File this under “No good deed goes unpunished” by the Religion of Perpetual Outrage:
A demonstration has been held in south- east Afghanistan accusing US troops of insulting Islam after they distributed footballs bearing the name of Allah.
The balls showed the Saudi Arabian flag which features the Koranic declaration of faith.
The US military said the idea had been to give something for Afghan children to enjoy and they did not realise it would cause offence.
The footballs were dropped from a helicopter in Khost province.
Some displayed flags from countries all over the world, including Saudi Arabia, which features the shahada, one of the five pillars of Islam – the declaration of faith.
The words, which include the name of Allah, are revered, and Muslims are very sensitive about where and how they can be used.
As we’ve learned from Rushdie Rage, MoCartoon Rage, Burger King Ice Cream Cone Rage, Koran Flushing Rage, Valentine’s Day Rage, Veil Rage, Pope Rage, Fallaci Rage, Miss World Pageant Rage, and Rushdie Knighthood Rage, they’re pretty damned “sensitive” (read: ready to riot) about everything.
For crying out loud:
Mullahs in Afghanistan criticised the US forces for their insensitivity, and around 100 people held a demonstration in Khost.
Afghan MP Mirwais Yasini said: “To have a verse of the Koran on something you kick with your foot would be an insult in any Muslim country around the world.”
A spokeswoman for the US forces in Afghanistan said they made “significant efforts to work with local leaders, mullahs and elders to respect their culture” and distributing the footballs was an effort to give a gift the Afghan children would enjoy.
Instead of taking Allah’s name off its flag, Saudi Arabia is whining about football manufacturers putting the flag on its balls. But do you have any doubt in your minds that those manufacturers would be damned by the Islamophobe card-playing rabble-rousers if they purposely left the Allah-bearing flag off its balls?
Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.
Military officials, who did nothing wrong, can’t apologize fast enough:
Sgt. Dean Welch, a spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition, said Friday’s “distribution of soccer balls was done in the spirit of goodwill, something that we hoped would bring Afghan children some enjoyment.”
“We regret any disturbance that was caused in this case,” he said. “If we hurt one person, that is one too many.”
Perhaps we should put this Arabic script on the next supply of soccer balls: