Just weeks ago I helped a Daily Caller reporter cover a protest out-front of the White House led by Pastor Terry Jones of Florida. Jones drew attention to himself and his church when he threatened to burn the Koran and was set to counter-protest a radical Muslim group in favor of administering sharia law in America.
Although Jones had said he wouldn’t burn the Koran after the government had asked him not to, he went ahead and followed through just weeks later. Soon after, the world heard of the devastating news of what that had incited.
The Drudge Report linked to a few different articles that covered what had happened in Afghanistan in response to the actions of Jones. At first there were 12 UN staff members murdered, two of which had been beheaded, and then as the weekend went on, the number rose to 20. I couldn’t imagine how Mr. Jones could live with himself, knowing what atrocities his book burning had incited.
The top U.N. envoy in Afghanistan, Staffan de Mistura said, "I don't think we should be blaming any Afghan. We should be blaming the person who produced the news — the one who burned the Quran.”
Jones had said that Islam and its followers were responsible for the killings. It’s true that radical Islamists committed the murders, but they were incited to do so by the actions of another radical.
The AP article goes into great detail about what had happened over the last few days. The second paragraph gives a glimpse into the bigger picture stating how the desecration committed by a small U.S. church sparked a murderous outrage by Muslims worldwide, straining the already stretched ties between the west and Afghanistan. The article lays out its information in a series of what had happened in order whereas other news outlets such as The New York Times approached the coverage from what read like a more personalized perspective, describing those who perished as U.N. workers, Nepalese guards and Europeans from Sweden, Norway and Romania.
According to the New York Times article, “Early reports, later denied by Afghan officials, said that at least two of the dead had been beheaded. Five Afghans were also killed.”
The Times immediately states the attack was the deadliest for the United Nations in Afghanistan since 11 people died in a Taliban suicide bombing in 2009. They have clearly done their research and asked the right questions, drawing from past context to explain the current tragedy. The Times also described the physical setting, reporting that crowds held signs that read “Down with America” and “Death to Obama.” They also reported on the direct response from Terry Jones:
“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,” Jones said in the article.
One thing that the news covered well was that although there is no excuse for the atrocities that have been committed against these innocent U.N. staff in Afghanistan, there is also no excuse for the actions that provoked this religious war.