Should U.S. Troops be Disciplined for Burning Qur'ans?
The services are deciding whether to discipline troops for destroying Islamic religious materials in Afghanistan. Should service members who destroy religious materials face punishment?
An investigation into allegations that U.S. troops burned Islamic religious materials in Afghanistan in February has been handed off to the military services for final disposition, according to an American Forces Press Service report. It's now up to the individual services whether to take disciplinary action against the troops involved.
The investigation stems from a Feb. 21 incident in which U.S. service members at a detention facility near Bagram, Afghanistan, allegedly burned copies of the Qur'an and other religious materials. The incident sparked days of violent demonstrations in which more than 30 people were killed, including two U.S. troops and two U.S. military advisors, according to an Associated Press report.
Pentagon Press Secretary George Little told the AFPS that the Qur'an burnings are believed to have been inadvertent, and said he didn't believe the incident was indicative of "a broader trend" of anti-Islamic sentiment withing the military. However, the AP reports that military investigators are recommending nonjudicial disciplinary action against one Navy service member and as many as six soldiers.
What do you think? If the Qur'an burnings were indeed inadvertent, should disciplinary action be taken against the service members involved? Or is this merely a strategy to smooth U.S.-Afghan relations at the expense of the troops? Answer the poll below, and let us know your thoughts in the comments.