Hamid Karzai's despicable response
to the Quran burning in Florida
no one in Afghanistan would have heard of
if he had not spoken out to the people about it.
in Mazar-i-Sharif on Saturday a day after a mob attacked it.
Both Afghan and international news media had initially played down or ignored the actions of Mr. Jones, the Florida pastor. On Thursday, however, President Karzai made a speech and issued statements condemning the Koran burning and calling for the arrest of Mr. Jones for his actions. On Friday, that theme was picked up in mosques throughout Afghanistan.
“Karzai brought this issue back to life, and he has to take some responsibility for starting this up,” said a prominent Afghan businessman, who spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of retribution if he was identified as a critic of the president.
Muqtada Sadr's supporters have chosen to make Bahrain into an issue of pure Shiite self-pity, as if the local ambitions of Iran were to be discounted entirely. And Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's ruling group, fresh from a clumsy attempt to ban the Iraqi Communist Party for its role in street protests, also seems to view the Gulf crisis through a single confessional optic.
“Karzai’s speech itself provoked people to take such actions,” said Qayum Baabak, a political analyst in Mazar-i-Sharif. “Karzai should have called on people to be patient rather than making people more angry.”