KORAN GENERAL ALLEN SOUNDBITES
General John Allen, Commander of ISAF, responds to claims that a large number of Islamic religious materials, which included Korans, were being prepared for disposal.
The incident happened at the detainee facility in Parwan. General Allen has initiated an investigation, which he intends to invite Afghans to join.
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Transcripts / Production notes / Scripts
1. (00:00) SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) GENERAL JOHN ALLEN, COMMANDER OF ISAF
Overnight we received reports that there had been a number of religious materials that had been gathered at the detainee facility at Parwan. Those materials were inadvertedly given to troops for disposition and that disposition was to burn the materials. It was not a decision that was made because they were religious materials. It was not a decision that was made with respect to the faith of Islam. It was a mistake, it was an error. The moment we found out about it we immediately stopped and we intervened.
2. (00:37) SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) GENERAL JOHN ALLEN, COMMANDER OF ISAF
One of the very first things I did was to initiate an investigation. In fact, I intend to invite the Afghans to join us on this investigation which I think is very important for their sense of transparency on this and so we’ll look into the reason those materials were gathered, we’ll look into the manner in which the decision was made to dispose of them in this manner. I will tell you this, I’m going to take steps inside this headquarters to issue an order today on how we will handle religious materials for the faith of Islam hence forth by ISAF so that something like this just cannot happen again.
3. (01:14) SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) GENERAL JOHN ALLEN, COMMANDER OF ISAF
First of all I offer my sincere apologies as I have this morning in phone calls to a number of senior Afghans here in Kabul. I offered my sincere apologies to the President, to the Government of Afghanistan but most importantly to the people, the noble people of Afghanistan. So that’s my first point. The second point is very important as well and that is this was unintentional. There was no intention, by any member of ISAF to defame the faith of Islam or to desecrate the precious religious materials of this faith.
4. (01:49) SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) GENERAL JOHN ALLEN, COMMANDER OF ISAF
This is not who we are. These are very very isolated incidents. We’ve been here a long time. We’ve been shoulder to shoulder with the Afghans for a long time. We’ve been dying alongside the Afghans for a long time because we believe in them, we believe in their country, we want to have every opportunity to give them a bright future. So these are isolated incidents and my apology to the Afghans has to be accompanied by my certainty to them, my assurance to them, that these kinds of incidents, when they do occur we will move quickly to correct them. We will move quickly to hold people accountable but my promise to them is that these are isolated incidents. They are not about who we are, we stand for more than that and we will continue to stand by the Afghans in the future.
Year of Production: 2012