Friday, June 03, 2005

Holier Than Thou?

OK, OK, we get it already. The Koran was mishandled, yes, yes, the Koran was mishandled. Shame on us gulag-keepers. We should all be beaten with our rosary beads and strangled with our prayer shawls.

Take a deep, cleansing breath--OK. That's better. Now, if the Koran was mishandled, that's certainly wrong. No matter who did it, under what circumstances, mishandling the Koran is wrong. I learned that value growing up in a Catholic home, where my father admonished us kids that people of different religions hold their faith to be as true and important as we do ours. Therefore, all religions should be respected and treated with dignity. If the Koran was mishandled, we should apologize to Muslims.

I do have one question for the self-flagellating American liberals. Why doesn't respect apply equally to those of Judeo-Christian beliefs?

I refer to Charles Krauthammer's column in the Washington Post, "We've done enough beating ourselves up." Here is an especially pertinent passage:

Let's understand what mishandling means. Under the rules later instituted by the Pentagon at Guantanamo, proper handling of the Koran means using two hands and wearing gloves when touching it. Which means that if any guard held the Koran with one hand or had neglected to put on gloves, this would be considered mishandling.

On the scale of human crimes, where, say, 10 is the killing of 2,752 innocent people in one day and 0 is jaywalking, this ranks as perhaps a 0.01.

Moreover, what were the Korans doing there in the first place? The very possibility of mishandling Korans arose because we gave them to each prisoner. What kind of crazy tolerance is this? Is there any other country that would give a prisoner precisely the religious text which that prisoner and those affiliated with him invoke to justify the slaughter of innocents? If the prisoners had to have reading material, I would have given them the book "Portraits 9/11/01" - vignettes of the lives of those massacred on Sept. 11.

And here is another:

Civil libertarians, who have been dogged in making sure that FBI-collected Guantanamo allegations be released to the world, seem exquisitely sensitive to mistreatment of the Koran. A rather selective scrupulousness. When an American puts a crucifix in a jar of urine and places it in a museum, civil libertarians rise immediately to defend it as free speech. And when someone makes a painting of the Virgin Mary, smears it with elephant dung and adorns it with porn, not only is that free speech, it is art – deserving of taxpayer funding and an ACLU brief supporting the Brooklyn Museum when the mayor freezes its taxpayer subsidy.

Why is the Koran holier than other religious symbols held sacred by other faiths? Why is there no worldwide outrage over desecration in the examples named above, as well as over anti-Semetic acts such as the defacing of synogogues?

The prisoners at Gitmo get prayer rugs, times to pray each day, culturally and religiously appropriate food--and Korans. Free exercise of religion, American style--to an extent some Americans may not even enjoy, depending upon their local litigation regarding separation of church and state issues.

Terrorist prisoners aren't getting killed at Gitmo for being Muslim. And no one in MSM seems to remember that the 9/11 victims were killed because they weren't Muslim. Too bad that fact doesn't make headlines.