"Our United States government and our President must take a close, realistic look at the radical element Islam," he said. "Islam is not a religion of peace. It is time that we call these people to accountability. We demand that our United States government stand up and speak out against these acts. These people must be called to justice." Jones told the BBC, "We are absolutely not responsible, no, we are not responsible for their actions, that's an excuse."
Liberal blogger George Zornick at Think Progress chided Jones for burning the Koran and other Republicans for fanning the flames of the Park51 controversy.
"This unfortunate but predictable violence is exactly what Petraeus, Gates, and others warned about," he writes."It’s important to note that several prominent members of the far right — many of them leaders of the anti-Park 51 movement — bashed Petraues for his warnings."
Dan Amira at New York magazine focused on the bizarre logic of the Muslim killers. "Good job, citizens of Mazar-i-Sharif, for defending your religion's honor by killing a bunch of innocent people who had nothing to do with Jones or the Koran burning, and, in fact, had dedicated themselves to making your shit country a bit better for you to live in. You really changed a lot of hearts and minds today."
Former CNN anchor Rick Sanchez, in a post at The Huffington Post, focused on Jones's culpability.
"The lesson he needs to learn is that he has every right to express his opinion about Islam or to disagree with Muslims, but he doesn't have to spit in their faces to do it," Sanchez writes. "He didn't need to desecrate a book that one and a half billion people hold sacred in order to make a point." Doug Mataconis at Outside the Beltway addresses Jones directly. "You may not be responsible for these deaths, but our actions have done nothing but needlessly inflame passions. I hope you’re happy with yourself."
Pushing back against those blaming Jones for the massacre, The Daily Caller's Mike Riggs raises a hypothetical. "If a paranoid jingoist shot up a Mosque every time an Afghan burned the U.S. flag, would we blame the foreigner like we're blaming Jones?"
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.