The United Nations top envoy to Afghanistan, Staffan de Mistura, has condemned the alleged plan of a U.S. religious group to burn copies of the Quran, warning it could put the lives of aid workers in the Islamic nation at risk.
“If such an abhorrent act were to be implemented, it would only contribute to fuelling the arguments of those who are indeed against peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan,” de Mistura said in a statement dated Sept. 8.
The Dove World Outreach Center reportedly said it will burn copies of the Quran in commemoration of the Sept. 11 attacks, according to the U.N. News Service.
“It could also put in jeopardy the efforts of so many Afghans and foreigners who are trying to assist Afghanistan to find its own way to peace and stability within the framework of its own culture, traditions and, indeed, religion,” de Mistura said.
The Agency Coordinating Body for Afghan Relief, an umbrella group of local and international organizations, urged the organizers of “this irresponsible initiative to stop their plans with immediate effect,” Deutsche Presse-Agentur reports.
“In the context of Afghanistan, where the situation remains precarious, such an initiative could cost the lives of innocent civilians and dedicated humanitarian workers,” it said.