The U.S. military are amazed that Afghanis are upset about the name of Allah being on soccer balls the military dropped from helicopters over Afghan villages. Did no-one think to ask an actual Muslim if the soccer balls were acceptable first, just for sh**ts and giggles?
A demonstration has been held in south- east Afghanistan accusing US troops of insulting Islam after they distributed footballs bearing the name of Allah. 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.I know this was a genuine mistake, and I know the U.S. military was just trying to do a good deed. But if they had asked a Muslim to give the soccer balls a quick look, just once, before air-dropping them...
The footballs were dropped from a helicopter in Khost province. 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.
...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."
As we come up on six years since the October 2001 invasion of Afghanistan, it is just utterly depressing that the U.S. military can still be this FUBAR when it comes to "hearts and minds" operations and basic awareness of cultural sensitivities.