements behind the act (burning Quran) will not relieve the Afghan people's pain and they should be punished in an Afghan court," Secretary-General of the Afghan National Welfare Party Mohammad Hassan Jafari told FNA on Saturday.

"We ask the Afghan government to prepare the necessary conditions for the trial of these soldiers on Afghanistan's soil," Jafari noted.

At least 25 people have been killed and hundreds wounded since Tuesday, when it first emerged that copies of Quran and religious materials had been thrown into a fire pit used to burn garbage at Bagram Air Field.