Incoming!

The Pentagon has come out with its findings in re: the controversy that Newsweek kicked up several weeks ago. It isn’t exactly a straight flush [If puns could kill -- ed.] but, as the AP reports, here she blows:

The Pentagon on Friday released new details about mishandling of the Quran at the Guantanamo Bay prison for terror suspects, confirming that a soldier deliberately kicked the Muslim holy book and that an interrogator stepped on a Quran and was later fired for “a pattern of unacceptable behavior.”

In other confirmed incidents, a guard’s urine came through an air vent and splashed on a detainee and his Quran; water balloons thrown by prison guards caused an unspecified number of Qurans to get wet; and in a confirmed but ambiguous case, a two-word obscenity was written in English on the inside cover of a Quran.

The AP notes that this information was released “after normal business hours” Friday evening, which is a polite way of saying the military hopes a combination of shifts, deadlines, and the next news cycle will lessen the impact of this one. It would be nice, for instance, if it didn’t spark more deadly riots in Afghanistan.

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  • Stephen A.

    I hope an investigation now begins into the abuse of the Bible by Saudis, who are said to have literally shreded the books in front of Americans and other Westerners when this “contraband” is found by customs officials.
    http://news.spirithit.com/index/middle_east/more/saudis_shred_bibles_rights_campaigners_claim/

    There are also allegations that Palestinians, while holed up in the Church of the Nativity three years ago during a seige, used Bible pages for toilet paper.
    http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=44324

    This recent online editorial by a Muslim about the need to respect the Bible was eye-opening:
    http://www.free-lebanon.com/LFPNews/2005/May/May21/May21b/may21b.html

    But I don’t expect to see any of this in the MSM, since their agenda is pretty clear.

  • Nate Borcherding

    “I hope an investigation now begins into the abuse of the Bible by Saudis, who are said to have literally shreded the books in front of Americans and other Westerners when this “contraband” is found by customs officials.”

    It’s different. 3 reasons:

    -A signifigant amount of Christians don’t believe the Bible is God’s literal, first-hand testimony. I believe it is otherwise with Moslems and the Koran? Further, (and quite frankly) Moslems take their religion much more seriously than the vast majority of Christians do.

    -Do you actually think anyone would be surprised if they were told these things? I don’t believe anyone harbors any delusions about the Muslim world being a cosmopolitan place.

    -These desecrations of the Koran are differentiated from the incidents you mention by the fact that they were commited by agents of US government as a way of torturing men in it’s custody. The US is supposed to be better than the government’s it is deposing, otherwise why bother deposing them?

  • Stephen A.

    Nate, you have a good point about the Bible being different from the Quran in that Muslims hold it in much higher esteem.

    While some Southern Sects here in the US tend to not even *drop* the book or handle it inapproprirately out of reverence for the words, Muslims theologically hold the book itself in far higher esteem due to its revealed status.

    As for the Bible, a great deal of conservative Christians (though granted, not ALL Christians) would be extremely angry if they heard the shredding accusation, just as they were at the “Piss Christ” exhibit.

    The media kind of ridiculed the outrage over that exhibit and others like it, but they aren’t ridiculing the outrage over the Quran abuse. Wonder why the double standard?

    Yes, we should be better than our opponents, and we are. We are in no way filling up mass graves down in Gitmo.

    I think folks in the media need to watch how they use words like torture and desecration. Sometimes they might fit, but often they haven’t.

  • Matthew M.

    I think it is important to also keep in perspective that the detainees themselves are directly responsible for as many or more confirmed “mishandlings” of the Koran as military personnel, not to mention the reports of detainees urinating on and throwing feces at MPs. The Pentagon report says that in fact it was detainees who attempted to flush a Koran down the toilet. Where is the Muslim outrage over these sacrilegious acts by professing Muslims?


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