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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
05DHAKA2602
2005-06-06 06:20:00
UNCLASSIFIED
Embassy Dhaka
Cable title:  

Media Reaction: Koran Desecration; Dhaka

Tags:   KMDR  OIIP  OPRC  KPAO  PREL  ETRD  PTER  ASEC  BG  OCII 
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This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
						
					
UNCLAS DHAKA 002602

SIPDIS

FOR I/FW, B/G, IIP/G/NEA-SA, B/VOA/N (BANGLA SERVICE) STATE
FOR SA/PAB, SA/PPD (LSCENSNY, SSTRYKER), SA/RA, INR/R/MR,
AND PASS TO USAID FOR ANE/ASIA/SA/B (WJOHNSON)

CINCPAC FOR PUBLIC DIPLOMACY ADVISOR, J51 (MAJ TURNER), J45
(MAJ NICHOLLS)

USARPAC FOR APOP-IM (MAJ HEDRICK)

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KMDR OIIP OPRC KPAO PREL ETRD PTER ASEC BG OCII
SUBJECT: Media Reaction: Koran Desecration; Dhaka


Summary: "Sangbad" editorial says that the disclosure of the
desecration of the Quran by the Americans themselves is
strength of America's free society and democracy but the
editorial suggested an orientation for the U.S. armed forces
and administrative officials on the cultural sensitivities
of other nations.

Following are excerpts from the op-ed article:
--------------
Koran Desecration
--------------
"Exemplary Punishments Must Be Given To Quran Desecrators"
Pro-Awami League Bangla language daily "Sangbad" editorially
comments (6/6/05):

Desecration of the Holy Quran or for that matter any holy
books is an unpardonable crime. It is natural therefore
that the Muslim World will demonstrate utter anger. Many
people think that the desecration of the Quran is an
unwanted sequel to the situation which the United States
created after the 9/11. President Bush's declaration of
crusade after 9/11 gave birth to the idea among all
Americans that each Muslim is either a terrorist or in some
way involved with terrorist activities. As a result, the
idea that Muslims are criminals grew among the American
administration and the U.S. armed forces. And its natural
consequence is the inhuman torture of Iraqi prisoners at Abu
Ghraib prison. Similarly, Muslim prisoners at the
Guantanamo Bay prison have been under continuous torture
although there are no specific allegations against them and
they have not yet been produced before a court for trial.
It is as if the U.S. administration thinks that since
Muslims are suspected terrorists, they have no right to
justice.

At a time when the World Muslim community is angry with the
Americans, the story of the desecration of the Quran came
first from the Americans. First Newsweek, and then the
Pentagon disclosed five instances of the desecration of the
Quran. This disclosure demonstrates the strength of the
American free society and democracy.

Now the Americans have been saying that tough punitive
actions will be taken against the desecrators. But how far
will it pacify the Muslims is a question. Moreover, what is
the guarantee that the same incidents will not be repeated?

The American administration should change its hostile idea
about Muslims and American troops and officials require
necessary orientation and motivation. Security officials
should be trained on cultural sensitivities. Only these
steps may avoid repetition of such unpardonable crimes.

Thomas