US: Quran abuse claims are serious

A senior US diplomat has tried to reassure Muslims in Pakistan and elsewhere that Washington is taking seriously allegations that military interrogators mishandled the Quran.

    Christina Rocca says the US stands for tolerance

    Speaking a day after tens of thousands of Muslims protested against

    the alleged Quran abuse by American interrogators, visiting US Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia, Christina Rocca, told a Pakistan television network that any mishandling of a holy book was unacceptable.

    "It is not just a question for Pakistan. This is a question for the United States, where we have many Muslims," Rocca, who was in Islamabad for talks, told the Geo network on Saturday.

    "It is not just a question of the Quran, it's the question of handling of any holy book at all. In the United States, we stand for tolerance, religious tolerance and freedom of worship, and this extends to detainees, all of whom are allowed to worship freely."

    Muslims around the world were outraged earlier this month when Newsweek magazine claimed that military interrogators at Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba placed a Quran in a toilet to induce a prisoner to talk.

    Newsweek later retracted the report, but an investigation by US officials has found at least five cases of the Quran being mishandled at Guantanamo since 2002.

    However, senior officials said on Thursday that no clear evidence of the alleged toilet incident was found.

    They refused to say specifically what kind of mishandling of the Quran was allegedly uncovered, but suggested that it was generally inadvertent.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    The Philippines’ Typhoon Haiyan was the strongest storm ever to make landfall. Five years on, we revisit this story.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    We Are Still Here: A Story from Native Alaska

    We Are Still Here: A Story from Native Alaska

    From Qatar to Alaska, a personal journey exploring what it means to belong when your culture is endangered.