A burning sign of trouble

Regrettable destruction of Qurans spurs disproportional outrage

If it’s any consolation to Afghans angry over the burning of Qurans at a U.S. base there, they’ve gotten more understanding and sympathy from our president than Catholics over here have.

Barack Obama has bowed to the Saudi king, reached out to Muslims in speeches and, now, apologized profusely for the burning. Our president’s middle name is even Hussein, and he was born to a Muslim father.

Yet, none of that has tamped down the unmitigated fury among the Afghans, who’ve rioted for days and even killed a couple of U.S. troops.

U.S. officials reportedly burned the Qurans from a detention center library because, officials said, the prisoners were using them to pass notes to each other.

Some of the overreaction is no doubt trumped up by Taliban elements looking to either sabotage peace talks or to gain an advantage in them. But regardless of what percentage of the angst is genuine and how much is being staged for effect, it’s yet another sign of trouble – similar to the deadly riots caused by the mere notion of a Florida pastor burning Qurans.

It makes you wonder what kind of coexistence is possible when a culture is that trigger-happy and prone to murderous lashing out. The U.S. troops’ insensitivity in this particular case is regrettable, but hardly worthy of the death penalty.

Sensitivity is a two-way street, don’t you think?

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