MPAC Condemns Senseless Killing of U.N. Workers in Afghanistan
(Washington, DC - 4/1/11)—The Muslim Public Affairs Council today condemned the killing of at least 12 people, including seven United Nations workers, in Afghanistan by protesters as “barbaric, atrocious and senseless.” This afternoon, MPAC will hold press conferences in Washington, DC and Los Angeles to respond to today’s events.
SEE: “12 Killed in Attack on U.N. Compound in Northern Afghanistan” (Washington Post)
“We’re stunned by this horrific and senseless act of violence by an angry mob. Nothing excuses the killing of innocent people,” said Haris Tarin, director of MPAC’s Washington, DC office. “This type of indiscriminate violence is reprehensible and barbaric, and violates core Islamic teachings which call for responding to hate with something that is better.”
Allegedly angered by the recent burning of a Quran by Florida-based extremist Pastor Terry Jones, thousands of protesters attacked the U.N. compound in Mazar-i-Sharif after Friday prayer today, where a group of them attacked U.N. workers. Media reports indicate that the victims included five Nepali security guards, two European international staff and five Afghan protesters.
Sen. John Kerry (D-MA), chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, this afternoon called the dead and wounded in Afghanistan “selfless public servants and innocent bystanders who had no connection to the desecration of a Quran by a radical figure in Florida.”
Pastor Jones’ decision to burn a Quran earlier this month despite warnings from the Obama administration and a broad spectrum of mainstream Christian leaders was reckless and deplorable, but in no way justifies any type of violence. In late August 2010, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates personally warned Jones that his plans to burn a Quran on the anniversary of 9/11 would put the lives of American troops in danger.
“Extremism in all forms is a threat to our core values as Muslims and as Americans, and we plan to redouble our efforts to work with a broad coalition of Americans to prevent and combat extremism,” said Dr. Maher Hathout, MPAC Senior Adviser. “It is our collective responsibility to preserve human life at all cost.”
Founded in 1988, MPAC is an American institution which informs and shapes public opinion and policy by serving as a trusted resource to decision makers in government, media and policy institutions. MPAC is also committed to developing leaders with the purpose of enhancing the political and civic participation of American Muslims.
Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf of Cordoba Initiative and Daisy Khan of American Society for Muslim Advancement
Pronounce their unequivocal denunciation of the killings of United Nations workers in Afghanistan by those who were protesting the burning of the Qur’an by Terry Jones. Regardless of motive or rationalization or evidence or excuse, this action must be condemned. Violent Extremism which seeks to inflict harm on innocent people is an absolute corruption of Islamic Doctrine.
We stand together with all our Christian brothers and sisters in condemning religious extremism and want to remind the public that just as Terry Jones, who operates as a tiny fringe group, does not represent the teaching of Christianity and the Christian Church, the extremists Muslims do not represent 1.6 billion adherents of Islam.
We extend our deepest sympathy to the families of the UN workers killed in this violent attack and hope that these senseless killings are not used to condemn an entire religious or ethnic community.
CAIR Condemns Attack on U.N. Compound in Afghanistan
The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) today condemned an attack on a U.N. compound in northern Afghanistan that killed at least 12 people Friday, most of them U.N. workers.
Violence apparently broke out during a protest outside the compound against the burning of the Quran last month by a Florida pastor.
In a statement, CAIR said: “We unequivocally condemn this act of senseless violence. Nothing can justify or excuse this attack.”