'Blasphemous' balls

Sometimes it makes people wonder, what have learned and what do we know.

The balls showed the Saudi Arabian flag which features the Koranic declaration of faith.

The US military said the idea had been to give something for Afghan children to enjoy and they did not realise it would cause offence.


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...that there are cultural differences? The people we get here are the adventuresome ones from other cultures. When we go there we better know what we're doing or we'll be in a guerilla war for the next 100 years. Instead, we barge in with no thought for what we're doing. Any anthropologist (with training in that area) could have told them they were making a mistake. Instead, it's all about "sport", the universal language.

Old South End Broadway

...of consideration and sensitive goes both ways.

Perhaps the soccer balls with flags of different nations was 'innappropriate' to some of Islamic faith because it contained the word "Allah"...and those distributing the balls should have considered this.

Perhaps, too, those who took offense could have taken the opportunity to educate about the 'innappropriate' placement and why it is bothersome, rather than protest...

A little bit of politeness and consideration on both sides would have gone a long way.

One does not put the word, God, in what ever language and use their feet to kick it.

Watch video of the toppling of the statue of Saddam Hussein and you see people hitting the statue with the bottoms of their shoes.

It is an insult to hit something or someone with the soles of the shoes and to hit Koranic verses with the soles of the shoes is an insult.

Ever go into the house of a person of oriental descent? Shoes off please. Same in a lot of Arabic homes.


I think Americans should be sensitive about other people's beliefs and faith, but I am perplexed why the same people who always get offended don't appear to have any respect for American's beliefs and faiths. Thousand of them will gather together and utter words wishing American's death just because most of us are Christians and we exist. You won't find me or most Americans gathering in the streets to wish for their end just because their culture is different and our religion is not the same. I grant you, there are some Americans who will. Back in the eighties when the Japanese seemed to be leading the way in the world economy I was constantly bombarded with the idea, don't offend them because we don't want to piss them off. They didn't seem to mind pissing Americans off because they said that Americans were inferior to them because the United States is a Mongrel Nation. And, there was the phobia that Japan was buying-up America. We found out later that the Japanese were 7th on the list of foreign owners. The list was led by Canada, Great Britain, Germany, The Netherlands, and the French. Australia had a pretty good investment in America also. We rarely heard about the fears that these countries and cultures were going to continue to buy-up America. I guess most of us can figure out why. My conclusion is this, if you want respect, give some.

I am not sure what country you refer too and I am not a Muslim, but most of the time when we see Iranian protesters it is the government and not you and me.

"..just because most of us are Christians and we exist."

Well, again it is the extremist that state these views and if one asks the mainstream people they will say that Jesus was a prophet and they respect his statements and views but he is the son of God nor God himself.

"My conclusion is this, if you want respect, give some."

Which is very true in all cultures.

There are those that are extreme like a Pastor I saw on CNN who considers Islam to be a Satanic Pagan religion, he is Christian that also holds to the messianic views.

Then there are those here that are open minded and meet and greet people with no preconceived ideas.

Does the action of a small group of people in Afghanistan so color our views that we cannot see that they are but a small, very small, percentage of the greater world community and there are many more who do not share the statement or opinion that they are stating or expressing.


"You won't find me or most Americans gathering in the streets to wish for their end just because their culture is different and our religion is not the same."

We Americans have our people in their streets killing their innocent men, women and children. It is called the War in Iraq.

Maybe if we hadn

...it's not that they put the name on the ball - they put the FLAG...I don't believe they thought about it.

Besides, a lack of respect or decorum on one end does not excuse a lack of respect or decorum on the other.

No matter what the unintended insult, the way to encourage good communication and understanding is to explain and educate - not protest.

Consider this:

Muslims: "perhaps you didn't realize, but putting the word "allah" on the soccer ball - even though it's in our flag - can offend some people"

US Military: "oh no - we weren't thinking about the word - just the flag - we're so sorry."

Muslims: "That's okay - now you know and we're sure it won't happen again. If you ever have a question about something like this, please ask - we're happy to help or advise."

US Military: "thanks - we really appreciate that."

If this had been the conversation instead of protests, think of how much more might have been accomplished...

Many times bad things happen because good people do nothing.

And I have close friends that are Muslims and I do and continue to converse with them about the Koran and the sensitivity to certain issues.

"Afghan MP Mirwais Yasini said: "To have a verse of the Koran on something you kick with your foot would be an insult in any Muslim country around the world."

"Some displayed flags from countries all over the world, including Saudi Arabia, which features the shahada, one of the five pillars of Islam - the declaration of faith."

The Five Pillars of Islam, not just the Iraqi flag.

"Unfortunately," she added, "there was something on those footballs we didn't immediately understand to be offensive and we regret that as we do not want to offend."

After all this time, U.S. officials still not understand the sensitivity of some to the usage and depiction of Koranic versus.

How many years has it been since we invaded Afghanistan and Iraq and how many embassies do we have in Muslim nations.

That is the point of the article not the flags.

When I am given a Koran to read in conversation, I wash my hands out of deference to the people sharing with me the words as that is the tradition. I also do not allow the Koran to touch the ground. I also do not shake hands with Muslim woman as some find it offensive.


Many times bad things happen because people try to control others when they cannot control what happens around them.

We can control ourselves but I cannot control what you do unless of course I use force or someone else to control you and then when the controlling force is removed or gone, we then have what we have now, cobbled together countries and regions coming back from outside influence and they want to control their own destiny even if it conflicts with the view of someone half way around the globe.


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