Should U.S. Troops be Disciplined for Burning Qur'ans?

The services are deciding whether to discipline troops for destroying Islamic religious materials in Afghanistan. Should service members who destroy religious materials face punishment?

An investigation into allegations that U.S. troops burned Islamic religious materials in Afghanistan in February has been handed off to the military services for final disposition, according to an American Forces Press Service report. It's now up to the individual services whether to take disciplinary action against the troops involved.

The investigation stems from a Feb. 21 incident in which U.S. service members at a detention facility near Bagram, Afghanistan, allegedly burned copies of the Qur'an and other religious materials. The incident sparked days of violent demonstrations in which more than 30 people were killed, including two U.S. troops and two U.S. military advisors, according to an Associated Press report.

Pentagon Press Secretary George Little told the AFPS that the Qur'an burnings are believed to have been inadvertent, and said he didn't believe the incident was indicative of "a broader trend" of anti-Islamic sentiment withing the military. However, the AP reports that military investigators are recommending nonjudicial disciplinary action against one Navy service member and as many as six soldiers.

What do you think? If the Qur'an burnings were indeed inadvertent, should disciplinary action be taken against the service members involved? Or is this merely a strategy to smooth U.S.-Afghan relations at the expense of the troops? Answer the poll below, and let us know your thoughts in the comments.

Grant June 21, 2012 at 04:30 PM
Auld writes "it is always important to get inside the minds/understand the culture, etc, of the folks we are fighting" I couldnt agree more, if they hate it we should do it as a matter of course! It's war after all , not happy fun day.
Ryan Smith June 21, 2012 at 05:37 PM
Auld, According to the military, the Qur'ans in question had been removed -- along with about 1,600 other damaged books -- from a detention center library and boxed for storage. A few days later, U.S. troops mistakenly sent the boxes to the incinerator. If the official story is correct, it does appear to have been an honest mistake.
David June 21, 2012 at 05:48 PM
I asked a Muslim how they get rid of old Korans. Like one that is worn out or been replaced with a new one. Burning is the only acceptable way. When he first heard this story, he was confused because burning is the way it should have been handled. Now, if the was done to disrespect the Muslim beliefs, then it is understandable why they would be upset. But as I understand the story, the reason for the burning was to properly dispose of these confiscated books. He asked how we disposed of the Holy Bible. When I explained that an old Bible could just be thrown in the trash, he was confused. Until I explained that the book itself was nothing but processed trees (paper) and cowhide (leather). It is the Word contained within that is important to Christians, not the book.
Tom June 21, 2012 at 06:13 PM
Not to mention the ones that are shooting at us......
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