3/2/12 TRUTHOUT – MRFF Founder and President Mikey Weinstein on the Burning of Korans in Afghanistan

Published On: March 2, 2012|Categories: News|2 Comments|

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Selected Article Excerpts:

  • As the streets of Afghanistan ring out with cries of anti-American outrage, one is compelled to pause and reflect on the toxic environment which catalyzed the ugly incident of the mass-burning of Korans at Bagram Air Base.
  • The last several days of furious protests in the streets of Afghanistan have been the inevitable outcome of a culture of utter impunity within the US military. This culture of religious bigotry is fueled by militant, unchecked Christian fundamentalism. Its attendant Islamophobic racism is carefully coddled and nurtured. The result is total disdain and denigration of the values of the Afghan nation.
  • The Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) was the first to report past incidents of this tragic ilk, such as the filming of a fundamentalist Christian reality-TV show in Afghan villages. This TV show featured uber-proselytizing missionaries distributing Dari-language New Testaments under the approving gaze, protection and support of US armed forces personnel. There are innumerable additional incidents of such ignominy.
  • Additionally, in the past week MRFF has been literally inundated by a torrent of communications from its Muslim-American military clients further buttressing the disgraceful fact of Islamophobic abuses within the ranks of the US armed forces. Many of these reports describe actions taken in reprisal and retribution for the Afghans’ rage at the Koran burnings.
  • A dangerously contemptuous, arrogant and callous approach to the indigenous Muslim culture serves only the most desired interests of those forces opposing our now decade-long presence in the region. From Iraq to Afghanistan, the militant, fundamentalist Islamists’ propaganda narrative has been one of “Crusader Occupation.” However, any impartial observer would be forced to conclude that a fatal attitude of patronizing colonial hostility has indeed been allowed to hijack the US mission in Afghanistan.
  • We must repeat that the real-world consequence of this intrinsically ingrained religious prejudice and bigotry is the loss of service members’ lives and limbs.
  • We are staring into a terrifying abyss of our own making. Were the Korans burned by accident or not? Does that really matter anymore? The following truism is all that matters; any sufficiently advanced incompetence is completely indistinguishable from malice. Ten years of brutal war, hundreds of billions of dollars expended, thousands of lives lost and destroyed, and we still have not learned the sine qua non of that most basic maxim.

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2 Comments

  1. Andy Kasehagen March 11, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    Charles,

    Mikey has read your email and asked me to respond on behalf of MRFF.

    Although you allude to having read the article you reference, I contend that if this is true, your reading comprehension is simply pathetic. I would surmise that you are not a college graduate since your reading comprehension skills are so lacking and would have been terribly exposed by the ACT or SAT. If you are actually a college graduate, I apologize for my incorrect assumption and commend you for your graduation while avoiding remedial English classes. Mikey’s point in this article said nothing about the veracity of this incident (“Were the Korans burned by accident or not?”). However, this article focused on the real world military command environment and public perception of our Afghani allies under which this event took place. Your knowledge of sitcom inspired wisdom notwithstanding, your myopic ranting tantrum truly exposes your true level of functional illiteracy and causes me concern for your ability to manage daily living and employment tasks that require reading skills beyond a basic level.

    Your denigration of Mikey and MRFF because we are not sufficiently Islamaphobic in your eyes is truly disgusting to me as a proud Christian (Episcopalian in fact). I support MRFF because I find fundamentalists of all persuasions to be dangerous to our democratic republic, particularly when applied to our freedoms and civil rights. I do not find the need to be a weak willed Christian zealot at the expense of my country or my constitution. As such, I will continue to work to defend man’s law (U.S. Constitution) developed through a democratic process of equals over holy law (Sharia/Biblical/Judaic/etc.) every damn day of the week.

    I have neither the time nor inclination to compare religious body counts with you, just this advice to all religious fundamentalists (Islamic/Christian/Hindu/Jewish/whatever): Cut the Death Shit Out!…it doesn’t prove you’re right, it simply proves you’re subhuman.

    In closing, you can keep the Dollywood tickets to yourself Ms. Parton, I find your theme park as irrelevant as your opinion.

    With warmest regards,
    Andy Kasehagen, MRFF volunteer

    From: (email address withheld)
    Date: March 4, 2012 6:33:10 PM MST
    To: [email protected]
    Subject: Re: TRUTHOUT – MRFF Founder and President Mikey Weinstein on the Burning of K…

    To whom it may concern ,
    Your post regarding the ” Truthout ” article is a bunch of hogwash . I think you folks at MRFF have finally jumped the shark ! It doesn’t matter if the Korans were deliberately burned or not ? WTH ? You might as well say it doesn’t matter if you intended to run someone over with your car or not. Oh , wait a minute , the law actually does say that intent matters . Um , how inconvenient for you and yours . Apparently it doesn’t matter to you and your fellow travelers that it was the Muslim prisoners who actually defaced the Korans to send messages and foment trouble IN THE FIRST PLACE. This desecration of their own holy book seems to get short shrift from you and “Truthout ” ( what an oxymoron ) . Perhaps we should have sent these mutilated Korans back to a landfill in the US or perhaps we could have recycled them ?

    Islam is not just a religion , it is an economic , legal , political and cultural system all at the same time . When are you going to start treating it like more than a religion , which it undeniably is ?

    Islam was birthed in blood ( the blood of it’s victims ) , even from the time of Mohammed himself . What was the Battle of the Trench all about ? Why was there a Muslim fleet in the harbor of Constantinople less than 40 years after Mohammed’s death ? Were they there to run a Tupperware campaign ?

    The five historical Sees of Christendom are Alexandria , Jerusalem , Antioch , Constantinople and Rome . Except for Rome and Jerusalem ( a big thank you to Israel ) , how are the rest doing currently ? If Islam is the religion of peace , then I’m Dolly Parton and I’m giving you a lifetime pass to Dollywood !

    Do you folks favor a ” Victory Mosque ” at the NYC 9/11 memorial site ?

    When are you folks going to stop being apologists for Islam ? What size is your prayer rug ? But dimmhi does look good on you folks .

    Sincerely
    (name withheld)

  2. Alpha Ott March 12, 2012 at 9:27 am

    I am reading your statements about Christians expressing their beliefs…sharing their beliefs and I am afraid I am feeling that you are getting a little too hostile towards Christianity…That’s so sad…What on earth could participating in the sending of shoe boxes with gifts and candy at Christmas possibly do to HARM relationships between our and any other country??? Don’t you see the GOOD? No one has to take to heart what the little pamphlet says…Would you get upset if a group of Buddhists/or any other religious group sent packages with statements of their faith to our children, when trying to give a little joy and kindness?…I wouldn’t.
    You disagree with almost anything a Christian does in the service if it is verbalized or there is any attempt to explain or share such beliefs with others.
    There is a place and a time, yes, I agree. ..And, we need to respect others faith. Stop talking if it is offending. You are expressing your beliefs, loud and clear…That’s quite evident. But, you don’t feel that is wrong. And to go to the extreme that you do, ( i am talking about the Christmas shoe boxes filled with toys and candy and , yes, a statement about Christ and the meaning of Christmas)
    I understand that it wasn’t required to take part, I simply saw an invitation to take part. Yes, it was sent to service men who are the most generous group on earth, and any one can simply say “No” and not take part. You saw it as something TERRIBLE…you stated your belief…and wanted this stopped. Your belief seems to have overriden the Christians right to express their love for others by sending these little boxes and statements of faith. It seems what you are objecting too is sharing what God says we are to do..” LOVE one ANOTHER…Share yur good fortune wit others…Show others Love in my name”..I can’t see how that could possibly harm anyone. Even in your Jewish Faith, God tells you to do the same…the same God we Christians believe. I would bet that if you had an organization that did the same , in the name of your Jewish Faith we Christians would be happy to help…
    I am highly offended by your remark concerning Mr. Graham concerning how he feels about our Jewish fellow man. It is very disturbing and a flat out lie. He holds you and any Jewish person with the greatest love and affection. This is a Biblical command from God that we do love you and all peoples of this earth…He believes that with all ghis heart. I challenge you to show me anything that stands up to your remarks that are so negative . Mr. Graham believes that if we Love God we are to Love one another……Mr. Graham has NEVER made any remark that says otherwise…Shame on you. Shame …Shame…Shame….
    We have gotten to the place where tolerance seems to be only for those of YOUR belief and not of others. SHAME…and if you site supposedly “Christians” not showing that tolerance, then I say, By their own words they condem themselves as NON Christians…they can not possibly be a true believer and follower of Christ, simply because of the lack of love and tolerance they show. The proof is in the pudding as they say.
    We have the freedom still, at least the last time I looked, , to share our beliefs…You have the freedom to protest those statements or actions…But, please be tolerant..
    I enjoy ,as many of my Christian friends do, hearing what others think and believe and sharing our point of view as well…whether in or out of the service…This is the way it should be. And it should be made known throughout the world that we are allowed to do just that! That is what so endears this country to others…That basic freedom to express our Faith…
    I think you have forgotten that….
    I think re reading many of the letters, statements, documents of our past leaders of this United States would do a world of good to anyone who thinks that we must separate GOD..Christ , form anything that has to do with this Government.. This Governement came about because of the GOD given rights..and many of our forefathers believed that with all their hearts . They even included Christ as the center of their beliefs. How can you , why would you want to stop what was the very CORE of the “WHY” we have this wonderful country…which is like no other?…Tolerance my dear young man…respect for WHO was truly responsible for the desire and theme of the Constitution of the United States…Our forefathers clearly expressed that it came from the GOD of the Old and NEW Testament… ..not any other god…
    Thank you for taking the time to read my letter and I hope you calm down a little and allow some tolerance….Alpha Ott

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