This afternoon, a protest outside a United Nations compound in northern Afghanistan that was sparked by the March 20th burning of a Qur’an in Florida by pastor Terry Jones’ church, sadly turned violent as the compound was attacked, killing up to 20 UN staff members and injuring many others. Details are still coming out, but it appears possible that this protest was used as a cover for insurgents who already planned to attack the UN. According to Kieran Dwyer, director of communications for the UN mission in Afghanistan, the victims were, “civilian people, unarmed, here to do human rights work, to work for peace in Afghanistan – they were not prepared for this situation.”

Shortly after receiving news of the attack, Jones issued a statement saying “We… find this a very tragic and criminal action.  We must hold these countries and people accountable for what they have done as well as for any excuses they may use to promote their terrorist activities.”

Perhaps Jones should consider holding himself accountable for his own actions. As Rev. Welton Gaddy, President of the Interfaith Alliance and State of Belief host, states,

“We are fooling ourselves… if we continue to believe that the actions we take at home don’t have consequences abroad. The disrespect [Jones] has shown for the Muslim faith has now reflected on the rest of us and has led to the worst possible outcome…We as a nation must do more to make clear that bigoted rhetoric and action against the Muslim faith will not be tolerated and does not represent what is in the hearts and minds of the majority of Americans.”

This is the only way forward.

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