US promises Inquiry into Holy Quran desecration
WASHINGTON: The United States insisted on Friday that an inquiry into alleged desecration of the Holy Quran by US troops at the US naval base at Guantanamo Bay would be carried out.
Amidst protests in Afghanistan, which have left 14 dead in recent days, White House spokesman Scott McClellan said the US administration takes the allegation “very seriously” and reaffirmed that the Defence Department has launched an investigation.
“One of the values that we hold most dearly here in the United States is religious freedom and the ability of people to be able to worship freely,” he said.
“As Secretary (of State Condoleezza) Rice made clear on Thursday, disrespect for the Holy Quran is something that the United States will never tolerate.” The spokesman said, “I would also point out, though, that for these detainees at Guantanamo Bay, they are provided the opportunity to worship freely, including being given copies of the Holy Quran so that they may worship freely. And we want Muslims around the world to know that we share and understand the concerns that they have.” The US promised an inquiry after Newsweek magazine said US interrogators at the ‘war on terror’ detention camp at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba defiled copies of the Muslim holy book and stuffed one down a lavatory to rattle Muslim prisoners.
General Richard Myers, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Thursday that no evidence had yet been found to support the charge. afp