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Taliban Incite Afghans to Kill ‘Crusaders’ Over Koran Burning

Taliban Incite Afghans to Kill ‘Crusaders’ Over Koran Burning

Photo by US Army Private First Class Pedro Amador. Rangers from 1st Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, as part of a combined Afghan and Coalition security force operating in Ghazni province, Afghanistan, await a CH-47 for extraction.

Bill Roggio
23rd February 2012 - The Long War Journal

The Taliban have urged all Afghans to move beyond "mere protests" and attack US military personnel throughout the country for burning copies of the Koran. The Taliban's call has been echoed by some members of parliament.

"We should not be satisfied with mere protests and empty slogans but the military bases of the invaders, their military convoys and their troops should become a target of our courageous attacks," said a statement that was released today on Voice of Jihad, the Taliban's official website, and signed by the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.

"Kill them, beat them, take them as prisoners and teach them such a lesson that they never summon the courage to abuse the Holy Quran again," the statement continued.

"The target of revenge of the protestors should only be the American occupiers, their facilities and properties and not those of the ordinary people," the Taliban said.

The Taliban statement also urged Afghans to target members of the Afghan government and security forces who protect NATO forces during protests. The Taliban described these Afghans as "the despicable backers of the invaders who have turned a blind eye towards the unforgiving crime of the infidels due to their cowardice and as defense of them...."

Finally, the Taliban urged "all the Muslims of the world, their governments and people, religious officials of the two sacred mosques [Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia] and the religious centers of Darul Uloom Deoband [in India] and Al Azhar [in Egypt], as part of their religious obligation and fervor to take a united stand against the desecration of our common book by the American aggressors. Condemn their unforgivable crime both practically and verbally and back the legitimate struggle of the Muslim Afghans against them."

The Taliban's incitement to attack US forces takes place as the terror group is negotiating with the US to reach a political settlement to the Afghan war. But Zahibullah Mujahid, the Taliban's official spokesman, told AFP that the call to attack US forces will not impede negotiations.

"We condemn the desecration of the Holy Koran in the strongest terms, but this issue will not affect this process in Qatar," Mujahid said.

Some members of the Afghan parliament have echoed the Taliban's rhetoric and urged Afghans to wage "jihad" against the "invaders."

"Americans are invaders, and jihad against Americans is an obligation," said Abdul Sattar Khawasi, a member of parliament from Parwan province, The New York Times reported. The Koran-burning incident took place at Bagram airbase in Parwan.

"Standing with about 20 other members of Parliament, Mr. Khawasi called on mullahs and religious leaders 'to urge the people from the pulpit to wage jihad against Americans,'" The New York Times article stated.

During the three days since the incident, protests have spread throughout Afghanistan, and a number of them have been violent, according to Reuters. In Nangarhar province, an Afghan soldier shot and killed two US soldiers and wounded two others, Tolo News reported.

Tags

afghanistan, afpak, isaf, nato, taliban