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Last Updated: Tuesday, 17 May, 2005, 12:11 GMT 13:11 UK
Press unmoved by Newsweek retraction
Muslims protest against Newsweek and the US in Mumbai
Muslims protest in Mumbai
There has been a strong press reaction in the Muslim world after the US magazine Newsweek retracted a report that the Koran had been desecrated by US interrogators at Guantanamo Bay.

Papers in Afghanistan - which saw the biggest protests following the publication of the article - welcome the apology but reject it as too little, too late.

In other Islamic countries, attention still focuses on the original allegation, with calls for Muslim unity and suggestions that the Newsweek report gives the lie to US assertions that it invaded Afghanistan and Iraq to liberate them.

Newsweek has apologised for publishing an unconfirmed report about the desecration of the Muslim holy book, the Koran. We welcome the apology but would like to stress that it came too late, as it had already provoked the religious sentiments of Muslims all around the world, particularly in Afghanistan.

Afghanistan's Hewad

Newsweek has acknowledged errors in a story alleging that US interrogators at the Guantanamo jail desecrated the holy Koran. The report spawned violent protests in Afghanistan, Pakistan and some other countries, which left 15 dead and 123 injured. Therefore, Newsweek's apology is now considered pointless and too late.

Afghanistan's Eslah

Some analysts believe that the Newsweek report is accurate and that the source admitted it was wrong to report the allegation because it came under US government pressure, as the news undermines the US's popularity and makes US citizens vulnerable in the Islamic world.

Afghanistan's Cheragh

The continuing worldwide agitation shows that Muslims across the world have deep love and respect for their Holy Book and cannot afford for it to be desecrated in any way. On the other hand, the US is not ready to apologise to Muslims over the issue. This shows that the US has crossed all limits in its enmity towards Islam.

Pakistan's Islam

If the Muslim Ummah does not unite now and do away with such conspiracies, the Americans will be further encouraged. The desecration of the Koran is such a great crime that a mere apology from the US forces concerned cannot rectify it. All Muslim countries must take this incident as a challenge and form a united platform to thwart all such anti-Islamic designs and conspiracies in future.

Pakistan's Aaj

It seems hard to accept President George W Bush's claims that the aim of the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq was to liberate the two countries. To free a country from human-rights violations means to allow the people to practise their religion, including respect for their holy books.

Indonesia's Republika

Condoleezza Rice's statement in which she tried to justify the actions of the US soldiers violating the sanctity of Islam at Guantanamo is an excuse worse than sin. She tried to escape responsibility by using sweet words alleging that the US Administration respects the beliefs of other nations, especially Islam. Because of its foolish policies, the US has put itself in a quagmire.

Iran's Al-Vefagh

BBC Monitoring selects and translates news from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages. It is based in Caversham, UK, and has several bureaus abroad.

Hear details of Newsweek's apology

Newsweek withdraws Koran report
17 May 05 |  Americas
Hardliners reject Koran apology
16 May 05 |  Americas
The media's fault?
16 May 05 |  Americas
Koran desecration report 'wrong'
16 May 05 |  Americas
Pakistan bans Newsweek magazine
26 Nov 04 |  South Asia

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