Hamid Karzai Continues To Demagogue The Florida Koran Burning

Now, he wants Congress to condemn the actions of one idiot in Florida:

The Afghan president, Hamid Karzai, appears to have added fuel to the violent protests in Afghanistan after calling on the US Congress to condemn a Christian preacher’s burning of the Qur’an.

Karzai’s demand came despite a statement from Barack Obama denouncing the behaviour of American pastor Terry Jones as “an act of extreme intolerance and bigotry”.

But the Afghan president, in a meeting on Sunday with the US ambassador, Karl Eikenberry, and David Petraeus, the US commander of Nato forces in the country, demanded that the top US lawmaking body should condemn Jones.

The report of the national security council meeting, issued by Karzai’s office, highlights the concern of some analysts that the president is pandering to the demands of anti-western protesters rather than attempting to quell violence that has already cost dozens of lives, including the seven UN officials killed by a mob in Mazar-e-Sharif on Friday.


Karzai has been bitterly criticised by some for drawing attention to the Qur’an fire in the first place. Though it was largely ignored by the media, Karzai issued a press release on 24 March, four days after the book-burning in Gainsville, Florida, condemning the “crime against a religion and entire Muslim umma [community]”. He said the US and UN should “bring to justice the perpetrators of this crime”.

Western officials showed their dismay. Petraeus issued a statement with Nato’s Kabul ambassador, Mark Sedwill, condemning “any disrespect to the holy Qur’an and Muslim faith”.

It seems rather obvious at this point that Karazi is using this issue to pander to Islamic extremists in his country, even if it means setting off violent protests resulting in the deaths of innocent people. His decision to essentially reject the statement issued by President Obama would seem to guarantee that this will continue to be an issue in Afghanistan, and perhaps elsewhere in the Muslim world.

As for his demand itself, I don’t think Congress should get itself involved in this at all. If individual Congressman want to go public on the issue, that’s one thing, but the idea of the United States Congress condemning someone for doing something that is considered protected free speech strikes me as slightly outrageous. Karzai’s demand that Jones be punished is, of course, patently absurd.The world will simply have to accept the fact that the very idea of a blasphemy law is incompatible with our system of government.


FILED UNDER: Asia, Congress, Religion, US Politics, World Politics, , , , , , , , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. PD Shaw says:

    Congress is a pluralistic body, it probably has more opinions on this subject than . . . er . . . Newt Gingrich has wives and positions on Libya.

  2. Abdul Khan says:

    I have said it before, and I’ll say it again. All extremists are the same. What is different than extremists who asked all Muslims to condemn the 9-11 attacks? One idiot extremist does something, then idiot extremists respond with idiot ultimatums. I don’t even think these people believe what they say, I think it is just extreme pandering.

  3. michael reynolds says:

    The temptation to feed this scumbag to the Taliban must be very strong in the US high command.

    Nuts are nuts. They’re their own nation.

  4. G.A.Phillips says:

    If this dude, Hamid the hat Karzai had any sense he would burn every Koran that he could find in his sorry ass a$$ country!

  5. Tano says:

    I would think that the president of Afghanistan might well feel that his primary responsibility is to speak for the Afghan people, not to make excuses for Americans.

    He has denounced the murders, but demands some greater satisfaction from the Americans. In so doing, he is trying to capture the anger of his people and focus it in a diplomatic channel. Ignoring the issue would just allow others to seize the passions and direct them otherwise.

  6. Wiley Stoner says:

    Well, we should just take our toys and go home. Leave the President of Afghanistan to deal with the radicals who would take his power and his life. Without the U.S. support he will last as long as a joint at a Dead concert.

  7. G.A.Phillips says:

    Well, we should just take our toys and go home. Leave the President of Afghanistan to deal with the radicals who would take his power and his life. Without the U.S. support he will last as long as a joint at a Dead concert.

    Hear hear!

  8. matt says:

    I find myself almost in agreement with Wiley at this point…