Winning hearts and minds it is not.
U.S. forces in Afghanistan on Wednesday apologized for dropping “highly offensive” leaflets that showed a passage from the Quran superimposed onto the image of a dog.
Dogs are considered unclean by many Muslims, and the military warned in a statement that they were expecting demonstrations as a result of the misstep.
“The design of the leaflets mistakenly contained an image highly offensive to both Muslims and the religion of Islam,” Maj. Gen. James Linder, who leads the American and NATO special operations forces in Afghanistan, said in a statement. “I sincerely apologize. We have the deepest respect for Islam and our Muslim partners worldwide.”
The pamphlets dropped in Parwan province on Tuesday showed a lion chasing a white dog with the Taliban flag emblazoned on it. The militant group’s flag contains a fundamental declaration of faith repeated five times a day by devout Muslims throughout the world: “I testify that there is only one God and Muhammad is his messenger.”
Above the picture, the leaflet urged people to report insurgents.
“Take back your freedom from the terrorist dogs and cooperate with coalition forces so they can target your enemy and eliminate them,” it said, according to Reuters.
Click here to read more.
SOURCE: NBC News, F. Brinley Bruton