US embassy condemns Koran burning
"We condemn such acts as disrespectful, intolerant, divisive, and un-representative of American values," the embassy said in a statement.
It said they respected the right of Americans to exercise their freedom of speech, but deeply concerned about all deliberate attempts offending members of any religious or ethnic group.
Pastor Wayne Sapp set light to a copy of the Muslim holy book under the supervision of Terry Jones, who last year drew condemnation over his aborted plan to burn a pile of the books to mark the anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks.
"We believe the best answer to offensive speech is dialogue and debate. As President Obama said in Cairo: "Suppressing ideas never succeeds in making them go away," the US embassy said.
In answering offensive speech, it said, they encouraged people to follow the examples of citizens and religious, political, and community leaders around the world who engaged tirelessly in constructive and respectful dialogue and those responding to such speech by refuting it through principled arguments, bridging communities and faiths and treating each other with dignity and mutual respect.
"Secretary Clinton has made clear this disrespectful, disgraceful act is at odds with our commitment to religious tolerance that goes back to the very beginning of our nation," the statement said.
In a statement on Thursday, President Hamid Karzai called the incident an effort to incite tension between religions and disrespect for Islam and all the Muslims of the world.
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