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Afghan Parliament Demands Apology from US For ‘Blasphemous’ Soccer Balls?

by Dr. D ~ September 9th, 2007

Last month the US Military and coalition forces dropped toys, including soccer balls, into the eastern province of Khost hoping to win support from the local population. Instead, the soccer balls ended up causing a major controversy with 100’s protesting that they were an insult to Islam.

The soccer Balls had the flags of several nations, including the Saudi Arabia flag which bears several verses from the Koran. The Afghans were offended by the Koran verses appearing on a ball that was designed to be kicked. It didn’t matter that the verses, which contain the name of Allah and Muhammad, were just part of the Saudi flag, the Afghans considered the idea of kicking something bearing their names to be deeply offensive to Islam.

Now the Afghan Parliament has actually voted to demand the US to apologize for the supposed slight:

‘The people’s representatives want them (US-led forces) to formally apologise out of respect for public opinion and sentiment,
‘We, representing the people of Afghanistan, want our friendly forces to respect the culture and tradition of people in their activities.’

Comments: This whole thing seems to be ridiculous from the American or Western perspective. It shows that there is a wide difference in understanding and culture. The American forces were hoping to gain favor by providing soccer balls to Afghan children and instead the situation ended up causing even greater division between the Afghan people and the coalition forces. What is really sad is that so many Afghanis are convinced that the slight was done on purpose.             *Top

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