Friday, March 9, 2012

A Grave Over-Reaction

Families around the Commonwealth have been shocked, by the mindless vandalism of war graves in a Benghazi cemetery.
Local reports say a group of Salafists, angered by the accidental burning of the Qur'an at a Nato military base in Afghanistan last month, caused the damage. Around 200 headstones were damaged: those of 11 fallen NZers were smashed or tipped over. Some 1214 Commonwealth troops (British, Indian, Kiwi, Oz, Canadian and Sth.African) who died in WWII in the North African desert are buried at the Benghazi War Cemetery. Libyan authorities have apologised for the desecration.
In NZ, Defence Minister Jonathan Coleman reacted with shock: "As Minister of Defence, I'm very determined that we make sure these gravestones are repaired." Returned and Services Association president Lt.-General Don McIver says the RSA is very upset to hear about the damage, something that is extremely rare: "The news is devastating. Our concern extends to the families of those people who sacrificed their lives in the service of their country."
Prime Minister John Key says the desecration will be heartbreaking for families, and the graves will be repaired by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.
In Australia, there have even been calls for the Diggers' remains to be brought home.
Middle Eastern people are extremely hot-blooded and tend to express themselves openly, loudly and often violently. That said, although I can understand their anger over the accidental burning of their Qur'an, I can not at all condone them venting their passions in this manner.
Salafists, followers of an ultra-purist interpretation of Islam, have already destroyed several tombs of Muslim holy men in Libya, which they considered to be idolatrous. This rabble (which even posted its attack on You Tube!!)  is probably too young to remember that those soldiers died to liberate Libya for them. And an Allied coalition has only just finished helping them regain their freedom again.
These vandals need to re-read the very book they're so upset about being burnt: this behaviour is not in keeping with Islam. All it does is re-enforce a growing hostility towards all things Islamic, which is not at all helpful...

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