Newsweek most likely got it wrong, and people are being killed in Afghanistan. And lots of folks are angry - at Newsweek. As for me, I tend to agree with Michael Demmons that such ire is misdirected [emphasis in original]:
You really have to wonder what kind of a barbaric people would react this way to the Newsweek story. Really. Newsweek deserves to be punished. But are they really responsible for deaths here? I mean, if I insulted the schoolyard bully, and he stabbed me for it, is it my own fault? I might have instigated the aggression, but I’m not going to be held responsible for my own death - even if I knew about the bully’s dangerous temper.
Newsweek made an egregious error in reporting. Whether it was intentional or not, they are not the ones who went on a killing spree. It is a people incapable of rational thought that caused the death and destruction over there. It was animals who are so religiously fanatical that they believe it’s worth it to kill, maim, burn and pillage because of a story in a magazine.
Ahmed's comments came a day after Pakistan's President Gen. Pervez Musharraf and Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz, both allies of Washington, demanded an investigation and punishment for those behind the reported desecration of the Quran.
Investigation and punishment? In America, destroying a Koran, or a Bible, or an American flag is not illegal. I would hope that someone important explains - politely, diplomatically, and firmly - to Musharraf and others, that punishing someone for flushing a book, no matter how holy some may regard it, is something that is just not done here. And something even *less* likely to happen is our handing anyone over to some religious tribunal:
The [Shoura] council warned against hurting the feelings of the world’s1.5 billion Muslims and emphasized the importance of respecting the religious faiths and beliefs of other people to avoid conflicts. “Islam is a great religion with a large number of followers all over the world and is known for its long history and humane and just teachings,” the statement said. [...]
In Afghanistan, a group of clerics threatened to call for a holy war against the United States in three days unless it handed over military interrogators who are reported to have desecrated the Qur’an.
That's a "humane and just" group of clerics, I'm sure. You know, America is often accused of not understanding and respecting other cultures, but it's clear to me that others often fail to understand and respect us as well.