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Militant Islam Monitor > Satire > Newsweek retraction of Koran flush story won't stop planned international day of protest planned for May 27

Newsweek retraction of Koran flush story won't stop planned international day of protest planned for May 27

May 24, 2005

Newsweek retraction of Koran flush story won't stop planned international day of protest planned for May 27

May 23, 2005

Newsweek Retraction Won't Stop Planned Protests, Radical Groups Say
By Patrick Goodenough
CNSNews.com International Editor
May 17, 2005


(CNSNews.com) - Unimpressed by Newsweek's retraction of explosive claims that U.S. military interrogators at Guantanamo Bay had desecrated the Koran, radical Islamic leaders in Pakistan say they will not drop plans for an international day of protest next week.

One radical leader, Qazi Hussain Ahmed, claimed that "certain other credible eyewitness sources" such as former Guantanamo detainees had "also confirmed the shameful sacrilege."

Newsweek's "afterthought" acknowledgements of error in its report would not affect calls for protests on May 27, he added.

Qazi was referring to the magazine's retraction Monday of a report containing an allegation that a Koran had been thrown into a toilet "in an attempt to rattle" terrorist suspects held at the U.S. military base in Cuba, many of whom were captured in Pakistan and Afghanistan following the 9/11 attacks on the U.S.

Qazi made the comments in an interview with the al-Jazeera television network, and they also were recorded on the website of his political party, Jamaat e-Islami.

The Pakistani radical is also president of Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA), an alliance of six fundamentalist parties formed after 9/11 in opposition to President Pervez Musharraf and his policy of supporting the U.S.-led campaign against Islamist terrorism.

The alliance said it was coordinating with Islamic leaders and groups, to ensure that the day of protest is a show of "Muslim solidarity around the globe."

Qazi said Muslims were demanding that "the perpetrators of this disgraceful act" be punished and that the U.S. and the West assure Muslims such incidents would not happen again.

MMA is also calling on Musharraf, who seized power in a bloodless 1999 coup, to resign.

Newsweek's report sparked deadly riots in Afghanistan last week as well as protests in Pakistan and other Muslim countries.

Afghan president Hamid Karzai, in a statement released by his spokesman, expressed "in the strongest terms our disapproval of Newsweek's approach to reporting which allowed them to run the story without proper examination beforehand."

The Pakistani government said it had noted Newsweek's climbdown, but was still asking Washington to investigate thoroughly the allegations of Koran desecration, and to share its findings.

Non-Muslim critics of U.S. foreign policy have also used the opportunity to make a political point.

In China, whose government frequently bristles at U.S. criticism of its human rights record, the official People's Daily published an editorial - before Newsweek's retraction - censuring the U.S. for "hypocrisy and double standard[s]."

Calling the reported Koran abuse a "crowning achievement after the prisoner abuse scandal," the Chinese paper said American troops' strategy "has grown from physical torture and psychological persecution to desecration of faith."

While the U.S. often criticized other countries for abusing freedom of religion it concluded, "the facts proved that the one violating religious freedom is none other than the United States itself."

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