Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Soccer Balls

Another chapter in American cultural literacy:
"A spokesman for the U.S. military said on August 27 it regrets any offense caused by a recent public-relations exercise in which it distributed soccer balls inscribed with the name 'Allah,' AP reported. The military dropped the balls from a helicopter to children in eastern Khost Province on August 24. At least one of the balls showed a Saudi Arabian flag featuring the Islamic declaration of faith in Arabic script, including the names of Allah and the Prophet Muhammad. As Muslims revere any printed material bearing the name of Allah, his prophet, or verses of the Koran, villagers reacted strongly to the ball, said Khost Governor Arsalah Jamal. 'The distribution of soccer balls was done in the spirit of good will, something that we hoped would bring Afghan children some enjoyment,' said a coalition forces spokesman, Sergeant Dean Welch. The coalition regrets 'any disturbance' caused by the gesture, he added.



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