Pastor blamed for Koran burning


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04-04-2011 08:17 AM


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Pastor blamed for Koran burning -

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Pastor blamed for Koran burning

Lisa Millar reported this story on Monday, April 4, 2011 08:21:00

TONY EASTLEY: The top military commander in the US has added his voice to those criticising the
actions of a Florida pastor whose burning of a Koran has sparked three days of deadly protests

General David Petraeus called the Koran burning as hateful and intolerant.

North America correspondent Lisa Millar reports.

LISA MILLER: Three days into the protests in Afghanistan and the death toll is rising. Two
policemen have been killed and more than 30 people injured in Kandahar. That's on top of the 20
lives already lost.

Knowing that talking about the Koran burning also gives it more publicity, General David Petraeus
clearly decided it was better to speak out and condemn it.

DAVID PETRAEUS: In that statement we condemn the action of an individual in the United States who
burned a Holy Koran. That action was hateful, it was intolerant and it was extremely disrespectful
and again, we condemn it in the strongest manner possible.

LISA MILLER: Terry Jones is the pastor in the question. He'd threatened to burn the religious book
last September but was talked out of it. He went through with his threat almost two weeks ago in
front of 50 people at his small church in Florida.

US officials are privately concerned the situation was only worsened by Afghanistan's president
Hamid Karzai who raged against the burning.

But David Petraeus limited his criticism to Pastor Terry Jones and in a later interview confirmed
it added to the serious security challenges he already faces.

Senate majority leader Harry Reid.

HARRY REID: I think people should understand the consequences of what they do and under the guise
of religion.

LISA MILLER: Congress is considering a request from Hamid Karzai to offer its own condemnation.

HARRY REID: And I think we'll take a look at this as to whether we need hearings or not, I don't

LISA MILLER: Both sides of politics are united. Republican Lindsey Graham.

LINDSEY GRAHAM: You know, I wish we could find some way to hold people accountable. Free speech is
a great idea but we're in a war.

During World War II you had limits on what you could say if it were to inspire the enemy so burning
a Koran is a terrible thing but it doesn't justify killing someone. Burning a bible, would be a
terrible thing but it wouldn't justify murder.

But having said that, anytime we can push back here in America against actions like this that put
our troops at risk, we ought to do it

LISA MILLER: What it has done is confirm how fragile the security situation is in Afghanistan,
raising more questions about the planned withdrawal of the US military and its allies.

This is Lisa Miller in Washington for AM.