General David Petraeus has warned that the scheduled plans by an American church to burn copies of the holy Quran would endanger the lives of US troops.
"Images of the burning of a Quran would undoubtedly be used by extremists in Afghanistan — and around the world — to inflame public opinion and incite violence".
The Florida based Dove World Outreach centre had planned to burn copies of the Quran the Muslims holy book which is expected to be treated with the utmost respect, on the church's grounds to mark the alleged September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks which provoked the United States war on Afghanistan.
Petraeus ascertained that if images of burning the Quran are circulated it would definitely be used to incite anti-American sentiment just as it had a few years ago with the publishing of pictures of prisoners in Abu Ghraeib.
"I am very concerned by the potential repercussions of the possible (Quran) burning. Even the rumor that it might take place has sparked demonstrations such as the one that took place in Kabul yesterday," Petraeus said in his message. "Were the actual burning to take place, the safety of our soldiers and civilians would be put in jeopardy and accomplishment of the mission would be made more difficult".
Hundreds of Afghans rallied outside a Kabul mosque, where American flags were burnt amid chanted slogans calling death to America with an image of the Dove World's pastor hung. Crowds hurled stones at a passing US convoy but were ordered to stop by rally organizers.
Indonesia also witnessed angry crowds also protesting in front of the US embassy in Jakarta because of the plans where the US condemned the plans in a statement stressing it was "deeply concerned about deliberate attempts to offend members of religious or ethnic groups".
Dove World Outreach Center has been denied permits to set up a bonfire however it has vowed to go on as planned. A Facebook page has been devoted especially for the upcoming event by its supporters. This is not the first account of anti-Islam attacks where last year the church distributed t-shirts with Islam is of the devil printed on it.
Related, Iran expressed concerns regarding the plans stressing it could lead to an uncontrolled Muslim response. Where Foreign Minister quoted:
"We advise Western countries to prevent the exploitation of freedom of expression to insult religious sanctities, otherwise the emotions of Muslim nations cannot be controlled".
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