April 4th, 2011
10:22 AM ET

Petraeus condemns Quran burning as protests rage on

Check out CNN.com's Afghanistan Crossroads blog for the latest developments, and our Belief Blog timeline of Terry Jones.

Kabul, Afghanistan (CNN) - Top U.S. officials in Afghanistan on Sunday condemned the burning of a Quran in the United States that sparked three days of protests in which more than 20 people died.

Burning the Muslim holy book "was hateful, it was intolerant and it was extremely disrespectful and again, we condemn it in the strongest manner possible," said Gen. David Petraeus, who heads the U.S.-led international forces in Afghanistan.

U.S. Ambassador Karl Eikenberry said in a statement that Americans respect the Quran "and all religious texts and deplore any action that shows disrespect to any religious faith."

"At the same time, I want to emphasize, as have many Afghan leaders, that to attack and kill innocent people in response to the deplorable act of one individual is outrageous, and an affront to human decency and dignity," Eikenbery's statement said.

Read the full story here about Gen Petraeus' comments on the Quran burning.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Asia • Belief • Christianity • Islam • Quran • Religious violence

soundoff (106 Responses)
  1. quranlearningg

    your post is so good for all muslim, this is very hard to protest for those who burn quran , so must protest against them,
    quran learning

    July 29, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
  2. quranlearningg

    quran learning is the best source to learn all people in the right way, we must protest about those people who want to burn quran, your blog is good to encourging every muslim.

    July 29, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  3. ereadquran

    EQurantutor.com is an online Islamic School for providing online Quran Tutoring service since 2009 that enables you/your kids to learn to read the holy Quran with Tajweed in one to one Quran classes with live Male and Female Quran tutor. Students of all ages ranging from 4 to 70 years can take these Learning Quran classes.
    Our Quran Tutors are focused on the correct pronunciation of Arabic words from day one, so after taking few classes students feel themselves the difference in the reading Quran.

    May 7, 2011 at 12:37 pm |
  4. Muneef

    Burning the Quran in America by a Christian Pastor, reflects to outer world that America is a Christian Country and Accepting such actions as a task of their policy to Islam...this what the uncontrolled misuse of the freedoms of speech generate for the American people and interests abroad...

    Now who knows if this pastor was paid to do such act just to have the American forces be fought as being jihad against those who burned the Holy Quran and who make cartoon animations calling it the Islamic Prophet....

    Such acts of organized insults does not serve any good for the western countries nor it would bring up any presumed peace and trust among nations in or out of America and Europe... There are people who are abusing your freedoms to jeopardize your wide interests in the Islamic World...

    These acts were there only to heat up wars and conflicts into the countries that allowed it and against the foreign troops that are serving in the Islamic world,who are supposedly there to bring peace and fight terror? While Wars and Terrors are exported from their own countries in the name of freedoms of speech rather than (Freedom of Religious Disrespect)...

    Producing and Exporting Weapons, Arms and Equipments of Wars to tyrants and to rebels....then they come with the stories on Human Rights, pretending to cry over the spilled milk....?? With out considering that such weapons would one day turn against them...in their countries or against their troops abroad....!?

    Just wonder what is the actual story and purpose of igniting such acts protecting it under some legality? I know that freedom of speech means you could talk and debate with people....but it is no longer a freedom of speech when there it is to Curse and Insult Peoples freedoms of belief....where is the Moral behind that? Since each freedom has to have a Morality towards bringing people together in to one word of peace and respect...?! What we see today there is not any morality behind it but only to bring more hostility,hate,separation,disrespect and agony...? So it that the Human Rights you been advertising for ? And way is that only practiced against Muslims beliefs? See that the people of the Book already gave up on those making fun of every thing considered Holy to others beliefs...!


    April 7, 2011 at 2:32 pm |
  5. Peter McLenon

    In the past few decades, radical Muslims have committed some violent acts because they felt Islam had been insulted or attacked. These acts ranged from violent riots against Salman Rushdie for writing Satanic Verses to violent riots as a response to U.S. soldiers insulting the Quran.

    The aggressive Muslim reaction after the publishing of Prophet Muhammad cartoons by the Jyllands-Posten newspaper in Denmark is another well-known example of the Muslim world reactions.

    Sadly, these acts of violence have resulted in devastating consequences including burning churches and killing many innocent souls.

    All this violence leads to the question that many have raised: Are these violent reactions the result of Islamic teaching itself?

    The answer to this question is that the reaction depends largely on the sources used by a particular follower and his understanding of the religious text.

    The following are a few examples to illustrate how a Muslim's response to insulting Islam can vary depending on the religious references used:

    Option 1: A Muslim who mainly follows the Quran and does not believe in abrogation of the verses is likely to be forgiving if Islam or the prophet is insulted.

    This is because the Quran never mentions any punishment for insulting Islam. In addition, the Quran in more than one verse clearly states that a Muslim can only avoid sitting with those who insult the religion during the time of insult and that he is permitted to interact normally with them at any other time (see Quran 4:140, 6:68).

    In fact the Quran, in another verse, mentions clearly the concept of insulting Allah himself without approving or justifying any violent reaction to this (see Quran 6:108).

    Option 2: If a Muslim believes in abrogation of the verses as described in many traditional and approved Islamic books, he may consider that the above peaceful verses were revealed only when Muslims were weak and that it has been abrogated later on by violent text (such as Quran 2: 193). (Note: A complex theological analysis and interpretation is needed to explain how to understand the above verses in a way that produces a net outcome of peace rather than violence.)

    Option 3: Another Muslim who strictly follows the Hadith and Sunna books (non-Quranic sources for Islam) may justify the angry and violent reactions to insulting Islam.

    The story of Prophet Muhammad ordering his men to kill the poet Asma bint Marwan for criticizing him (See Ibn Ishaq's "Sirah Rasul Allah") is an example of this type of violence. In such a case, a sincere follower of the prophet (as described in these sources) may do crimes, in the name of the religion, if someone insulted the prophet.

    Option 4: Muslims who follow the current mainstream Islamic jurisprudence books can also justify barbaric reactions to insulting Islam through the well-known rule in Islamic jurisprudence. This rule justifies killing those who insult the prophet or Islam (see, as an example, "Minhaj al-Muslim" by Abu-Bakr Al-Jazarry Volume :2 Page 525).

    The Muslim world has to choose between the above ways or options of understanding Islam.

    Understanding the religion and teaching it as described in Option 1 can prevent many violent acts by Muslims in the future. Ironically enough; the peaceful Muslims or the Muslims who do not use violence against those who insult Islam, are the ones who do not apply the mainstream Islamic teaching and Shariah properly!

    The Muslim world needs to learn that Islam will be perceived by others as Muslims portray it.

    If Shariah justifies killing a human soul because he or she insulted the Prophet Muhammad or insulted Islam, then the Muslim world must not expect others to call Islam a peaceful religion and Westerners must not expect the outcome of this teaching to be anything but violence and barbarism.

    When the Muslim world changes its teaching and understanding of the religion to promote forgiveness for those who insult the religion (as described in Option 1) then and only then can Muslims demand that "Islam is the religion of peace."

    Reference: http://tinyurl.com/3q7ycwh

    April 6, 2011 at 8:46 am |
    • Reality

      The solution:

      The Five Steps To Deprogram 1400 Years of Islamic Myths:

      ( –The Steps take less than two minutes to finish- simply amazing, two minutes to bring peace and rationality to over one billion lost souls- Priceless!!!)

      Are you ready?

      Using "The 77 Branches of Islamic "faith" a collection compiled by Imam Bayhaqi as a starting point. In it, he explains the essential virtues that reflect true "faith" (iman) through related Qur’anic verses and Prophetic sayings." i.e. a nice summary of the Koran and Islamic beliefs.

      The First Five of the 77 Branches:

      "1. Belief in Allah"

      aka as God, Yahweh, Zeus, Jehovah, Mother Nature, etc. should be added to your cleansing neurons.

      "2. To believe that everything other than Allah was non-existent. Thereafter, Allah Most High created these things and subsequently they came into existence."

      Evolution and the Big Bang or the "Gi-b G-nab" (when the universe starts to recycle) are more plausible and the "akas" for Allah should be included if you continue to be a "crea-tionist".

      "3. To believe in the existence of angels."

      A major item for neuron cleansing. Angels/de-vils are the mythical creations of ancient civilizations, e.g. Hitt-ites, to explain/define natural events, contacts with their gods, big birds, sudden winds, protectors during the dark nights, etc. No "pretty/ug-ly wingy thingies" ever visited or talked to Mohammed, Jesus, Mary or Joseph or Joe Smith. Today we would classify angels as f–airies and "tin–ker be-lls". Modern de-vils are classified as the de-mons of the de-mented.

      "4. To believe that all the heavenly books that were sent to the different prophets are true. However, apart from the Quran, all other books are not valid anymore."

      Another major item to delete. There are no books written in the spirit state of Heaven (if there is one) just as there are no angels to write/publish/distribute them. The Koran, OT, NT etc. are simply books written by humans for humans.

      Prophets were invented by ancient scribes typically to keep the un-educated masses in line. Today we call them for-tune tellers.

      Prophecies are also invali-dated by the natural/God/Allah gifts of Free Will and Future.

      "5. To believe that all the prophets are true. However, we are commanded to follow the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) alone."

      Mohammed spent thirty days "fasting" (the Ramadan legend) in a hot cave before his first contact with Allah aka God etc. via a "pretty wingy thingy". Common sense demands a neuron deletion of #5. #5 is also the major source of Islamic vi-olence i.e. turning Mohammed's "fast, hunger-driven" hallu-cinations into horrible reality for unbelievers.

      Walk these Five Steps and we guarantee a complete recovery from your Islamic ways!!!!

      Unfortunately, there are not many Muslim commentators/readers on this blog so the "two-minute" cure is not getting to those who need it. If you have a Muslim friend, send him a copy and help save the world.

      Analogous steps are available for deprogramming the myths of Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism and Paganism at your request.

      April 6, 2011 at 1:26 pm |
  6. Peter McLenon

    If you think that only the Qur'an contains violence, consider the following verses from the Bible:

    -Ezekiel 9:6 "Slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women . . . "
    -Isaiah 13:16 "Their children also shall be dashed to pieces before their eyes; their houses shall be spoiled, and their wives ravished."
    -Deuteronomy 13:15 "Thou shalt surely smite the inhabitants of that city with the edge of the sword, destroying it utterly . . . "
    -Leviticus 20:9 "For every one that curseth his father or his mother shall be surely put to death . . . "
    -Exodus 31:15 " . . . whosoever doeth any work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death."
    -Deut 21:21 "And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die . . . " – copied

    April 6, 2011 at 7:48 am |
  7. Peter McLenon

    Terry Jones should be tried and sentenced to life in prison where he can burn as many Qur'ans as he wishes (I am sure he will be allowed to do so by the prison warden and guards, because 99.999999 of Americans love to see the Qur'an being burned. This is because they never tried to read the Qur'an and always associate it with hate, terrorism and murder, which is sheer ignorance).

    April 6, 2011 at 7:38 am |
  8. Thomas Klimchuk

    To the muslums there is only one true religon and that is islam period no matter what they say

    April 6, 2011 at 7:16 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.