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Whose Koran is it anyway?

One angle that hasn't come up in relation to the Koran misuse hullabaloo (at least as far as I can tell) has occurred to me. And I think (with all due modesty) that it could settle the matter conclusively.

These Korans that are being allegedly flushed down the toilet (and, personally, I could use one of that power) -- whose are they, anyway? From what I've heard, they have been provided to the detainees by the U.S. government.

Let's think about that for a moment. These Korans are not the property of the detainees; they have simply been given access to them as a courtesy. They have been bought and paid for by the United States government, and remain the property of the U.S.

With that, it becomes a very simple matter. The U.S. (through its representatives) can treat their property in any way they wish. If they wish to let detainees have access to those Korans, that's fine. If they wish to take them back, that's also fine, too. And if they end up going down a toilet (an utterly absurd notion, based solely on the physics and hydrodynamics of the situation), that's fine as well.

If these were the personal Korans of the detainees, that'd be another thing. But they're not -- they're ours. And when these detainees abuse those Korans (reports of which vastly outnumber the reports of guards and interrogators doing so), then they ought to be taken away and not replaced.

If other Moslems wish to send their own Korans to the detainees, that's fine with me. And once they've been inspected for secret messages, drugs, weapons, or other illicit elements, I'd be delighted to see them get in their hands. Until then, nobody but the United States taxpayers has any cause for complaint about how a couple books are treated.


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Comments (33)

Jay, I think you're missing... (Below threshold)

Jay, I think you're missing the whole "symbolism" thing here.

Suppose someone burned a flag in front of you and got angry. If they said to you "You didn't pay for the flag, so don't be mad," how would you react.

Suppose someone pissed on a bible in front of you. Would you feel less angry about it if you didn't own that bible?

Just wondering if you realize that vandalazing a Koran, to a Muslim, is vandalizing their religion, per se. The same way someone burning or stomping on an American flag would be the equivalent of stomping on the USA to some people.

Michele is correct. The iss... (Below threshold)

Michele is correct. The issue isn't whether it is Legal to flush Korans, the issue is whether it's RIGHT to do so.

I would argue it is not right, and more importantly it's not SMART!

Flushing photos of Saddam, photos of Bin Laden, etc, maybe that has some value, I guess.

But desecrating religous icons only fans the flames of the Bin Ladens of this world. Are we trying to prevent attacks? Or ESCALATE them?

I understand the 'theory' of what they might have been trying to do. I heard from a man who was at Nurenburg, that Hermann Goering was so arrogant, he treated the Americans holding him prisoner as if THEY were HIS prisoner. So they burned his NAZI uniform in front of him, and with his symbols destroyed, he crumbled into submission.

Some misguided fool might have thought flushing a Koran might also crumble a detainee's source of inner strength.

But I don't think it works with RELIGIOUS convictions. It only makes us look like we're some sort of anti-God or Satan. In which case, resisting the USA would become an even stronger personal conviction.


I found out recently that flushing Korans isn't only an allegation coming out of Gitmo. It's something alleged to have happened three years ago in Iraq too. If this is some sort of interrogation tactic, it's misguided and counter-productive.

Michele, I'm not missing th... (Below threshold)
Jay Tea:

Michele, I'm not missing the symbolism argument, I'm rejecting it. I'm taking a hard line on the property rights angle.

And to your two counterpoints, I've been opposed to flag-burning laws all my life and I'm not a Christian. As long as the item in question is the property of the desecrator, that's their busines. Yes, it infuriates me to see our flag burned, especially abroad, but the principles it stands for transcend any piece of fabric -- or any mistreatment that piece of fabric might suffer.

But it's my understanding that Bibles brought into Saudi Arabia (even for personal use) are routinely confiscated and shredded at the airport. Funny, the lack of outrage about that one, huh?


Don't wait for the captured... (Below threshold)

Don't wait for the captured terrorists to abuse them. Just take them away from them, check them for contraband, and donate them to inner city mosques that could put them to use. Bingo. No more "abuses" of the stupid book and we can move on.

Jay, you missed the point. ... (Below threshold)

Jay, you missed the point. The obvious point. Muslims don't get upset when Mosque's are violated, Quran's are pissed on or Muhammed's pedophile past is mentioned.

They just get mad when an American does it.

The press only covers it when an American is either accused (because no real proof is needed because we all KNOW Anericans are evil) or actually does manage to do it.

The reality is it doesn't matter what happens to the Quran. The Muslims really don't give a shit one way or the other. It's their excuse du jour for claiming a right to murder.

We're talking about a group... (Below threshold)

We're talking about a group of zealots so consumed with hatred that they behead innocent people. Even if they believed in the fundamental property rights, which they don't, I'm sure their cause justifies the ends to their mean.

But there's no way the argument will hold weight with the MSM. They're eager enough when destroying fundamental property rights for Americans, especially so if they can make political hay out of it and grab headlines.

It was stupid to provide Korans for them in the first place. It wasn't like we were going to show them that Americans weren't actually evil. And why am I guessing the Koran's were as expensive as $300 hammers?

Jay, I agree with your "pro... (Below threshold)
Eneils Bailey:

Jay, I agree with your "property rights" argument. But, if the left's strategy is to turn every minor incident concerning these rerrorist's religion into something to use against the Bush administration, then it will be ignored by them. This has nothing to do with abusing the detained terrorist or insulting thier religious beliefs. It is all about making the military and the Bush Administration look bad for political gain. Personally, I would piss on the Koran, make the terrorist eat and wear some of Krusty's pork products, and curse Mohammed if it kept one American from being hurt or killed.

I disagree.The iss... (Below threshold)
Just Me:

I disagree.

The issue here isn't so much "who owns the Koran" but more in how we should strive to be respectful of other's beliefs.

Now I think the people squalling about torture and abuse over Koran desecration are over the top, I don't think we should make a habit of or justify the willful distruction of a religion's holy book.

But I do have to say that I think the Koran abuse stories are getting tiresome.

I disagree with the propert... (Below threshold)

I disagree with the property rights argument because it appears that the books were a gift. Once you give it away, you don't own it any more. If these inncidents took place on purpose, then the people who did it should be punished, but it is a minor offense to say the least.

Of course, I don't know about the rest of you, but aren't you getting a little tired of the crying and whining by these people? They are planting bombs to kill their own people, including women and children. They rape and murder innocents. And you knock a book on the floor, and they complain about "abuse".

I would have more pride.

Why should we show any more... (Below threshold)

Why should we show any more repsect for their beliefs than they are willing to show the beliefs of any infidel? They show less respect for the LIVES of non-Muslims than they think we should show their Quran. At the same time they show less respect for what they refer to as a "religion of peace" than they expect us to show to it. The one thing I think we're missing out on here is their right to a speedy trial, GITMO should have an express lane to the firing squad. Whether or not any of them has actually committed a terrorist act, if they have aided, abetted, sheltered or funded terrorism they should be shot immediately. That would solve a lot of problems. If they haven't they should be sent back to their homes.

This entire episode has bee... (Below threshold)

This entire episode has been created and flamed by the seditious anti war left..I wonder what percentage of those leftists who are aghast at the supposed desecration(accidentaly or not) of the Koran were also the first to applaud and defend the "artistic" courage of the idiot reesponsible for the infamous "Piss Christ" exhibit back in the ealry 90's.

I agree with bullwinkle! Al... (Below threshold)
Zsa Zsa:

I agree with bullwinkle! Also , isn't it true that if anyone is caught with a Bible there is a death sentence?...

Quit giving the koran to th... (Below threshold)

Quit giving the koran to them and take it away from the ones that have it. Isn't this the book that fuels their fanaticism? Let them work off memory for a while.

Respecting other people's p... (Below threshold)

Respecting other people's property is all well and good but when are we going to demand a little respect for ourselves?

I find it hard to take seriously the [unconfirmed] deaths and [possibly pre-planned] riots over US "desecrating" the Koran when there is utter silence as the Koran is bombed in mosques day after day.

It's an excuse to do what they're already wanting to do. Fearing that we "will make them mad at us" misses the point that they are already sworn to kill us all. How much madder can they get?

[oh, and let's not forget the rugs, hats, oils, and the big green signs pointing the way to Mecca we have also given them.]

These Koran abuses need to ... (Below threshold)
Michael L.:

These Koran abuses need to be seen within the larger context of the war.

The problem is not simply that some US soldiers may have "mishandled" the Koran. The problem is that this mishandling took place within the context of the US invasion and occupation of a country that posed no credible threat to the US, resulting in the creation of an American gulag archipelago and the unconsciounable torture of Muslim prisoners.

It's a matter of ethics.

The war is immoral and unethical because it was unnecessary and resulted in the deaths of many thousands of innocent people, including thousands of children.

Because the war is immoral, the Bush administration is thus an immoral entity and those who support the administration are themselves morally challenged.

The abuse of the Koran is, as someone above noted, symbolic of the immorality of the entire project.

Books are books and burning... (Below threshold)

Books are books and burning (flushing, shredding, etc.) is wrong. I have to believe this and even object to views that aren't mine. I have to apply this to things I truly object to, such as Larry Flint's Hustler mags, and really violent porn. Child porn, too? I guess the line has to be drawn someplace, perhaps at that limit.

I dont think that the war i... (Below threshold)

I dont think that the war is immoral, I think that its prosecution has been immoral. I think that there is too great a concern about civilian deaths and not enough concern about making the uncivilized savages in that part of the world realize that they are better off having the Al Quada's of the world their enemy than the United States.

I love it how quickly you a... (Below threshold)

I love it how quickly you all have used to Koran abuse story to distract from the real evidence of criminal deaths, beatings, sodomy, torture and lack of due process that has marred our military detention system. I love it how you all jump on liberals for daring to accuse the US government of abusing prisoners but turn right around and suggest that we have the right, nee the moral obligation, to torture and kill as many detainees as we can, as fast as we can. Kangaroo courts and executions for the lot of them! It makes me wonder how fast you all would gladly surrender the Bill of Rights because it seems you are all so fearful of the enemy, so desperate to cling to life more than your rights. It's really sad.

When we are so fearful of attack that we abandon our ideals for a false sense of vengeance and power, then our enemies have won. When we believe we no longer need respect basic human rights and dignity because our enemy doesn't, our enemy has won. When we dehumanize a people, we dehumanize ourselves.

I give you the chorus of the fearful, the choir of the cowards, the quartet of quitters:

"Of course, I don't know about the rest of you, but aren't you getting a little tired of the crying and whining by these people?"

"Whether or not any of them has actually committed a terrorist act, if they have aided, abetted, sheltered or funded terrorism they should be shot immediately. That would solve a lot of problems."

"I agree with bullwinkle!"

"I think that there is too great a concern about civilian deaths and not enough concern about making the uncivilized savages in that part of the world realize that they are better off having the Al Quada's of the world their enemy than the United States."

MichaelLI'm SO tir... (Below threshold)


I'm SO tired of the wanker "the war in Iraq is illegal" schtick so I won't even at this point enumerate the myriad of legal and moral points of why you are entirely wrong. I'm merely going to recite this quote

"There were intellectually and morally honest arguments against going to war in Iraq. But once the war began, a moral person could not oppose it. No moral person could hope for, let alone act on behalf of, a victory for the Arab/Islamic fascists. Just ask yourself but two questions: If America wins, will there be an increase or decrease in goodness in Iraq and in the world? And then ask what would happen if the Al Qaeda/Zarqawi/Baathists win."

So, Michael, take your "it was better when Saddam ruled" perniciousness and shove it.

Frameone, calling me a cowa... (Below threshold)

Frameone, calling me a coward over the internet is an easy thing for a coward to do, we all know you'd never do it in person......

I try to be a good Christia... (Below threshold)

I try to be a good Christian, I really do, but I can't help but think that those who cannot tell Gitmo from Stalin's camps or Cuba's cells should have to spend a little time in each. Except I know that they are all really hypocritical jerks since if a judge ever gave them a choice they would wet themselves begging for Gitmo.

It's strictly forbidden to ... (Below threshold)

It's strictly forbidden to throw away or destroy anything with the words of Allah (or his name) on it. There were some scandalous occurences of Saddam's flag being desecrated; not because people loved Saddam, but because it had "God is great" on it.

There are a large number of taboos regarding touching the Koran. Not just your own Koran, any Koran. It shouldn't be touched with the left hand; it should be stored high up, close to Allah. Hands must be washed. When it's set down, it should be wrapped in cloth. When it must be done, Arabic writing can be detroyed by fire, because fire is pure.

So what would you say toilet water is, pure or impure?

the enemy in this war is sa... (Below threshold)

the enemy in this war is savvy enough to realize that it has no hope of defeating the United States militarily. Either through conventional or unconventional military attacks or terrorism. Islamic Fascisms greatest chance for victory is for the United States to grow weary with and revolted by the general war at large in the hope that we withdraw and reduce our influence in that part of the world. The enemy's greatest ally in this pursuit is the army of anti war leftists who attempt to undermine public confidence in the Administration and the United States military through lies, propoganda and sedition. War is a horrible terrible even evil thing but sometimes it is necessary. Wouldnt it be so much easier if the bad guys were as easy to find and destroy as the Wermacht or Imperial Japanese Navy during WW2. But this isnt WW2 and the enemy isnt stupid enough to make themselves that easy a target. There is far too much at stake than worrying about someones Koran accidentaly or even purposefully dropped on the floor.

Wendigo, I'd say "when did ... (Below threshold)
Jay Tea:

Wendigo, I'd say "when did I agree that I, an unbeliever, have any obligation whatsoever to respect a single tenet of Islam?" That book is no more sacrosanct to me than any other, and (considering what has been done in its name) considerably less than many. If I buy one with my own money (which I am not about to do), I'll do whatever I want with it. If I should decide to swat my cat with it while holding it in my left hand (I'm left handed), that's my business.

Now, simple courtesy would tend to discourage me from doing the above, but if someone is going to threaten to behead me for doing it, I just might go ahead and do it out of sheer orneriness. One of the purposes of the War on Militant Islam is the right to be free of the tenets of Islam if I so wish -- and I do. If you want to be good little dhimmi and live under the oppressive rule of Islam (just google what "dhimmi" means, and all the legal obligations and lack of rights it entails), go right ahead. I'll pass.


Jay Tea... No no! Don't swa... (Below threshold)
Zsa Zsa:

Jay Tea... No no! Don't swat your kitty with the Koran! Be nice to the kitty! I don't always mean to cahnge the subject but I have always wanted a kitty and everyone in my family acts like they are deathly alergic! Therefore I haven't been able to have one! I do have a Golden Retriever and he won't let me have a kitty either...

Why are we all talking like... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

Why are we all talking like the U.S. military has flushed Korans down the toilet? They haven't. The muslim detainees have been abusing the korans.

Further, why do we even take this subject seriously? We're being played for fools. A bunch of terrorizing, intolerant, women beating, gay murdering, bible destroying cave men who are bent on world domination falsely claim that we are descecrating korans; why do the Lefties and the MSM even beleive them?

This is nothing more than Trolls do to hijack comments threads: make up some outrageous claim to change the subject.

The real problem here is an... (Below threshold)
Michael L.:

The real problem here is an almost sociopathic lack of empathy on the part of millions of Americans and their leader, George W. Bush, as well as a slavish lack of critical thinking regarding the behavior of this government.

Again, the people of Iraq did absolutely nothing to harm US and, yet, we killed thousands and thousands of them and now torture them in detention centers / gulags.

How can you defend the brutality of this government?

Don’t you understand that by behaving as a bully the US creates even more jihadis and thereby greatly increases the likelihood of reprisal?

Don’t you understand that by attacking a sovereign nation without justifiable cause, the US throws away the foundation of a long-standing foreign policy based on the idea that no nation should attack any other nation unless under imminent threat?

The weirdest thing, perhaps, is the equanimity with which you accept being lied to over questions of war. There is now so much evidence (via Richard Clark, Paul O’Neil, the Downing Street minutes, the Project for a New American Century, etc) that the Bush regime intended war long before 9/11 and, yet, you don’t seem to mind.

Abraham Lincoln, you may recall, vehemently opposed the Mexican War as Whig in Congress. Was he therefore a traitor?

I think that you pro-war people are a bunch of chumps. (And vicious chumps, at that.)

You're certainly entitled y... (Below threshold)

You're certainly entitled your idiotic opinion Michael, just like I am entitled to mine about you. I think that you should spend some time in a gulag, a real one, not an imagined one some panty-wasted liberal wimp's definition of one, then be decapitated with a dull knife so for a few moments you could actually feel the difference between truth and your idea of torure and vicious. Take a few of you buddies with, make an outing of it! Now there's a cheerful thought.

frameone:"I love i... (Below threshold)


"I love it how quickly you all have used to Koran abuse story to distract from the real evidence of criminal deaths, beatings, sodomy, torture and lack of due process that has marred our military detention system."
QUESTION 1: What is this "real evidence"? In particular, what people have we killed or tortured (and I mean causing real physical pain) in our military detention system? When? Where?
MY ANSWER: I don't think you have any evidence.
QUESTION 2: If this story is distracting, then who's fault is it?
MY ANSWER: Why its the fault of leftists, their cheerleaders in the MSM, and Muslim fanatics! By bringing up trivial matters, they are undermining their own credibility and their own arguments.

I hate to tell you this, but when the average American sees the usual suspects making a big stink about mishandling the Koran, the average American says, "If that's the worst thing they can complain about, then they are being treated very well."

And when they see rioting in the streets with lots of people being injured or killed over the mishandling of the Koran, the average American has a very negative view of these people and their ability to conduct themselves.

[The rest your commentary just sophomoric: it's a strawman argument wrapped in hyperbole. Although I was amused by the quote from me. Apparently you object to my use of the word "whining", but you then point to these allegations as being so trivial that they are distracting people from the real abuse problem. Thank you for making my point.]

Speaking of undermining the... (Below threshold)

Speaking of undermining their own arguments, here is the head of AI quoted in Reuters about torture at the Gitmo Gulag: " Executive Director William Schulz said Amnesty, often cited worldwide for documenting human rights abuses, also did not know whether Secretary Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld approved severe torture methods such as beatings and starvation. Schulz recently dubbed Rumsfeld an 'apparent high-level architect of torture' in asserting he approved interrogation methods that violated international law. 'It would be fascinating to find out. I have no idea,' Schulz told 'Fox News Sunday.'"

[tip: Instapundit]


Bullwinkle, you vicious chu... (Below threshold)
Michael L.:

Bullwinkle, you vicious chump,

You make my case for me.

Many thanks!

I see you still have no ide... (Below threshold)

I see you still have no idea what the word vicious means. You made my case for me and are far too ignorant to know it. I still hope you learn, if you think anything I've written here is vicious you're in for the surprise of your life, the last surprise of your life. One thing is sure, it won't come at the hands of a conservative, more likely a liberal a or someone who benefits from their policies. Here's hoping it's a good one!

I don't think that anyone c... (Below threshold)

I don't think that anyone cares about youre opinions outside this thread. SO STFU.... and don't post anymore






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