Red Cross told U.S. of Koran incidents

zimv20

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WASHINGTON -- The International Committee of the Red Cross documented what it called credible information about U.S. personnel disrespecting or mishandling Korans at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility and pointed it out to the Pentagon in confidential reports during 2002 and early 2003, an ICRC spokesman said Wednesday.

Representatives of the ICRC, who have played a key role in investigating abuse allegations at the facility in Cuba and other U.S. military prisons, never witnessed such incidents firsthand during on-site visits, said Simon Schorno, an ICRC spokesman in Washington.

But ICRC delegates, who have been granted access to the secretive camp since January 2002, gathered and corroborated enough similar, independent reports from detainees to raise the issue multiple times with Guantanamo commanders and with Pentagon officials, Schorno said in an interview Wednesday.

Following the ICRC's reports, the Defense Department command in Guantanamo issued almost three pages of detailed, written guidelines for treatment of Korans. Schorno said ICRC representatives did not receive any other complaints or document similar incidents following the issuance of the guidelines on Jan. 19, 2003.

(more)
 

IJ Reilly

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The Buck Doesn't Stop With Newsweek

It's Bush's policies, not a magazine article, that fuel Arab anger.

Margaret Carlson

May 19, 2005

"I feel terrible." Period. Full stop.

So Newsweek Editor Mark Whitaker finally said last Monday after a retraction of the magazine's May 1 report, based on an unnamed source, that guards at Guantanamo Bay flushed a Koran down the toilet. In riots that ensued in the Muslim world, there were at least 14 deaths, for which the Bush administration blames Newsweek.

Whitaker should have moved faster. When a source, no matter how previously reliable or highly placed, goes south, the news organization is always in the wrong. It shouldn't fall back on any "if such and such happened, then I apologize" constructions of the type perfected by government officials and corporate executives.

Claiming that the situation is "murky" and it's still on the story, as Newsweek did when the problem first surfaced, came perilously close to sounding like O.J. protesting that he's still searching for the real killer.

This is not one of those endless media navel-gazing controversies — the excessive coverage of Michael Jackson or the runaway bride, for example. Lives were lost, and Newsweek has become a whipping boy for the White House and the Pentagon.

This case is far more serious than the recent CBS fracas. In an effort to confirm once and for all the previously published reports that Lt. George W. Bush received preferential treatment in the Texas Air National Guard, Dan Rather relied on documents that were later discredited. By the time the White House finished with him, you'd have thought Rather tried to make a liar out of a war hero with three Purple Hearts and two Silver Stars.

Newsweek tripped up in a similar race for a scoop. Earlier, the New York Times reported that British detainees released from Guantanamo claimed that guards would "kick the Koran, throw it in the toilet and generally disrespect it." Newsweek moved the story forward with its unnamed source stating that the Pentagon would conclude in a forthcoming report that U.S. military interrogators had indeed flushed a Koran down the toilet to rattle suspects.

OK, so the retraction should have come quicker. But now the administration should stop trying to shift blame for the deadly protests to a magazine. It has yet to explain why the Defense Department passed up the chance to correct the source's assertion when the magazine took the unusual step of submitting the report for review prior to publication. The reporter took silence as confirmation.

Wrong in retrospect? Sure. Silence is always ambiguous. But the Pentagon has managed to dodge the inconvenient question of why it didn't raise a red flag when given the opportunity, or at least warn Newsweek of the potentially grave consequences of publishing.

The administration is also ignoring the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Richard B. Myers, who told of a senior U.S. commander in Afghanistan saying that the protests were "not at all tied to the article."

That didn't stop the White House from insisting the opposite. "The report had real consequences," spokesman Scott McClellan said. "People have lost their lives." Tuesday, when Pentagon spokesman Lawrence DiRita was asked if, in light of Myers' statement, he still believed that people died because of the erroneous report, he said, "I do, I absolutely do."

It's understandable that the administration might want to flush Newsweek down the toilet and pawn off the blame for its own mistakes. How cathartic it must be to have something other than those famous photos from Abu Ghraib to blame for rampant anti-Americanism. How comforting, after Ahmad Chalabi, to have someone other than the CIA or White House publicly burned by a bad source.

No one excuses Newsweek. But in its long adventure in the Arab world, the administration has hatched few strategies as hollow as holding a magazine responsible for its own failings.
http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-carlson19may19,0,4129103.column
 

zimv20

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LA Times article said:
in its long adventure in the Arab world, the administration has hatched few strategies as hollow as holding a magazine responsible for its own failings.
a well-phrased closing.
 

Sayhey

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IJ Reilly said:
I thought so. Sometimes you just need to slow down and smell the ironies.
As in an Administration blaming Newsweek for lies that led to the death of others?

"People have lost their lives." Tuesday, when Pentagon spokesman Lawrence DiRita was asked if, in light of Myers' statement, he still believed that people died because of the erroneous report, he said, "I do, I absolutely do."
This from an administration that moved us to war on the basis of "erroneous" reports and outright lies. Amazing isn't it that reporters can repeat this stuff and keep a straight face.
 

IJ Reilly

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Sayhey said:
As in an Administration blaming Newsweek for lies that led to the death of others?
That would be the irony that stinks the most, yes.

This is what really ticks me off about what Newsweek has done here. They gave the administration another golden opportunity to blame-shift, and bury the real story under tons of self-righteous indignation.
 

Xtremehkr

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While it is nice to be able to point out the irony, and what stinks about the situation, is that going to correct the problem?

I'm not convinced that merely knowing what is going on is going to be a solution. I think that the few who now know about what the reality of situation is are dwarfed by those who do not. Since mainstream outlets like Newsweek (who should be defending themselves) have acquiesced and others are not willing to step forward.

So the same problem presents itself once again. The majority of the public will probably be mislead into thinking that the media has made of mess of things. When in reality, they had nothing to do with it. Leaving the Administration in the right, and the detractors in the wrong.

It's nice to know though, for all that helps with actually doing anything about it.
 

pseudobrit

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You could tell from the administration's reaction that the Newsweek story was a plant.

They had an almost identical reaction to the story they planted with 60 Minutes about Bush's guard service.

"Oh, gee, that's an odd story. Hmm... no, we're not sure if that's accurate. Of course we'll investigate and all, but we're pretty sure this isn't true. Golly gee willickers and aw shucks..."

This has the same effect the TANG story did during the election:

1) It is an unprovable fact that Bush dodged his service.
2) Many fence-sitters believe that Bush dodged his service, but are not sure of it.
3) Poisonous story is "leaked" and a respected news outlet runs with the leak
4) Poison is delivered; news outlet is shamed for running the story.
5) Unprovable fact becomes a lie.
 

Sayhey

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pseudobrit said:
1) It is an unprovable fact that Bush dodged his service.
I think you mean a "provable" fact, but otherwise you have hit the nail on the head of my paranoia. If what we have is a systematic disinformation campaign coming out of the Bush administration, it fits the modus operandi of these guys, but is exceedingly hard to prove. Which as you point out, is the whole point of disinformation campaigns. No one ever said we tin-foil hat types couldn't be right!
 

zimv20

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Inmates Alleged Koran Abuse

link

Inmates Alleged Koran Abuse

FBI Papers Detail Detainees' Reports Of Ill Treatment

Detainees told FBI interrogators as early as April 2002 that mistreatment of the Koran was widespread at the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and many said they were severely beaten by captors there or in Afghanistan, according to FBI documents released yesterday.

The summaries of FBI interviews, obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union as part of an ongoing lawsuit, include a dozen allegations that the Koran was kicked, thrown to the floor or withheld as punishment. One prisoner said in August 2002 that guards had "flushed a Koran in the toilet" and had beaten some detainees.

But the Pentagon said yesterday that the same prisoner, who is still in custody, was reinterviewed on May 14 and "did not corroborate" his earlier claim about the Koran.

"We still have found no credible allegations that a Koran was flushed down a toilet at Guantanamo," Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said in a statement last night.

The newly declassified accounts, written primarily in 2002 and 2003, were released in the aftermath of an international uproar over a now-retracted story by Newsweek magazine, which reported that an internal military investigation had confirmed that a Koran was flushed down a toilet. Some administration officials have blamed the story for sparking riots overseas that left 16 people dead.

The disclosures came on the same day that Amnesty International released a report calling Guantanamo Bay "the gulag of our time" and labeling the United States "a leading purveyor and practitioner" of torture and mistreatment of prisoners. Amnesty and the Constitution Project, a legal advocacy group, made separate demands yesterday for an independent investigation into allegations of detainee abuse at U.S. facilities.

While detainees and others have lodged complaints of abuse at Guantanamo Bay, this is only the second major release of internal FBI memos on the subject. The accounts released yesterday by the ACLU consist of summaries of FBI interrogations of Guantanamo Bay detainees and therefore do not provide corroboration of the allegations.

Some captives said they witnessed mistreatment of the Koran. Three told FBI interrogators that they had only heard about incidents from other inmates, the records show.

Yet the interviews underscore that U.S. government officials were made aware of allegations of prisoner abuse and Koran mistreatment within months of the opening of Guantanamo Bay in early 2002, and echo allegations made by the International Committee of the Red Cross and a Muslim chaplain, as well as the detainees and their attorneys.

(more)
 

solvs

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Dunno, think this time they just got lucky. Figured they'd use the old tried and true "liberal media spin". The only people that care have already picked a side to believe, so it doesn't really matter. The rest of us just shrug our shoulders , knowing we can't trust the administration nor the press.
 

Desertrat

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Some folks are a wee tad upset:

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/05/28/international/asia/28koran.html?th&emc=th

I find this comment interesting:

"In many Muslim countries, any disrespect to the Islamic holy book is blasphemous and punishable by death."

I don't condone disrespect to the sacred symbols of any religion. However, my sarcasm bubble keeps swelling:

1. I'm glad that this isolated instance at Gitmo is the only example, ever, of any disrespect to any sort of holy scripture by anybody.

2. I have read--but have no "real evidence"--that the mere touching of a Koran by an Infidel is disrespect to the Koran. (Interpretation of the various Suras of the Koran seems to vary from one citer to another; I'm reminded, of course, of interpretations of the Christian Bible...)

3. After the fatwa was issued against Salman Rushdie, I've been wondering at this notion that Islam is a religion of peace.

4. I note, en passant that nobody has done an artistic rendering of "Piss Mohammed". (Which thought leads to a "do-loop" to Item 3.)

Say you're a guard at Gitmo. You're a bit tired of outside hassles, and rather fed up with having feces thrown at you by prisoners, and being spat upon by prisoners. You want to get some prisoner's attention, so you figure out what deprivation might do that: Take away his Holy Book for some period of time. "Desecration!" "Touched by an Infidel!"

Being young and thoroughly POed you might even wipe the prisoner's spittle off your face and rub in onto his copy of the Koran...

So (changing the scenario), now, you as a White House advisor are there when various news items start being reported. Is not the first reaction, "WTF?" And the second reaction, after saying "Oh, crap!", is what? Damage control as best as possible?

Remember, we don't have to be in Iraq, we don't have to be in Afghanistan, to have a Moslem in custody. And that Moslem prisoner could well be in some federal holding facility and have the same behavioral interactions with the guards as my scenario at Gitmo.

'Rat
 

mactastic

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So are you arguing that the desecration never happened, or that you just don't care if it did?

How about a slightly different scenario: A cop arrests somebody who proceeds to insult and spit on the cop. Being young and thoroughly PO'd he takes his nightstick to the guy and beats the **** out of him. I guess it's just no big deal that the person who's supposed to be 'the bigger person' in the situation lost their cool?

And you continually ruminate about this one so I'll repeat my answer I've given before since you seem so fixated on it. The Piss Christ was a statement about the dominant paradigm. Islam is not the dominant paradigm in the western world, Christianity is. This work was done by an American artist. As members of a group you have much more validity in criticizing your own. Witness a white guy doing stand up with nothing but 'Yo Momma' jokes. Or a non-Jewish person trying to make jokes about Jews.

When Islam is the dominant paradigm in the world, expect the avante-garde to be going after it, but in the meantime don't be surprised when they stick to taking on the top dog.

After Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, and James Dobson supported killing Muslims, I've been wondering at this notion that Christianity is a religion of peace. Doesn't matter that the vast majority of the Christians don't feel that way, if a few at the top who grab all the attention feel it, than it must mean the whole religion does as well. Right? I mean, I've never studied Christianity or met all that many Christians, but I feel pretty secure in calling them all hateful warmongers based on the words of a few.

Do you really think there weren't Christian people who wanted to kill Andres Serrano given the chance?
 

IJ Reilly

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Excellent response.

But I was thinking of the great potential benefits of Christians adopting the same policy towards the Bible that at least some Muslims have for the Koran, that it can't be touched by infidels. Sure would change the face of evangelism. At the very least, it would put the Gideons out of business.
 

pseudobrit

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Desertrat said:
1. I'm glad that this isolated instance at Gitmo is the only example, ever, of any disrespect to any sort of holy scripture by anybody.
Did the VC tear up Bibles in front of POWs? I think the application of the disrespect as part of an overall torture/interrogation process is what makes it particularly nasty. They've already taken everything possible from these guys: dignity, rights, freedom, (due process). I guess the one thing we can't take -- their faith -- we just **** on instead.

3. After the fatwa was issued against Salman Rushdie, I've been wondering at this notion that Islam is a religion of peace.
After abortion clinic bombings, I've been wondering about this notion of modern Christianity as a religion of peace.

4. I note, en passant that nobody has done an artistic rendering of "Piss Mohammed".
Sounds like you've got yerself a weekend project.

Say you're a guard at Gitmo. You're a bit tired of outside hassles, and rather fed up with having feces thrown at you by prisoners, and being spat upon by prisoners. You want to get some prisoner's attention, so you figure out what deprivation might do that: Take away his Holy Book for some period of time. "Desecration!" "Touched by an Infidel!"
Say you're a prisoner at Gitmo. You're tired of being kept in a kennel, but you're glad they finally put a roof on the cages. They took you away from your family without telling them, in the middle of the night. Your only crime was that some informant who was being paid by the head held a grudge against you and turned you in. No one knows where you are and you have no legal representation. You haven't been charged with any crime. You have no trial to look forward to.

Now you're subject to all sorts of unorthodox techniques that border on torture (and are quite within that definition as per Geneva) as the Americans try to get information out of you that you don't have. You're not an iron-willed terrorist; you're a simple, uneducated peasant. All you have to keep you sane is faith and prayer.

Tell me, 'rat, all sarcasm aside, how would you feel if something like this happened to someone in your family?
 

Desertrat

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"The Piss Christ was a statement about the dominant paradigm."

If you say so. All I see is a sneering insult of folks who bust hump to take care of their own. Like the folks here on the border who spend most of their time finding clothes and food for the poor on both sides of the River. Like the Baptist preacher here in Terlingua, or the Padre up at Redford. Or another priest, "Father Mel", who gave his lifetime to helping others. Or the murdered nuns in Central America, or...

That "Piss Christ" dude was a POS whose closest experience with a paradigm was when he had four nickels.

I'm not at all believing no mistreatment of Korans occurred. I don't think I inferred that, not at all.

That bit about the cop doing the beating on the prisoner had zilch to do with anything at all. "So's your old man" BS.

I'll try again:

Say we never went beyond action in Afghanistan. Say we've only targeted specific Al Qaida people. No military action against Iraq. And say all non-Taliban terrorist suspects who are Islamic are in jails within the US. I really do hope that nobody is gonna try to tell me that none of those who have been arrested provided probable cause, or that none of them were Islamic.

So if several of those jailed in the US reported abuse of their Korans: Would there be no reaction out of the Moslem world? No "Marbar" calls against the Great Satan? It's solely due to Bush's actions in Iraq?

As far as Christian violence comparisons: I don't see reports of Christians beheading people who weren't shooting at them. I can understand the people in Iraq shooting at our soldiers and trying to kill those seen as our collaborators and any Infidel bodyguards. But it strikes me as weird as all get out to grab and torture aid-type workers. Or those who are involved in rebuilding Iraqi facilities. I don't see Christians doing that, anywhere.

And it's not just Iraq. It's Moslem behavior in the Philippines and Indonesia and in various countries in Africa: Killing people for the evil sin of not being Moslem.

'Rat
 

pseudobrit

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Desertrat said:
As far as Christian violence comparisons: I don't see reports of Christians beheading people who weren't shooting at them. I can understand the people in Iraq shooting at our soldiers and trying to kill those seen as our collaborators and any Infidel bodyguards. But it strikes me as weird as all get out to grab and torture aid-type workers. Or those who are involved in rebuilding Iraqi facilities. I don't see Christians doing that, anywhere.

And it's not just Iraq. It's Moslem behavior in the Philippines and Indonesia and in various countries in Africa: Killing people for the evil sin of not being Moslem.
Bull****: Yugoslavia.

Doublebull****: Ireland.
 

IJ Reilly

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Also, Lebanon.

The problem is, everyone who kills somebody else believes they've done it for a justifiable cause, in defense of something critically important. The world is way too populated with people who are far too certain of the rightness of their cause. Nationalism, religion -- it all leads to more or less the same place eventually.
 

solvs

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Desertrat said:
I don't see reports of Christians beheading people who weren't shooting at them. But it strikes me as weird as all get out to grab and torture aid-type workers. Or those who are involved in rebuilding Iraqi facilities. I don't see Christians doing that, anywhere.
Funny, I don't see any Children of Mohammad doing that either. Just a bunch of people claiming to be followers of the Koran, then doing the exact opposite of what it teaches. If you don't see any similarities to people doing the same thing with the Bible and Christianity, I would suggest that you open your eyes. :cough: KKK :cough: Etc.

Oh, and I seem to remember everyone being behind us during the whole Afganistan thing. It was just when the Iraq thing happened everything seemed to go from bad to worse (where is that Bin Laden anyway). Not that that changes anything. Last I checked, 2 wrongs still don't make a right. No matter what the situation. But then, I keep thinking we're supposed to be the good guys.
 

mactastic

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Desertrat said:
"The Piss Christ was a statement about the dominant paradigm."

If you say so. All I see is a sneering insult of folks who bust hump to take care of their own. Like the folks here on the border who spend most of their time finding clothes and food for the poor on both sides of the River. Like the Baptist preacher here in Terlingua, or the Padre up at Redford. Or another priest, "Father Mel", who gave his lifetime to helping others. Or the murdered nuns in Central America, or...
Sneering insult? How about Christians claiming Muslims aren't suitable for the SCOTUS? How about Bush Sr. claiming atheists were 'neither citizens nor patriots'? And you want to whine about a crucifix dunked in urine? Please. In this country you can impugn the honor of an atheist and become president. If you do the same to a Christian you incur the wrath of Jesse Helms. So let's not talk about sneering insults that besmirch many good people, ok?

That "Piss Christ" dude was a POS whose closest experience with a paradigm was when he had four nickels.
Sounds like you'd declare a fatwa on him if you had the power. But really 'Rat, I'm disappointed that you'd use the 'he's stupid' argument. It's beneath you. Pretty much anyone can determine who the top dogs are.

I'm not at all believing no mistreatment of Korans occurred. I don't think I inferred that, not at all.
Ok, so you don't deny it, you just don't care? How would you feel if our guys were being treated the way we treat those at Gitmo?

That bit about the cop doing the beating on the prisoner had zilch to do with anything at all. "So's your old man" BS.
Ok, I'll try again:

How do you feel about the person who's supposed to be in charge losing their cool? Is it ever acceptable?

I'll try again:

Say we never went beyond action in Afghanistan. Say we've only targeted specific Al Qaida people. No military action against Iraq. And say all non-Taliban terrorist suspects who are Islamic are in jails within the US. I really do hope that nobody is gonna try to tell me that none of those who have been arrested provided probable cause, or that none of them were Islamic.
That has, as a wise man once said, zilch to do with anything. Are you dealing in wishes and dreams or are you dealing with the reality on the ground? Sure some have probable cause. But we'll never know will we?

So if several of those jailed in the US reported abuse of their Korans: Would there be no reaction out of the Moslem world? No "Marbar" calls against the Great Satan? It's solely due to Bush's actions in Iraq?
Not solely. But do you deny that Bush crusade has heightened anger against us?

As far as Christian violence comparisons: I don't see reports of Christians beheading people who weren't shooting at them. I can understand the people in Iraq shooting at our soldiers and trying to kill those seen as our collaborators and any Infidel bodyguards. But it strikes me as weird as all get out to grab and torture aid-type workers. Or those who are involved in rebuilding Iraqi facilities. I don't see Christians doing that, anywhere.
A completely fatuous argument as other posters have noted.

And it's not just Iraq. It's Moslem behavior in the Philippines and Indonesia and in various countries in Africa: Killing people for the evil sin of not being Moslem.

'Rat
Well it's been done in the name of religion often enough, but somehow the flock keeps coming.
 

Desertrat

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"Ok, so you don't deny it, you just don't care? How would you feel if our guys were being treated the way we treat those at Gitmo?"

There have been beheadings at Gitmo?

"How do you feel about the person who's supposed to be in charge losing their cool?"

It's bad; it's wrong. It's against (in Gitmo) the UCMJ. But remember that's it's known that such things will inevitably happen, which is why such misbehavior is spoken to in the UCMJ or the Rules/Regs of prison management.

I'm fully aware of the history of religious warfare. But I'm talking about today, and on a worldwide basis the Irish prot/cath problem is chump change.

Quoting myself: "But it strikes me as weird as all get out to grab and torture aid-type workers. Or those who are involved in rebuilding Iraqi facilities. I don't see Christians doing that, anywhere."

Why is that fatuous, given that folks here seem to be equating the verbal comments of Bush and Helms with the torture and beheadings of non-combatants in Iraq? In the context of this thread, this equating seems to be so.

'Rat
 

IJ Reilly

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If you are selective about your timeframes, you can prove almost anything. I was trying to point out that sectarian violence has a long and terrible history, and that taking the longer view, you'd be hard pressed to find a religion that hasn't committed any.
 

mactastic

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Desertrat said:
"Ok, so you don't deny it, you just don't care? How would you feel if our guys were being treated the way we treat those at Gitmo?"

There have been beheadings at Gitmo?
Oh I hadn't realized our guys had had their legs crushed or their torsos beaten so badly that a blood clot formed and traveled to their head and killed them. But I suppose you think beheading is worse.

"How do you feel about the person who's supposed to be in charge losing their cool?"

It's bad; it's wrong. It's against (in Gitmo) the UCMJ. But remember that's it's known that such things will inevitably happen, which is why such misbehavior is spoken to in the UCMJ or the Rules/Regs of prison management.
Well it's known that atrocities (including beheadings) will occur in war, remember, that's why such misbehavior is spoken to in the Geneva Convention. But you seem awful worked up over those beheadings. Don't you wonder why 'they' are all worked up over the abuses in Abu Ghraib and Gitmo to name a few?

I'm fully aware of the history of religious warfare. But I'm talking about today, and on a worldwide basis the Irish prot/cath problem is chump change.
Well you didn't have any trouble looking to the past and grousing about the Piss Christ, did you? And do you have any doubt whatsoever that any of the good Christian Men you know would take up arms and indeed engage in unconventional warfare if they felt Christianity was being threatened?

Quoting myself: "But it strikes me as weird as all get out to grab and torture aid-type workers. Or those who are involved in rebuilding Iraqi facilities. I don't see Christians doing that, anywhere."

Why is that fatuous, given that folks here seem to be equating the verbal comments of Bush and Helms with the torture and beheadings of non-combatants in Iraq? In the context of this thread, this equating seems to be so.

'Rat
********. I did nothing of the sort. You made a retarded comment about how Islam isn't a religion of peace, based on the comments of one person. I did the same for Christianity to show you how stupid that is to say and suddenly I'm equating that with violence against non-combatants? (And by non-combatants, are you talking about CIA contractors or employees of KBR BTW?) And that wasn't even the part that dealt with Helms. I'm not a big fan of people who deliberately misrepresent my arguments.

The fatuous part is that you walk around blindly saying that Christians don't do that kind of thing. I guess if you ignore the abortionist killers and the gay-killers you can walk around saying such things. Not to mention the soldiers who claim to be doing God's work, not America's.
 

Zaid

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Just like to add my voice to the crossfire

Firstly a few words about the sanctity of the Qur’aan. Unlike other holy books, the Qur’aan is considered by Muslims to be the literal word of god rather than the inspired word of god. Mohammad (saw), wasn’t inspired by god to write the Qur’aan, the words of god himself were delivered to Mohammed (saw) by the archangel Gabriel. Well that’s how the story goes at any rate. Mohammad (saw) then repeated these words to others who memorised what was said, these were the hafiz (or the protectors).

Mohammed (saw) never performed any miracles (of the fireworks in the sky variety) but always held up the Qur’aan itself as the miracle of Islam. So in the minds of Muslims, every Qur’aan is sacred (and no, that’s not a pun on the python song :) ). This is because it is not the book that is sacred but the words. So a modern mass produced Qur’aan is as sacred as a 1400 year old copy scribed shortly after the death of the prophet (saw).

Desecrating any Qur’aan is thus equivalent to desecrating the literal words of god. It would be like smashing a sacred relic or desecrating the grave of a prophet or saint. The Qur’aan, in the minds of Muslims, is not just a book!
Some Muslims even consider the Qur’aan to be holy above all else, even human life. (this in my opinion is slightly ludicrous, since the Qur’aan itself enshrines the sanctity of human life, but it gives you an idea of what we’re talking about here. )

Also I find it hard to believe that if the whole flushing-the-qur’aan stories are true, the interrogators wouldn’t have known the level of offence and genuine anguish this would have caused not only in the minds of those they were ‘questioning’ but also to many ordinary Muslims, who at the best of times these days are beginning to feel as if Americans really are out to get them, their families, their culture, religion and way of life. People on the defensive always over-react.

That being said, the whole reaction in the Muslim world strikes me as amazingly unbalanced. Most Muslims I know would, I hope, realise that regardless of what was done, it is certainly isn’t worth killing anybody over, and it is most definitely not worth killing people who could not possibly have had even the remotest connections with the actions, other than being the same nationality as the perpetrators.

The hypocrisy of the arab world is particularly stark, as in many of these countries even owning the holy books of other religions is a criminal offence and these books, once confiscated, are regularly destroyed. Where are all the arabs screaming foul about that when this is patently unislamic, and ironically the Qur’aan itself warns against such actions.


وَلاَ تَسُبُّواْ الَّذِينَ يَدْعُونَ مِن دُونِ اللّهِ فَيَسُبُّواْ اللّهَ عَدْوًا بِغَيْرِ عِلْمٍ كَذَلِكَ زَيَّنَّا لِكُلِّ أُمَّةٍ عَمَلَهُمْ ثُمَّ إِلَى رَبِّهِم مَّرْجِعُهُمْ فَيُنَبِّئُهُم بِمَا كَانُواْ يَعْمَلُونَ

006.108: Revile not ye those whom they call upon besides Allah, lest they out of spite revile Allah in their ignorance. Thus have We made alluring to each people its own doings. In the end they will return to their Lord, and We shall then tell them the truth of all that they did.