The madness continues, with no one daring to label it madness or stand up for the freedom of speech. “Quran protests spread to turbulent Afghan east,” by Rahmat Gul and Rahim Faiez for Associated Press, April 3 (thanks to Block Ness):
JALALABAD, Afghanistan — Demonstrators battled police in southern Afghanistan’s main city on Sunday and took to the streets in the turbulent east for the first time as Western pleas failed to halt a third day of rage over a Florida pastor’s burning of the Quran.
Why only “Western pleas”? Where are the “moderates” pleading with their coreligionists to calm down and trying to attain some semblance of rationality about this?
An officer was shot dead in a second day of clashes in the city of Kandahar, said provincial health director Qayum Pokhla. Two officers and 18 civilians were wounded, he said.
In Jalalabad, the largest city in the east, hundreds of people blocked the main highway for three hours, shouting for U.S. troops to leave, burning an effigy of President Barack Obama and stomping on a drawing of a U.S. flag. More than 1,000 people set tires ablaze to block another highway in eastern Parwan province for about an hour, said provincial police chief Sher Ahmad Maladani.
The violence was set off by anger over the March 20 burning of the Quran by a Florida church “” the same church whose pastor had threatened to do so last year on the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, triggering worldwide outrage….
Thousands of demonstrators in the previously peaceful northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif poured into the streets after Friday’s Muslim prayer services and overran a U.N. compound, killing three U.N. staff members and four Nepalese guards.
On Saturday, hundreds of Afghans holding copies of the Quran over their heads marched in Kandahar before attacking cars and businesses. Security forces opened fire and nine protesters were killed but the governor of Kandahar said officers had only fired into the air. He said 81 were wounded and 17 people, including seven armed men, had been arrested.
Military commander Gen. David Petraeus and the top NATO civilian representative in Afghanistan, Mark Sedwill, said they “hope the Afghan people understand that the actions of a small number of individuals, who have been extremely disrespectful to the holy Quran, are not representative of any of the countries of the international community who are in Afghanistan to help the Afghan people.”
The Taliban said in a statement emailed to media outlets that the U.S. and other Western countries had wrongly excused the burning of the Quran as freedom of speech and that Afghans “cannot accept this un-Islamic act.”…
But the U.S. didn’t excuse the burning of the Qur’an as freedom of speech. It should have, but it didn’t. Obama condemned it as “bigotry” without saying a word about the freedom of speech.