The murder of seven innocent people in Mazar-i-sharif, followed by violent demonstrations in other parts of Afghanistan over the last few days that have killed at least 17 people, has put Afghanistan back in the news for all the wrong reasons.
This despicable, hate-filled behaviour on the part of protesters is heartbreaking to me not only because of the terrible loss of life that has resulted, but also because I think of all the secular, progressive, liberal-minded Afghans I know and how the outside world’s perception of their country has just plunged further into a conviction that Afghanistan is a dangerous, violent, incorrigible place. In this case, the sad truth is that all the criticism is rightfully directed at Afghanistan: the violent demonstrators in Mazar-i-sharif, Kandahar and other cities, the Afghan Government, the mullahs who incited people to murder, and everyone who excuses the barbarity that took place Friday by citing blasphemy.
By feeding right into a deranged Floridian crackpot’s attempts at provocation, the men who murdered in Mazar have made Terry Jones the disgraceful winner of this ridiculous duel. Jones should have simply been ignored, or perhaps satirized, for the fundamentalist bigot that he is. Instead,...More >>