"More than two years ago, the Pentagon issued detailed rules for handling the Koran at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, ... The three-page memorandum, dated Jan. 19, 2003 ... written a year after the first detainees were brought to Guantanamo from Afghanistan, reflects what U.S. officials said was a specific policy on handling the Koran, one of the most sensitive issues to Muslims. The Pentagon does not have a similar policy regarding any other major religious book and takes 'extra precautions' on the Muslim holy book, officials said.Here are the Pentagon's official rules for handling The Holy Book of Islam, which I have gleaned from the Washington Post article:
"'They're not supposed to in any way disrespect or desecrate the Koran, and there are a very specific set of rules the military has on handling the Koran,' State Department spokesman Richard A. Boucher said yesterday. 'We made it clear that our practices and our policies are completely different' from allegations in a Newsweek article that the magazine formally retracted yesterday. The Newsweek report said that U.S. military investigators had confirmed that a U.S. interrogator at Guantanamo had flushed a copy of the Koran down a toilet."
- The Holy Book of Islam is not to be placed in 'offensive areas such as the floor, near the toilet or sink, near the feet, or dirty/wet areas.'
- Only Muslim chaplains and Muslim interpreters can handle The Holy Book of Islam, and only after putting on clean gloves in full view of detainees.
- U.S. Muslim personnel must use both hands when touching the Koran to show "respect and reverence".
- U.S. Muslim personnel must use only the right hand to manipulate any part of the book "due to cultural associations with the left hand*."
- U.S. Muslim personnel should treat The Holy Book of Islam like a "fragile piece of delicate art".
- U.S. personnel are not to disrespect or desecrate the Koran, The Holy Book of Islam, in any way whatsoever!
- U.S. Military Police are prohibited from touching the Koran, The Holy Book of Islam.
- When moving The Holy Book of Islam from a cell, it must be placed on a "clean, dry detainee towel". It must then be wrapped in such a way as to not turn it over at any time. Muslim chaplains must then document that while The Holy Book of Islam is in transit that it is never placed in any offensive area.
Even more outrageous, Muslim extremists interpret the teachings of the Koran to give them license to commit mayhem upon unbelievers, such as the citizens of the United States. Why are we providing this Most Holy Book of Islam to the Muslim potential terrorists that we hold in prison? By doing so, we are aiding and abetting those who plot against us. Why should we obey their rules?
If we were smart, we would NOT provide the Koran at all to Islamist detainees at Guantanamo. Instead, we would make available the Holy Bible, which is customary in "our culture". Let them use it as they will. Read it or don't. There are no capricious rules to fret about, as Pentagon officials say they take extra precautions only on The Holy Book of Islam. As quoted in the Washington Post: "The Pentagon does not have a similar policy regarding any other major religious book ... officials said." There will be no beheadings if one accidentally falls into the trash bin or is deliberately rendered. In our culture it is the words that are holy, not the printed books. It would be extremely rare, if known at all, for devout Christians or Jews, to use their Holy Book, as a murderous weapon. Contrast that with the happening of just a few hours ago in Pakistan, where a Muslim worshiper at a holy site blew up his fellow Muslim worshipers, killing and injuring scores, while spattering Muslim blood upon probably hundreds of the Holy Books of Islam.
I think ScrappleFace understands, as do I, as he is reporting today:
U.S. Blamed for Koran Harm in WTC Collapse, by Scott Ott*In Muslim cultures the left hand is always considered unclean, as it is the hand used for toilet hygiene and implies rubbing off of the "unhygienic residue". In "1,000 and One Arabian Nights" enemies are referred to as "They of the Left Hand."
(2005-05-27) -- Muslims in Pakistan and Afghanistan rioted today in response to new reports that copies of the Koran were desecrated when two American buildings collapsed after being struck by American airplanes in September of 2001. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) revealed that fragments of the burned and soiled Korans were discovered in the ruins of the World Trade Center towers in New York City.
Trackbacked at Wizbang Blog