Monday, May 16, 2005

Now Muslims don't believe Newsweek's retraction.

Muslims doubt Quran climbdown

On Sunday, Newsweek backed away from the report and offered its sympathies "to victims of the violence and to the U.S. soldiers caught in its midst." (Full story)

But Muslims said they suspected that pressure from Washington was behind the magazine's climbdown, Reuters reported Monday.

"We will not be deceived by this," Islamic cleric Mullah Sadullah Abu Aman told Reuters in the northern Afghan province of Badakhshan.

"This is a decision by America to save itself. It comes because of American pressure. Even an ordinary illiterate peasant understands this and won't accept it."

On Sunday, a group of clerics led by Aman vowed to call for a jihad, or holy war, against the United States in three days unless it handed over the interrogators reported to have desecrated the Quran.

He said the call for a holy war still stood. In the May 9 story, Newsweek cited sources as saying investigators looking into abuses at the military prison found interrogators "had placed Qurans on toilets, and in at least one case flushed a holy book down the toilet."

[snip]

"Top administration officials have promised to continue looking into the charges, and so will we," Newsweek Editor Mark Whitaker wrote in the magazine's May 23 issue, out Sunday.

"But we regret that we got any part of our story wrong, and extend our sympathies to victims of the violence and to the U.S. soldiers caught in its midst."

Some Afghans, however, were unconvinced.

"It's not acceptable now that the magazine says it's made a mistake," Reuters quoted 42-year-old writer and journalist Hafizullah Torab as saying. "No one will accept it."

Sayed Elyas Sedaqat, who heads a cultural group in the eastern Afghan city of Jalalabad, where the protests began last Tuesday, said: "Possibly, the American government put pressure on the magazine to issue the retraction to avoid the anger of Muslims."

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Yeah, this is a big surprise.

Like I said before, there's no way Newsweek can undo this.