As deadly demonstrations spread across Afghanistan, American Muslim leaders condemned the violence as well as the Quran-burning by a fundamentalist Christian minister in Florida whose actions were cited as provocation for the killings. …
Terry Jones, 59, who runs the Dove World Outreach Center, held a mock “trial” of the Muslim holy book and burned a copy on March 20. He had threatened to do so last fall, on the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, but backed down.
His actions last month gained little initial notice in the USA until the violence erupted Friday. Thousands of demonstrators in Mazar-i-Sharif overran a United Nations compound, killing seven. On Saturday, nine people were killed when hundreds marched in Kandahar, attacking cars and businesses and confronting security forces. …
Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said Sunday that his Muslim advocacy group tried to ignore Jones because he has a tiny following and is not representative of mainstream American thought. “We believe he’s just in the mode of pure publicity seeking,” Hooper said of Jones. “We’ve purposely downplayed it as much as possible.”
Hooper denounced the violence as “a completely inappropriate reaction” to the Florida preacher.
“Everybody has freedom of speech. In this case, even freedom to do stupid and reprehensible things. But everybody also has the responsibility to act in a way that doesn’t harm others or doesn’t lead to the harm of others,” Hooper said. (More)


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