An American soldier used a copy of the Quran as target practice.
He’s since apologized (via a letter) and been relieved from duty in Iraq.
Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Hammond, commander of U.S. forces in Baghdad, apologized to the Radhwaniya tribe for the staff sergeant, who was a sniper section leader assigned to the headquarters of the 64th Armored Regiment. He also read a letter of apology by the shooter.
“I come before you here seeking your forgiveness,” Hammand said to tribal leaders and others at the apology ceremony. “In the most humble manner I look in your eyes today and I say please forgive me and my soldiers.”
The shooter, whose name was not released, shot at a Quran on May 9, villagers said. The Quran used in the incident was discovered two days later, according to the military.
Nothing good’s going to come of this.
But since we don’t have more information on who the person was who did this, consider the possible options:
1) The soldier was Christian. This was a religious “crime.”
2) The soldier had no religious motivation. He was just being an idiot.
3) The soldier was an atheist…
Let’s say it’s the third option.
You could say the soldier had every right to do what he (I assume it’s a he) did. It’s just a book, not a person. It’s akin to burned a flag. There’s no real victim. It’s symbolic. Everyone’s just overreacting.
Or you could also denounce his actions because, even as a symbol, it was an act of violence. And that shouldn’t be appropriate in any situation.
I’m curious what your reaction would be if — a purely hypothetical if — this soldier happened to be an atheist.
(Thanks to infideljoe for the link!)
[tags]atheist, atheism, Koran[/tags]