Indian Islamic scholar Dr Zakir Naik, above, says masturbation is harmful. He warns that, among other things, its leads to back pain, weakness of memory and eyesight and premature aging. Oh, and it causes legs to shiver.
When Naik issued his warning in last December, it would not have occurred to him that someone might actually masturbate over a Koran. If the thought had crossed his mind he would, no doubt, have shivered all over, and added blasphemy to his list of sins associated with the practice.
CBC News reports that the Canadian military plans to dismiss three cadets from its premier officer training academy – the Royal Military College Saint-Jean – after a video was shot of a student at the school jackin’ the beanstalk over a copy of the Koran.
Five other cadets have been disciplined.
The video was recorded over the Easter long weekend, defence officials revealed.
Lt-Gen. Charles Lamarre, Chief of Military personnel, above, told CBC News:
We’re absolutely appalled it took place. What they did and what they were involved with has absolutely no place in the Canadian Armed Forces.
An internal investigation has been hampered because the video in question was apparently deleted after it came to the attention of the school’s administration.
Lamarre said the circumstances of who deleted the video – and when – are unclear.
It was destroyed. It was deleted.
As far as military investigators can determine, it was not uploaded or posted anywhere on social media.
One of the cadets performed the sexual act over the Koran while another filmed the scene on March 31, off campus at a chalet in the province’s Montérégie region. The cadets apparently brought the Koran with them to the chalet.
Lamarre said the school’s administration moved quickly, launching an investigation as soon as the existence of the video was brought to their attention by students who had seen it.
The desecration drew a sharp response from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who said:
This is a deplorable situation. We are taking this very seriously. It does not represent our Forces, our beautiful diversity and our Canadian values. We will follow up quite aggressively on this.
Of the three expelled for unsatisfactory conduct, two are appealing the decision. It will take until mid-June to decide their fate. One of the cadets will not appeal.
Five others have been given warnings and black marks on their records. They were granted leniency based upon their degree of involvement and contrition, said an official who was only authorised to provide procedural information and not comment.
Lamarre said his office is looking into the matter and that the desecration of any religious symbol by a member of the Canadian Forces will not be tolerated.
Due process will be applied, and those found to be responsible for this vile act, will be held accountable for their actions. We are a diverse and inclusive force. We reflect the Canadian mosaic; diversity is our strength. We demand the best of those who serve, as Canadians rightly demand the best of us.
The military consulted Hassan Guillet, above, spokesperson for the Quebec Council of Imams, on how to handle the crisis. He said the incident was unacceptable, but it was better that it came to light before they had graduated and become:
Senior officers with a racist attitude … lacking respect, lacking sensitivity to the faith of their colleagues. It’s serious.
The imam said the Armed Forces are sending the right message with the punishment issued to those involved.
Naik, by the way, was banned from entering the UK in 2010.