The author interviews an Afghan Teacher who makes a good point......Why do Afghanis feel it is OK to burn down a school if by doing so, burn 10 Qurans???
Here's a little hint.....THE TALIBAN ARE IDIOTS....Hypocritical fools who only want to terrorize and control the population of Afghanistan....Zealotry is not based on right or wrong but being out-of-touch with reality.
Those who burn down schools and kill innocents should be held accountable for their actions.
Taliban Exploit Tensions Seething in Afghan Society
By ROD NORDLAND - NY Times
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan — If the protesters who pushed this city to the brink last weekend were really worried about Koran burning, wondered Layloma Popal, the headmistress of this city’s biggest girls’ school, “then why did they try to burn down my school?”
“There were 10 Korans at least in there,” Ms. Popal said, pointing to the charred remains of the Peace Room, where students learn about peace strategies for their war-torn country. “If we have more security in Kandahar these days, as they say, where was it?”
For three hours, the rioters — many members of the Taliban or their sympathizers — marauded around the campus of the Zarghona Ana High School for Girls, while the students hid in the bathrooms. “We never saw the Afghan Army or the police or the foreign forces until after the rioters left,” Ms. Popal said.
They were busy elsewhere. In an effort to quell the two days of disturbances, on Saturday and Sunday, the Kandahar police shot more than 123 protesters, and by the time the wounded either stabilized or died, the death toll had reached at least 13, according to hospital officials.
Thousands of young men, waving Taliban flags and shouting slogans honoring the Taliban leader Mullah Muhammad Omar, rampaged through the streets, setting tires on fire, looting and in some cases opening fire on the police. Two officers were killed.
The rioting exposed a fundamental quandary for the American war effort in Kandahar, the heartland of the insurgency, which Gen. David H. Petraeus, the top allied commander, has called “one of those very important places where Taliban momentum has been reversed.”
If the insurgents have indeed retreated from crucial districts, and if security in the city is better than it was just months ago, when the Taliban carried out daily assassinations, then there is still a deep undercurrent of unease and discontent caused by the foreign presence, which the Taliban and their sympathizers were able to ignite with the simple spark provided by the burning of a Koran by a pastor in Florida.
The heavy security that has come with the influx of American and Afghan troops has tamped down the daily violence that once plagued the city, but it has done little to resolve those underlying tensions, said Shahbuddin Akhundzada, a prominent religious scholar who has generally supported the American role in Afghanistan. “Now the people of Kandahar are under so much threat, there’s so much pressure on them, they are afraid to do anything, they’ll be arrested or killed,” he said. “Then the slightest chance, like the Koran burning, and it all blows up.”
There is a palpable sense of fear. A visiting male foreigner is asked to wear a head covering so as not to look like a foreigner. Mr. Akhundzada asked to meet in a neutral place, where no one would see him receiving foreign journalists.