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Wednesday, May 18, 2005


The intellectual community has been discussing the subject of desecration virtually non-stop since a sentence in a Newsweek Periscope column, designed primarily to put the Bush Administration and the US Military in a bad light, led to widespread riots and the deaths of (reportedly) 17 people.

The story was designed to reinforce the stereotype popular in the MSM that the US habitually mistreats and tortures its prisoners in the War on Terror. The basic meme is that the US military in Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo gives its personnel free reign to torture, humiliate and abuse prisoners. Any hints, accusations and emanations of penumbras of suggestions that something other than subservience of the US military to the sensitivities of Moslems deserves mention in the MSM, proving that Bush is Hitler, the US military is essentially evil, and – like the evil Emperor in Star Wars – the US is heading into the dark ages of Christian Fundamentalist Repression, led by jingoists who are using terrorism as a handy excuse to enforce a dictatorship on America.

I’m not making this up. If you want to read about the evil plot, just link to Kos and learn the truth.

In the excitement about the Newsweek accusation – now retracted, but defended by the MSM as the shining example of impeccable reporting – I noticed something that aroused my interest. The base of the alleged Moslem outrage against the US was our reported sacrilegious treatment of the “Holy Koran.” That is, the US military was accused of flushing one down the toilet in order to “unsettle” a prisoner during interrogation. Leaving aside the practical impossibility of flushing a Koran down a toilet, just assume there is some validity to the accusation.

Ignore for the moment the adjective “Holy” now commonly used by CNN and others in the Western Media when referring to the Koran. When was the last time you heard anyone in the MS refer to the Christian Bible or the Jewish Torah as “holy?” I confidently predict that we will soon hear references to Mohammed followed the phrase “Peace be unto him” by reporters who have never - and will never – refer to Christians as other than Neanderthal Knuckle Draggers and a threat to the Republic..

No, the item that drew my interest was the mention by a Pentagon spokesman that a prisoner at Guantanamo used pages of the Koran to stop up toilets. If it is sacrilege to put a Koran in a toilet, what are we to make of a Moslem tearing up a Koran and putting the torn pages in a toilet to stop it up?

Several learned sages (as well as Anne Applebaum) have opined on the hair-trigger sensitivities of Moslems regarding religion and religious customs. These appear to include not just issues dealing with the Koran, but nudity, menstrual blood, dogs, and speaking in a sexually suggestive manner. I, myself have excerpted writers who have gone to great lengths to explain to non-Moslems the difference between Western views of sacred books and the Moslem view.

In the past we have been warned that the Arab street would rise up if we conducted military activities during Ramadan (it did not such thing). Conveniently forgotten are the major Moslem vs. Moslem conflicts that occurred during Ramadan.

We have to ask ourselves the question: are people on the Moslem side taking incredibly gullible and ignorant Westerners for fools? Or, is it perfectly permissible for a Moslem to tear up a Koran and use the torn up pages to stop up a flush toilet, but for non-Moslems it is grounds for a holy war?

There are, apparently, a lot of things we do not understand about Moslem customs and religious practices. We should not wish to cause anyone unnecessary pain. But the evidence is out about what those sensitivities are and how there are exploited. Stay tuned, because the answer to this question may be found before this war ends.

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