Skip to comments.On Handling the Koran
Posted on 05/30/2005 4:47:09 PM PDT by forty_years
Concerns over the sensitivities of Muslims have once again taken members of the American media even its government over the top. Some in the media have decided that Islam should be treated differently from other world religions, and some in American government are spending too much time worrying about Muslim sensitivities, as opposed to concentrating on crushing the Islamist enemy.
An article published in the Washington Post on Tuesday, May 17 highlights examples of the mistakes being made by the media as well as in government.
Robin Wright, author of the Posts article, U.S. Long Had Memo on Handling of Koran, refers to the Koran no less than three times as a holy book. The Washington Post is supposedly one of the pillars of American journalism.
Ask any of its writers, and I am sure they would tell you that the Post is objective and fair, and is steeped in the rules and science of journalism. But if this were so, would its writers confer special properties on the religion of Islam? Calling the Koran a holy book inside the pages of the Post is not responsible journalism. This term is de facto recognition that Islam and the Koran are intrinsically sacred or inspired by the divine. This is quite a leap of faith for an objective newspaper.
I am not questioning whether people of faith hold the Koran as "holy," but has the Washington Post decided that all its readers should consider it so? Is this official policy at the newspaper? What happened to objectivity? A full text search of the Post's archives for the terms "Bible" AND "holy book" returns, "Your Search for bible "holy book" returned 0 results."
The Associated Press Stylebook and Libel Manual and The University of Chicagos Manual of Style, two books which professional journalists are taught to adhere to when writing, make no mention of a requirement to refer to the Koran as a holy book. There is no mention of a requirement that writers assume that Islam was inspired by the divine. The two stylebooks certainly do not require that Hinduism, Christianity, or Judaism be imbued with spiritual properties, nor is there any mention of calling the Bhagavad Gita, the Bible, or the Torah holy books.
In a profession in which concerns over diversity and political correctness are out of control, it seems that some journalists have decided that one religion is more important than others. What about concern for the sensitivities of Jews and Christians? Would these same concerned journalists encode value judgments regarding a subjects wealth or physical attributes? I doubt it.
Ms. Wrights editorializing about which religion is truly holy tells us about her fears and those of her politically correct, compatriot journalists. Explicitly, these news writers would tell you that their motivations lie in cultural sensitivity. Implicitly, the truth of the matter is that these people are afraid, very afraid, of being blown up by crazed Muslim suicide bombers, and they hope to maintain their cushy lifestyles in the land of the free, home of the brave by placating the enemy.
But the Washington Post article goes farther than just revealing the bias of its author. It also shows to what lengths our government and military have been willing to go to placate the angry, Muslim hoards:
More than two years ago, the Pentagon issued detailed rules for handling the Koran at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, requiring U.S. personnel to ensure that the holy book is not placed in "offensive areas such as the floor, near the toilet or sink, near the feet, or dirty/wet areas."
The three-page memorandum, dated Jan. 19, 2003, says that only Muslim chaplains and Muslim interpreters can handle the holy book, and only after putting on clean gloves in full view of detainees.
The detailed rules require U.S. Muslim personnel to use both hands when touching the Koran to signal "respect and reverence," and specify that the right hand be the primary one used to manipulate any part of the book "due to cultural associations with the left hand." The Koran should be treated like a "fragile piece of delicate art," it says.
In the Muslim and Arab world; where violence has become so endemic; where strength is measured by the size of a gun and the number of civilians one is willing to slaughter; these moves on the part of the U.S. military will be surely seen by Arabs/Muslims as weakness -- e.g., Look at how weve got the Americans jumping through hoops.
Weakness is not a luxury we can afford. Strength is the image we must cultivate and prove. Of course we should never intentionally defile anyones religious text this is just common sense and common decency. But putting on gloves to handle a book?
Need it be said that many in our media have been advertising the weakness of their liberal belief system? A bevy on opinion polls show it obvious that the American media is disconnected from the American public just look at the CBS Dan Rather and his memo-gate fiasco or Newsweeks false and retracted story about flushing a Koran down the toilet.
Time for a reality check: Placating a vicious enemy is always counter-productive. The war against Islamist terrorists will not be won based on our handling of books, but on searching out and killing all the members of the terrorist organizations, as well as their supporters just as we defeated the Germans and Japanese in WWII.
I bet FReepers could come up with other creative uses for a Koran....
The koran is NO holy book. It's a bunch of puke about a very dangerous cult.
In other words, your left hand is to wipe and handle your Mohammed, your right hand is the 'clean' one to handle the book.
It's an especially harsh punishment to cut off someone's right hand for a crime, since now they only have their left, or butt-wiping hand, available. I kid you not.
I don't like it.
The pages are not 2-ply.
specify that the right hand be the primary one used to manipulate any part of the book "due to cultural associations with the left hand."
Well, there you have it.
Be sure to wear your pigskin gloves.
Wipe with respect!
"Cite all the stylebooks and manuals you want : if it's a religious text, no one, certainly no agent of any government, should be disrespecting it. I don't care if it's Hamas burning Bibles or US Soldiers kicking Korans around. It's uncalled for."
Not as a matter of government policy, I agree. However, sh*t happens sometimes and we shouldn't be bending over backwards to make sure no one is offended - it is shameful and makes us seem weak and only makes them feel that their outrage is justified. We are at war and people are going to be offended, feelings are going to be hurt. You have to wonder why the Muslim world is not outraged when some psycho Islamic terrorist blow up a Mosque full of worshippers thereby destroying hundreds of Korans splattering them with blood, internal organs, fecal matter and whatever else goes flying about. Where's the outrage at that abuse of the "holy" Koran?
Wow, well in that case I'll start treating my L. Ron Hubbard books with more care....
If one is using it to line a birds cage should one face the bird to the east?
Can it be used to paper train a black dog or is this disrespectful?
How many korans should be used to start a fire in a grill for a pig roast?
Inquiring minds want to know
Nobody wants blood on their hands.
"to starta fire in a grill for a pig roast"
Excellent use of a book used to fuel hatred.
I typically find the Koran as an excellent reusable towel to drain pork sausage