After Koran rage, cartoon rage, Pope rage and rage boy:
‘Blasphemous’ balls anger Afghans
By Alastair Leithead
BBC News, Kabul
The footballs angered residents in Khost
A demonstration has been held in south- east Afghanistan accusing US troops of insulting Islam after they distributed footballs bearing the name of Allah.
The balls showed the Saudi Arabian flag which features the Koranic declaration of faith.
The US military said the idea had been to give something for Afghan children to enjoy and they did not realise it would cause offence.
The footballs were dropped from a helicopter in Khost province.
Some displayed flags from countries all over the world, including Saudi Arabia, which features the shahada, one of the five pillars of Islam – the declaration of faith.
The balls were intended as a gift to Afghan children
The words, which include the name of Allah, are revered, and Muslims are very sensitive about where and how they can be used.
* A typical Al Bebeceera report: “Sensitive,” in this case, being defined as “prone to murderous rage.”
* To show how sensitive they are to this extreme sensitivity, the BBC sensitively blurs the offensive segment of the ball in their photograph.
* Sheik yer’mami is not that “sensitive”- Here isÂ a close-up of the dreaded ‘Allah Balls’:
“Allah Balls” find their way to Iran, video
Saudi Arabia has complained to the World Cup’s ruling body in the past about the use of its flag on footballs.
Mullahs in Afghanistan criticised the US forces for their insensitivity, and around 100 people held a demonstration in Khost.
Afghan MP Mirwais Yasini said: “To have a verse of the Koran on something you kick with your foot would be an insult in any Muslim country around the world.”
A spokeswoman for the US forces in Afghanistan said they made “significant efforts to work with local leaders, mullahs and elders to respect their culture” and distributing the footballs was an effort to give a gift the Afghan children would enjoy.
“Unfortunately,” she added, “there was something on those footballs we didn’t immediately understand to be offensive and we regret that as we do not want to offend.”
* That’s right. Americans don’t understand and don’t want to offend. Perhaps that’s the biggest problem of all…….
* There are
some many here among us who would love nothing better than to kick the great balls of Allah…
* When a Crow flies over Kandahar, he flies only with one wing. With the other one he covers his rear…
How gay is the Taliban?
Scores of Pakistani soldiers refuse to fight Islamic militants
Islamabad, Aug 25 (DPA) Scores of Pakistani soldiers have deserted the security forces deployed in tribal areas bordering Afghanistan, mainly because they were not sure whether fighting against their ‘own people’ was morally right, media reports said Saturday.
‘I did not desert the force because I feared death, but I was not sure whether the fighting in tribal district Waziristan was Islamic or not,’ a soldier from paramilitary Frontier Corps (FC) told the Daily Times.
The man, who recently refused to serve in tribal areas, claimed the same question was haunting many other soldiers and the confusion was stopping them from ‘putting up a tough fight’ against the Taliban and Al Qaeda elements in the area.
Pro-Taliban militiamen pulled out of peace treaties with the government after troops stormed the Red Mosque in the capital on July 10, and launched a series of raids on security forces.
These retaliatory attacks in the border regions have killed more than 60 troopers and 250 militants, army spokesman Major General Waheed Arshad said.
He confirmed the desertions but insisted these should be ignored as ‘insignificant incidents’.
‘Small-scale desertion takes place in any force and in any country for one reason or another,’ Arshad told the newspaper.
However, six soldiers from only one suburb of Peshawar, the capital of North-West Frontier Province, have deserted the Frontier Corps.
The force is the first line of defence of around 90,000 troops deployed along the country’s western border against militants launching attacks at international forces in Afghanistan.