US condemns Quran desecration, dismayed by violence in Kashmir, Punjab

Last Updated: Mon, Sep 13, 2010 15:50 hrs

Condemning the desecration of the Quran by a 'misguided individual' in his country, US ambassador Timothy J. Roemer Monday said the US was 'dismayed' by reports about violence in Kashmir and Punjab triggered by these reports and appealed for calm.

On Monday, violent mobs in Kashmir set on fire a Christian missionary school in north Kashmir's Tangmarg town after an Iranian television channel reportedly showed that the Muslim holy book was torn in several parts of the US.

Rumours that copies of the Quran had been defiled in Michigan, US, also led to curfew in Punjab's Malerkotla town.

The US envoy, however, clarified that a 'one misguided individual' desecrated the Quran by tearing pages from it Saturday and condemned such acts as 'disrespectful, intolerant, divisive and un-representative of American values.' '

'The deliberate destruction of any holy book is an abhorrent act,' he said.

Roemer said he was also 'dismayed to see reports that a school and a church in Kashmir and Punjab have been attacked and destroyed by rioters'.

'We strongly support the local authorities' appeal for calm and an end to the violence,' he said.

Asserting that the Quran's desecration was not representative of American values, Roemer said: 'These acts are well outside of the American mainstream and offend millions, including myself.'

He said that Islam had its 'right and equal place in America along with all regions and always will', adding that extremists in all countries were more interested in sowing hatred rather than in peaceful co-existence.

Quoting US President Barack Obama, Roemer said that America and Islam are not in competition, but rather they overlap and share common principles of justice, progress, tolerance and dignity of all humans.

'One misguided American tearing pages from the Holy Quran will not change this - today, tomorrow, or ever,' Roemer asserted.