Protests in Afghanistan over the burning of the Koran entered a third day Sunday. In demonstrations that now extend as far as the city of Jalalabad and the Parwan province, crowds called for U.S. troops to leave their country and in one case burned an effigy of President Obama. While not as deadly as the first two days of protests, the demonstrations show no signs of abating.
While condemning the actions of the protestors in Afghanistan and calling their actions "an affront to human decency and dignity," Obama also condemned the burning of the Koran. "The desecration of any holy text, including the Koran, is an act of extreme intolerance and bigotry," Obama said in a statement released last night.
Obama's condemnation of the violence in Afghanistan and burning of the Koran was echoed in a statement released today by General David Petraeus and Mark Sedwill, top NATO civilian representative in Afghanistan. "We condemn, in particular, the action of an individual in the United States who recently burned the Holy Quran."
While not named specifically, it is clear that the individual being referred to is Pastor Terry Jones, who remains unrepentant in the face of the condemnations. In an interview with The New York Times, Jones said that his burning of the Koran was intended to be provocative, but that he doesn't feel he deservedsblame for what is happening in Afghanistan. "People have tried to make us responsible for the people who are killed. It’s unfair and somewhat damaging," he said.