Posted on | april 4, 2011 | No Comments

Beginning on 1 April 2011, anti-American and anti-west riots erupted in Afghanistan after Florida Pastor Terry Jones burned the Koran as he had threatened to do on a number of occasions and was only stopped owing to high level US intervention. At least eleven other Muslim countries joined the anti-US demonstrations, but it is in Afghanistan where nine have been killed and a few dozen injured amid the rage.

Naturally, one must consider that it is in Afghanistan that the US is operating with death squads that have been killing civilians in the name of freedom and democracy. The people of Afghanistan know very well that at any time they can be target practice for death squads either on the ground or by air, and they connect Koran burning with the death squads.

Last September I addressed the issue of the Koran burning, noting that there are close to one million web sites devoted to Burn the Koran Day and the Florida group and its affiliates is running slogans like the following:

“Christianity – the religion of redemption and forgiveness v. Islam – the religion of terrorism!
“The Dove World Outreach Center, a non-denominational church in Gainesville, Florida, will celebrate “Burn the Koran” day on September 11. Terry Jones, pastor of the church, says the burnings will be held on church grounds “in remembrance of the fallen victims of 9/11 and to stand against the evil of Islam. Islam is of the devil! On its website, The Dove World Outreach Center sells ‘Islam is of the Devil’ T-shirts.”

That many Christian and Jewish leaders have spoken out against Koran burning is meaningless because the US and NATO continuing to use Afghanistan as their war camp where civilians are potential targets. Muslims throughout the world know that a segment of Americans and Westerners treats Islam as a religion of the Devil because US and NATO treat the people as targets in a shooting gallery. Hiding behind the First Amendment, no matter that “religious” words and actions promote hate crimes against another monotheistic religion and its followers, anti-Islam elements burning the Koran or writing against Muslim countries on a daily basis are the face of the death squads killing children, women and unarmed men in Afghanistan.

In September 2010, Secretary of State Clinton and NATO secretary-general Anders Fogh Rasmusen, and world leaders pleaded with pastor Terry Jones not to go through with the burning on 9/11 as a protest for the plans of American Muslims to build a mosque in New York. He agreed but promised to return for a second round, and he has. Just as the US is hiding behind ‘war on terrorism’ rhetoric and the campaign to bring freedom and democracy to Afghanistan, those inciting hate crimes in the US are hiding behind the First Amendment and enjoy the full protection of government that would have prosecuted them if they were Muslims inciting anti-Christian hate crimes. In such a hypothetical case, all Muslim suspects would be investigated, interrogated and imprisoned with a delayed trial under the US Patriot Act.

Religious hate crime in the US has risen sharply in the last decade. Hate is a moral issue, if the authorities choose to define it as such–as in the case of a Christian pastor in Florida who invites publicity by the Koran’s burning. Laws defined politically as in this case, are not enforceable. Politicians who laid the foundations for the atmosphere of hate crimes in direct and subtle forms through foreign and domestic policies that are detrimental to a particular religious group are now asking for religious tolerance for a very specific case.

Last September, I noted that the anti-Islam trend in the US would invite violence from Muslims who see that the US has troops in two Muslim countries. Today, the US and NATO have added a third Muslim country to their war list. Eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth is an ancient dogma that sinister leaders and faithful followers of the three monotheistic religions pursue because their leaders live by the sword. That the US had contracted death squads to kill civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan is just as significant that it permits hate speech and acts at the expense of Islam.

AUTHOR: Jon Kofas
E-MAIL: jonkofas [at]


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