Monday, April 4, 2011

On Piers Morgan Tonight on Afghanistan Murders (Friday, 4/01/2011)



MORGAN: Good evening.

A day of deadly violence across the Middle East today.


MORGAN: Libya despite talk of a possible cease-fire, battles are still raging. Gadhafi's heavily armed forces outnumber rebels by about 10 to one. And there's still no sign of the fighting ending any time soon.


MORGAN: And in Syria, at least seven people are dead and dozens injured after attacks by government troops on demonstrators. We'll have the latest from CNN's Nic Robertson and Mohammed Jamjoom.

Meanwhile, in Afghanistan, at least 12 people are dead after an attack on a U.N. building. The attacks sparked by protests against the burning of a Koran by a Florida pastor last month.

President Obama spoke out today condemning the violence.

And now, I want to bring in Corey Saylor, the director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

Corey Saylor, terrible scenes in Mazar-e-Sharif. Do you condemn them?

COREY SAYLOR, COUNCIL ON AMERICAN-ISLAMIC RELATIONS: Absolute tragedy, Piers. And we condemn it utterly.

MORGAN: To bring viewers up to speed with the Florida pastor Terry Jones. There was an initial incident with him in which he said he would burn the Koran and then didn't. But a few days ago, he then conducted a trial of the Koran. It was found guilty apparently, and he and his fellow church members in Florida burned one copy of the Koran. And it's that that sparked what happened today in Afghanistan.

Pretty serious repercussions for what many are saying was an act of pure bigoted idiocy.

SAYLOR: Well, Terry Jones deserves to be ignored 100 percent. And by no means does what he did allow anyone within the faith of Islam to go out and hurt other people. And that should be condemned utterly.

I mean, Muslims -- Muslims, the example is Prophet Mohammed. There's a famous story that every Muslim knows, Prophet Mohammed went to a city called Ta'if, he preached, he was chased out of the city by people throwing rocks at him. When he got out of the town, he was bleeding profusely. And angel came to him and essentially offered him to have the town destroyed. And he said, no.

That's the example right there. Part of the explanation that he gave, I'm paraphrasing here, is we don't know what these people's descendants are going to be like.

So, when he was abused, he met it with patience and tolerance. And I would advise my brothers and sisters around the world to remember that example. Patience and tolerance is how we meet bigots like Terry Jones.

MORGAN: Given that context, was it sensible of the various imams and mullahs who called for a day of anger and protests of the Koran burning -- was that sensible? Was it right? Would you condemn them for calling for those protests?

SAYLOR: I think unfortunately it's going to put more fuel on the fire that was already lit today. And we just simply don't need any more of that. What we need is what we saw immediately after when Terry Jones burned the Koran last week. He was met with absolute silence. Nobody paid any attention to him. And that is what he deserves.

He certainly does not deserve any more attention. And, certainly, no one is doing the religion of Islam a service by calling for a day of rage.

MORGAN: Where will this end, do you think, Corey?

SAYLOR: Well, unfortunately, think all too often extremists on both sides, the violent extremists that did the attack today, the extremists down in Florida, Terry Jones, control this conversation. And what has to happen is that those in the center who want a reasonable conversation have to continue to assert ourselves strongly. We don't accept what Terry Jones does. We don't accept anything like what happened in Afghanistan today.

And those of us that are leaders have to remind the people who follow us about the teachings of our own faiths. Jesus did not teach violence. Prophet Mohammed did not teach to respond to these things like violence. And that message has to be made clearly in unison with representatives of all face.

MORGAN: It would be helpful if Terry Jones realizes there are consequences to acts of a kind of idiocy that he's been perpetrating the last week.

Corey Saylor, thank you very much.

SAYLOR: Thank you.

No comments: