WASHINGTON, Oct 20 (Reuters) – The United States on Thursday tried to limit damage from television images appearing to show U.S. soldiers burning the corpses of two Taliban fighters in Afghanistan and using the incident for propaganda.
U.S. embassies around the world were told to explain that what people saw in the tape shown on an Australian television report did not reflect the actions of most of the U.S. military or of U.S. values overall, the State Department said.
“I saw the news reports and the video myself. These are very difficult images to see,” said State Department spokesman Sean McCormack, but he insisted they should be seen as isolated incidents.
Muslim-American groups feared the incident could worsen anti-American sentiments in Muslim countries where many people perceive the United States as being culturally insensitive. . .
The Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Washington-based civil rights group, urged the Pentagon to conduct a review of policies and training related to personnel in Muslim countries.
“Given the growing number of such incidents involving American military personnel worldwide, it is imperative that the Pentagon launch a top-to-bottom review of policies and training to help prevent the war on terror from being perceived as a war on Islam,” CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad said in a statement.
Awad said reports of abuses of Muslim prisoners and disregard for Islamic sensitivities in Afghanistan, Iraq and Guantanamo Bay, were harming the image of the United States and serving as recruiting tools for terrorist groups.