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Published in the 1-15 June 2005 print edition of MG; send me the print edition

Strong reaction to desecration of Qur'an throughout the Muslim world 

The Milli Gazette Online

New Delhi: There is strong reaction throughout the country and also in many other Muslim countries of the world against the alleged desecration of Holy Qur’an by American interrogators in Guantanamo Bay, the American military base near Cuba where Afghan and other prisoners of the Afghan war are imprisoned. American magazine Newsweek in its 9 May issue had carried the news that some of the American interrogators had placed the holy Qur’an on the toilet seat and at least one copy of the Holy Book was torn into pieces and flushed out in the toilet.

Mumbai in Mumbai, 20 May

Mumbai in Mumbai, 20 May

This news created a wave of extreme anger and hatred against American government among Muslims all over the world. In one of the first such incidents demonstrations were taken out in Faizabad, capital of Badakhshan province of Afghanistan. The demonstration took a violent turn resulting in firing by authorities in which at least 16 demonstrators died and more than hundred died. Thereafter, as news spread in other countries, angry demonstrations against Americans took place. There is already resentment against America among Muslims all over the Islamic world over American aggressive policies in Afghanistan and Iraq. This news added full to fire.
In India virtually all Muslim organisations in different cities took out angry demonstrations, held protest meetings where the alleged incident of desecration of Holy Qur’an was strongly condemned by speakers. In Delhi Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid, Maulana Ahmad Bokhari, Jamiatul Ulama president Maulana As’ad Madni and many other leaders and intellectuals strongly condemned this incident and demanded an apology from President Bush personally, that such incidents are never repeated in future and strong action against the guilty officers.

All India Muslim Personal Law Board convenor and chairman of Himanchal Pradesh Hajj Committee, Maulana Mumtaz Ahmad Qasmi in addition to condemning the shameful incident asked America to tender an unconditional apology and give exemplary punishment to those responsible for this desecration. General Secretary of All India Muslim Majlis Mushawarat, Maulana Amiduz Zaman Kairanvi, while strongly condemning this shameful act on the part of American interrogators said that this criminal act and American, oppression and reign of terror in Afghanistan and Iraq has made it clear that America in addition to being a super power is also a super terrorist state.

New Delhi: Imam Ahmad Bukhari leading demonsrtation on 20 May

In Mumbai three Muslim organisations ie All India Sunni Jamiatul Ulama, Raza Academy and Sunni Tablighi Jama’at have decided to take out a protest demonstration in the city on 20 May. This was announced on 12 May by general secretary of Raza Academy, Mohammad Syeed Noori who said that his organisation has strongly protested against this to the American and British Counsellors offices here. He also demanded the central government to take up this sensitive case with the American government in all seriousness. 

In Amroha also angry demonstrations were organised against desecration of Qur’an by American military officers, anti-American slogans were raised and effigy of American President Bush was burnt. In Jammu angry demonstrators raised anti-American slogans in Doda. A resolution was passed in Doda Jama Masjid in which central government was requested to take up this case with American government at official level.

In Kolkata also demonstrations and meetings were held to strongly condemn desecration of Qur’an. Speakers advised Muslims to write and send post cards to American embassy and other offices to express their strong resentment over this incident. 

In Bhopal and many other cities of Madhya Pradesh such protest meetings and demonstrations took place. Prominent religious scholar, Maulana Rehan Khan Nadwi Azhari, Prof (Dr) Hamidulla Nadwi of Bhopal University and others strongly condemned such activities. Prominent Shia scholar Maulana Manzar Aarfi while condemning such incident said that by doing so American army personnel are brining infamy to their country. In Tanda (UP) Jamiatul Huffaz president, Qari Mohammad Naeem warned America to stop insulting Islam in this and other ways or else be prepared for God’s wrath. 

Similar demonstrations have also been held in other Muslim countries like Afghanistan, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and other countries. Organisation of Islamic Conference which represents 57 Islamic countries in a letter to American Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has expressed its surprise and shock over this incident. Even the pro-American President Of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai has publicly blamed American soldiers in Afghanistan to provoke the demonstrators in that country.

In Delhi American Embassy official Robert Blake while expressing his regrets over this incident has stated that American government is investigating the matter and if proved true, action will be taken against those found guilty.
American Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice while testifying before the American Senate directly spoke to Muslims in American and throughout the world over this incident, condemned the acts of disrespect to the Holy Qur’an and promised appropriate action if the allegations of desecration of Qur’an are proven to be true.

It may however be stated in this connection that all such efforts by the American Embassy and American Secretary of State to mollify Muslims resentment all over the world appear to be simply an eye -wash because such incidents of desecrating Qur’an by trampling it under feet and even urinating on it in the presence of prisoners all of whom are Muslims have been taking place frequently in Guantanamo Bay Jail and, though blacked out by most of the American media, are being reported in other countries of the world from time to time. It may be naïve to presume that those who are now promising to investigate the matter and to take action against the accused persons if found guilty are really unaware of these incidents. 

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