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December 9, 2011

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“Holy Quran” burnt in Iraqi Kurdistan

Kurdishaspect.com – By Anwar Mohammad

On December 2, 2011, after Friday prayers, dozens of peaceful protesters held a demonstration in an effort to voice their opposition to widespread corruption perpetrated by Kurdistan Regional Government authorities. After Kurdish security forces denied protesters their legitimate right to assemble, they went on rampage and set on fire few liquor stores, massage parlor and hotels in and around the Kurdish-populated city of Zakho, situated in Duhok Governorate, Iraqi Kurdistan. 

In reprisal, forces belonging to Kurdish Democratic Party used the opportunity as a pretext to violently suppress and further muzzle government dissidents and critics, detained a large number of innocent civilians, and reduced to ashes headquarters of opposition group (Kurdistan Islamic union). After ransacking everything, KDP rioters deliberately charred copies of Muslim holy book of “Quran” which were recovered in KIU establishments later. KDP’s leadership asserted that his party does not assume any liability for burning copies of Holy Quran, and this deplorable act had occurred back few months ago by British troops while conducting missions. 

British embassy was contacted in Baghdad for comments. British troops never committed such an act. British military provides training to its service members and fully lectures them on cultural and religious sensitivities prior to deployment. KIU officials were using these centers for education purposes, and had there been left behind a burned copy of “Quran”, it would long have come to their immediate notice. 

All these logics bluntly contradict the false accusations, fallacious statements and baseless propagandas disseminated by Kurdish Democratic Party officials. Kurdish Democratic Party has long perceived the rising popularity of Islamic groups as an immense threat to its power base.  Under extreme pressure from general public, and in order to fix its soiled image, KDP authorities promptly accused KIU of stirring up mosque-goers to turn to “Jihad “.

KRG’s Department of Foreign Relations instantaneously contacted major foreign media outlets and fed them with distorted accounts concerning the occurrence. No foreign journalists were available at that time, and those who insisted to penetrate the area, were denied access by KDP security apparatus.

President Barzanis silence and apathy over burning of “Holy Quran” is affront to Islamic sanctities. Albeit he has ordered a probe into incidence, he should not have incited his own party cohorts to turn into tit-for-tat retaliatory measures. Islam is the official religion of state, and any contempt to Muslims convictions will not be tolerated. While striving to allegedly protect the constitutional rights of minorities, president Barzani has willfully let extremists within ranks and files of his own militia to trample upon the rights of majority Muslims.  

As ordered by president himself, an investigation must be initiated at the earliest, and those who could carry out such an unethical act must be brought to justice. President Barzani and his KDP must not harbor such outlaws.  

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