KABUL, Afghanistan The U.S. military regrets any offense it may have caused by handing out a soccer ball emblazoned with the name of Allah on it as part of a public relations exercise in Afghanistan, a spokesman said.
At least one of the balls which were dropped by helicopter to children in Khost province in eastern Afghanistan on Friday carried a small picture of the Saudi Arabian flag. The flag features in Arabic script the Islamic declaration of faith, which contains the words Allah and the Prophet Muhammad.
Villagers were "upset and angry" when they saw the ball, said Khost governor Arsalah Jamal.
"They wanted to demonstrate, but we explained to them it was a mistake," he said Monday.
Muslims treat with the utmost respect any printed matter containing verses of the Quran or the name of Allah or his prophet on it. Most would find the idea of kicking a ball emblazoned with those two names as deeply offensive.
Sgt. Dean Welch, a spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition, said "the distribution of soccer balls was done in the spirit of good will, something that we hoped would bring Afghan children some enjoyment."
Blow up women and childern for alla is ok, giving a child a soccer ball with alla on it is bad.
Maybe if the soccer ball exploded it would be ok?