Wingnut Pastor’s Koran-Burning Gets UN Staffers Killed

This is horrible.

Protesters angered by the burning of a Koran by a fringe American pastor in Florida mobbed offices of the United Nations in northern Afghanistan on Friday, killing ten foreign staff members and beheading two of the victims, according to an Afghan police spokesman. Five Afghans were also killed.

The attack began when hundreds of demonstrators, some of them armed, poured out of mosques after Friday Prayer and headed to the headquarters of the United Nations in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif. They disarmed the guards and overran the compound, according to Lal Mohammad Ahmadzai, spokesman for Gen. Daoud Daoud, the Afghan National Police commander for northern Afghanistan.

A spokesman for the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, Kieran Dwyer, said the attack had occurred during a demonstration. “We can confirm there have been casualties, including U.N. personnel, but the situation on the ground remains very confusing,” he said.

The hate industry in this country seems to believe they can fear-monger against Muslims here with no repercussions elsewhere.

It turns out, the globe is not that small.

  1. earlofhuntingdon says:

    When you don’t care about the world beyond yourself, except to incorporate it into your will, it makes no difference what happens to anyone but you.

  2. Skilly says:

    I am thinking this whole thing is a bit weird. This one does not pass the smell test. Jones is clearly a provocateur. He and his machine/church are exercising their free speech rights, whether it is intelligent to do so or not. But, to kill UN workers on this basis alone….I am not buying this as the reason for the attack.

    “We can confirm there have been casualties, including U.N. personnel, but the situation on the ground remains very confusing,” he said. He added that Staffan de Mistura, the top United Nations official in Afghanistan, was en route to Mazar-i-Sharif.

    Tolo TV news in Kabul reported that the head (emphasis not in original) of the United Nations mission in the city was among the victims, but that could not be confirmed.”

    What an odd choice of language where beheading has been alleged? I agree it is horrible and completely “unbelievable” response to a known wing nut.

  3. michtom says:

    That there are many ignorant, hateful people in this country is in disputable. That this particular jackass is at fault for the violence is not something I would ever agree with. That’s one of the many problems with sanctifying something: a book, an image, a flag, Ronald Reagan.

  4. skdadl says:

    manys and reader, I third the thought.

    I don’t find this hard to believe at all. People at Mazar-i-Sharif haven’t the faintest clue who the pastor is or how fringe-ish he is. They just know he’s an American; Americans are in their country, killing Afghans; and now disrespect for the Koran is added to that. It’s called adding insult to injury.

    • manys says:

      Indeed, it seems reasonable that some over there would blame all Americans for the actions of one (or a few) in a mirror-image of those here who think all Muslims are terrorists.

      • Peterr says:

        One (or a few)? I hear a non-trivial number of general negative views of Muslims expressed by various GOP politicians, rightwing radio hosts, and others. When you add in Abu Ghraib and Gitmo, it’s not just reasonable, but to be expected.

        • manys says:

          Yep, the number of people who actually do these things in reality pales compared to the social support their views get. This is why I shy away from echo-chamber websites, especially those I would otherwise agree with.

  5. Jim White says:

    It brings me great pain that this evil was carried out only a few miles from my home. But I would point out that last September, when Jones was first threatening this action, clergy from the Gainesville area gathered to speak out in opposition to Jones. Video from that press conference can be seen here.

    And something good did come of that gathering. This is from the March newsletter for United Church of Gainesville, from the column written by Associate Pastor Andy Bachmann:

    I have a sneaky suspicion that March is going to be a wild ride. First off, as I write this we are only $3,900 away from having the $65,000 committed to build our Interfaith Habitat Project. This has been a real labor of love for me since that September morning we gathered before the steps of City Hall, in opposition to the Dove World planned Qur’an burning. I still remember leaning over to a man who would quickly become a good friend, Sartaj Baban, saying, “You know, wouldn’t it be cool if we could turn all this goodwill into action?”

    Soon after that the new Executive Director for our Alachua Habitat for Humanity walked into my office to introduce himself, and see if UCG might be interested in taking on another Habitat home in the near future. It turns out that Executive Director was our very own, Scott Winzeler. Light bulbs went off in our heads, and suddenly the dream of building an Interfaith Habitat home began to take shape.

    Here we are, almost 6 months later, and that dream is becoming a reality. 17 faith communities have signed on and committed money and volunteers to our cause. And we anticipate we will be able to begin building within the next 6 weeks. . . . So look for some exciting opportunities for volunteering with our new Habitat house very soon.

  6. Argonaut says:

    Pastor Jones is a douche-nozzle, no question. But this event, if true, is such a Gordian knot of misdirected rage that you really can’t call him more than a minor contributor. We have already done so much to provoke such a reaction he can’t be any more than a spark over a barrel of gasoline. I mean, the UN?? I suppose there are other targets less connected to Pastor Jones (no doubt one of his core principles is Get The US Out of the UN), but wow. If the mob had gone after a US military base, or a band of US missionaries, or burned a church maybe we could lay this closer to Jones’ door.

    • PJEvans says:

      Fine, we’ll let you deal with the reaction when some lunatic extremist elsewhere burns Bibles and makes sure that it gets world-wide publicity, particularly in places where the local extremist Christians will hear about it.

  7. PJEvans says:

    I read one report, at Digby’s, that local clerics were driving around yesterday telling people about it over loudspeakers.