Maj. Gen. Jeffery Hammond issued a formal apology after it was discovered that an American soldier had been using the Quran for target practice.
"I come before you here seeking your forgiveness," Hammond said to tribal leaders and others at the apology ceremony. "In the most humble manner I look in your eyes today and I say please forgive me and my soldiers."The reality of the situation in Iraq is bad enough without the American occupation forces going out of their way to offend the locals. I'm all for highlighting the idiocy of religious belief, including Islam, but this is neither the time nor the place. This sort of thing simply riles up the religious extremists on both sides already insisting that America is engaged in a holy war. As Hammond correctly stated, "I've come to this land to protect you, to support you -- not to harm you -- and the behavior of this soldier was nothing short of wrong and unacceptable."
For more on this topic, see Friendly Atheist and CNN.