Category Archives: Tension in the Middle East

Bible Burning vs Koran Burning

Hmmm – Do you remember how many people were attacked in retaliation when Iran burned 6,500 Bibles last august? Oh yea, none! Nobody killed, nobody attacked… nothing!

How about the “Thank You’s” from the Muslim community when the U.S. military voluntarily destroyed hundreds of bibles that had been printed in the two most common Afghan languages and sent to the Bagram Air Base unsolicited with notes to distribute them to the locals? None that I can find, but it does look like the army got accused of doing it to cover up their own attempts to convert locals.

And it looks like when people burn the Torah, the Jewish community simply condemns the act, without the need for violent reaction.

But the US military burning a couple of Koran books that were “removed from a detainee center’s library because they had ‘extremist inscriptions’ on them and there was ‘an appearance that these documents were being used to facilitate extremist communications” leads to the death of 2 soldiers and 4 civilian, plus injuries to more than 50 people during 5 days of rioting. Is it just me, or does this seems like some severe over-reacting by people who do not seem capable of handling these types of things like adults?


Iran Burning Bibles
US Burning Bibles in Afghan Language
Torah Burning
Deaths in Retaliation for Burning the Koran

U.S. outrage as Egypt bars Americans from leaving | Reuters

U.S. outrage as Egypt bars Americans from leaving | Reuters

Am I the only person who’s nervous about this?  Now that they’ve decided to not let American’s leave Egypt, what could go wrong?  I’ll just keep trying to pretend everything’s okay and this is just in my head.  Sometimes I wish I could just go back to sleep, like so many Americans, and just decide this doesn’t mean anything.  It doesn’t, does it?

Here’s the article from Reuters:

By Patrick Werr and Tom Perry

CAIRO | Thu Jan 26, 2012 5:29pm EST

(Reuters) – Six Americans working for publicly funded U.S. organizations promoting democracy in Egypt have been barred from leaving the country, provoking angry demands in Washington that Cairo’s new military rulers stop “endangering American lives”.

Among those hit by travel bans – one of those targeted called it “de facto detention” – is a son of U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, as well as other foreign staffers of the International Republican Institute and National Democratic Institute, officials at the two organizations said.

The United States said Egypt should reverse them: “We are urging the government of Egypt to lift these restrictions immediately and allow these folks to come home as soon as possible,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said.

“We are trying to get them free to travel as soon as possible, and we’re hopeful that we can resolve this in coming days,” she said.

A month after police raided the Cairo offices of the IRI, NDI and eight other non-governmental organizations, it raises the stakes for Washington, which had already indicated it may review the $1.3 billion it gives the Egyptian military each year if the probe into alleged breaches of local regulations went on.

Some see it as a poor omen for Egypt’s fledgling democracy following last year’s overthrow of Hosni Mubarak.

John McCain, the leading Republican senator who chairs the IRI, voiced “alarm and outrage” at a “new and disturbing turn” which included a travel ban on Sam LaHood, the group’s Egypt director.

The younger LaHood said he was stopped at Cairo airport on Saturday and prevented from boarding a flight out.

McCain, in a statement referring to Egypt’s ruling military council, said: “I call on the Egyptian government and the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces to cease the harassment and unwarranted investigations of American NGOs operating in Egypt.

“This crisis has escalated to the point that it now endangers the lives of American citizens and could set back the long-standing partnership between the United States and Egypt.”

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