MPAC Condemns Senseless Killing of U.N. Workers In Afghanistan

April 1, 2011

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." 

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