When Afghan workers at the Bagram Air Base saw our troops put copies of the Holy Quran and other Islamic religious works into a pile of burning trash in a dumpster, they didn’t hesitate. They yelled for them to stop. They ran and “reached into the fire,” according to a Times report, and pulled the burning books out.
When General John Allen, the NATO commander in Afghanistan, heard what had happened, he didn’t hesitate either. He apologized, completely and unreservedly, to President Karzai, his government, “and most importantly, to the noble people of Afghanistan.” He said that it had been a mistake. (“I assure you … I promise you … this was NOT intentional in any way.”) He said that there would be an investigation and that it wouldn’t happen again. He added, “I would like to thank the local Afghan people who helped us identify the error, and who worked with us to immediately take corrective action.” That is, the ones who stuck their hands in the fire. Continue reading