‘Desecration’ of Koran Sparks Global Islamic Fury
Vol: 44 Issue: 14 Saturday, May 14, 2005
According to Newsweek magazine, US interrogators at Guantanamo Bay defiled copies of the Koran by leaving them in toilet cubicles and stuffing one down a lavatory to rattle Muslim prisoners. The report sparked demonstrations by Muslims worldwide.
The first angry reaction came from Afghanistan, where protesters took to the streets in the eastern city of Jalalabad in the largest anti-U.S. demonstration since the fall of the Taliban regime three years ago. Demonstrators clashed with Afghani police and army troops as well as with U.S. forces after they ransacked a dozen government buildings and U.N. offices.
Protests expanded to neighboring Pakistan, where demonstrators took to the streets after Friday prayers in several cities. They burned U.S. flags and called on their government to stop helping Washington in its “war on terrorism.”
Hundreds of Indonesians gathered in a Jakarta mosque to condemn the alleged desecration of the Koran by the U.S. soldiers, while their government called for punishing “those who deserve it for their immoral actions.”
Saudi Arabia, the first Arab country to comment on the reports, expressed “great concern and urged Washington to conduct a quick investigation.” A Foreign Ministry statement said if such allegations were confirmed “deterring measures” should be taken “to charge those held responsible in a way that prevents its repetition and respects the feelings of the Muslims all over the world.”
In Lebanon the militant Hezbollah group described in a statement the alleged desecration of the Koran as “a blunt violation of divine values” and an expression of how “deep” U.S. enmity is toward Muslims.
The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt expressed “great anger and condemnation for such an act” and demanded Washington “to apologize and severely punish the criminals.”
In Khartoum thousands of Sudanese demonstrated after Friday prayers and marched toward the U.S. Embassy, shouting anti-U.S. slogans and calling on their government to sever diplomatic ties with Washington. But anti-riot police deployed in the area prevented them from reaching the embassy compound.
Sudanese officials remained silent and have made no comment on the reports so far.
In the Palestinian Gaza Strip followers of the Islamic movement Hamas set U.S. and Israeli flags on fire, denouncing the alleged desecration of the Koran.
Palestinian Minister for Endowments and Religious Affairs Sheik Youssef Salame called for “confronting and exposing such criminal acts” and for pressuring the United States “so that such an ugly crime is not repeated.”
In London, Secretary-General of the British Islamic Council Iqbal Sakarani demanded an immediate investigating and noted that “the problem seems not with the (U.S.) soldiers who are carrying out the orders” in Guantanamo, but rather with the way the prison is being run.
Masoud Shadjareh, the London-based president of the Muslim Human Rights Committee, summarized Muslim feeling toward U.S. anti-terrorism policies.
“It (desecration of the Koran) is disgusting and proves again that the war is not against terrorism but rather targets the feelings and emotions of Muslims everywhere.”
Newspaper headlines were uniform in their reports of the rioting, with headlines like “Koran Desecration Unleashes Muslim Anger” and “US Must Apologize Over Koran Report” etc., etc.
True to form, some fifty members of the House of Representatives (Democrats all) are calling for an ‘independent’ investigation by a ‘special counsel’, claiming higher-level military and U.S. government officials have been insulated and that only a ‘special counsel’ can ‘get to the bottom’ of it all.
Google returned more than a thousand hits when queried about the alleged ‘desecration’ — I found only three that didn’t treat the story as gospel fact. But buried between the headlines screaming about American brutality, if one looked hard enough, one could discover that the Pentagon has been unable to confirm any of it.
General Richard Myers, America’s top military officer, told a press conference that the general in charge of all U.S. military operations in that part of the world went to Guantanamo himself two days ago to supervise the investigation into the alleged incident.
General Myers reports the investigators began by looking through the interrogation logs for the period in question, in 2002, and could not find any incident listed that would confirm the Newsweek report.
The only report that came close was a log entry where a detainee was reported by a guard to be ripping pages out of a Koran and putting them in the toilet to stop it up as a protest.
The Pentagon says that the religious practices of the Muslim detainees at Guantanamo are respected. Detainees are provided with copies of the Koran, the opportunity to pray and other things needed for their religious observance, including appropriate food.
Guards at the prison receive special training to sensitize them to Islamic religious issues, according to officials.
On Thursday, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice called any disrespect for the Koran ‘abhorrent’, and said it will never be tolerated by the United States. She promised that the military will fully investigate the allegation, and that if it is true appropriate action will be taken.
Whether true or not, one has to wonder if the world has lost its collective mind. Let’s stop and think about it for a second.
Every detainee at Guantanamo is there because they are members of an Islamic war machine dedicated to the destruction of the United States. The source of their inspiration to make war is the Koran. Ensuring each prisoner has a copy makes about as much sense as providing every Nazi POW with a copy of ‘Mein Kampf’.
Throughout the Muslim world, Christians are regularly targeted for imprisonment, torture and death for merely possessing Bibles. In Saudi Arabia, birthplace of Islam, possession of a Bible can be a capital crime. Christian worship services are illegal, as are Christian prayers. A person can be arrested for wearing a cross on a chain.
Since the war began, Islamic terrorists have treated Americans to videotapes of Americans and other Westerners being tortured and murdered on camera. Clearly, being disrespectful of a book pales by comparison.
Whether or not the reports are true is secondary to the reaction of the Muslim world to them. We’ve discussed in the past the fact that America’s liberal mainstream press cheerfully serve as al-Qaeda’s propaganda arm, providing al-Qaeda recruiters will ample evidence to back up their contention that America is the Great Satan.
Isikoff’s piece, evidently obtained from secret FBI documents, has already cost at least a dozen lives.
Undoubtedly, the anger he stirred up among the world’s Muslim population will cost many more lives before it is over with. If his report serves any purpose beyond embarrassing the administration, I can’t tell what it might be.
Which is the more important issue to you? Treating the source document for Islamic terror with more respect than we do our own Bible? (An American school teacher who brings a Bible to school can lose his job for violating federal law.) Or using whatever techniques are available to prevent another terrorist attack against American citizens on US soil?
In war, the objective is to win by whatever means are necessary. The terrorists who oppose us understand that. The terrorists that killed 3000 Americans on September 11 didn’t hesitate to commit suicide in order to complete their mission. Nobody is alleging that terrorists at Gitmo are being killed, maimed or tortured.
At worst, the allegation is that some Americans have no respect for the religion that is behind the deaths of more than five thousand Americans so far, and counting. Tens of thousands more have been permanently maimed by Islamic religionists inspired to commit mayhem by the same book Newsweek is horrified to discover was being ‘disrespected’.
Let’s look at what Newsweek’s report hath wrought: Afghanistan, who only last week requested a long-term American presence in that country, exploded into anti-American riots. Pakistan, a critical ally in the war on terror, has even less reason to want to help us than it did before. The Saudis are lecturing the US on ‘respect’ while protesters burn US flags and chant ‘Death to America’.
Newsweek gave Hezbollah the opportunity to repeat its call for jihad. Hezbollah held up Isikoff’s piece as ‘evidence’ of US hatred of Islam. The Sudanese, who only a month ago were under fire for acts of genocide against its Christian population, marched on the US Embassy, demanding Khartoum sever diplomatic ties with Washington.
And so far, nobody even knows if Newsweek’s allegations are even true!
In the last days’ scenario as outlined by Scripture, all of America’s traditional enemies play prominent roles, from the Russians to the Chinese to the Islamo-facist Middle Eastern states to Europe. The central focus of global attention is the tiny state of Israel. All the major players for the last days are on stage, already on their marks, and awaiting their cue.
Except America. For whatever reason, she isn’t there.
“And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand.” (Matthew 12:25)