DESECRATING THE KORAN...AND OTHER SACRED THINGS
TURNS OUT NEWSWEEK WASN'T WRONG. After all the brow-beating Newsweek took by the White House for publishing an anonymously-sourced story on the desecration of the Koran by American military interrogators in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, it turns out that Newsweek's story was based in reality. Reports range from Americans ripping out and wadding up pages and writing foul language in the Koran to urinating and stomping on it. Read the LA Times story here.
THE DAMAGE HAS BEEN DONE. Even though Newsweek bowed to political pressure and retracted the story it published, other reports and investigations reveal widespread and intentional desecration of the Koran by U.S. interrogators, not just in Guantanamo, but in Afghanistan and Iraq. Under pressure from the International Red Cross organization--and in an effort to stop hunger strikes by Islamic prisoners who were protesting the abuses--the U.S. "officially" stopped the practice of abusing the Koran as a way of humiliating detainees suspected of acts of terrorism. But the damage has been done.
"ANYTHING GOES." Repercussions of this latest revelation of what American military and intelligence agents have gotten by with behind closed doors and out of the sight and hearing of a free press will likely reverberate throughout the world. Apparently anxious to get at information that would help our Commander-in-Chief reach his goals, aggressive interrogators have been singing "Anything Goes." Remember, the President has determined (under the advice of the man who is now our Attorney General) that the Geneva Conventions do not apply to these detainees. Rules and guidelines that would have prohibited the desecration of holy documents or restriction of religious rites have been set aside and disregarded.
HOW ABOUT HOLY PEOPLE? And it is most interesting to me that while many are justifiably concerned about the mistreatment of a holy book--whether it be the Koran or the Bible--we are not expressing justifiable concern about the mistreatment and abuse of holy people. It is a shame to abuse documents considered sacred; how much more a travesty to desecrate people--all of whom have been created in the image of God.
SANE AND HUMANE. If detainees have committed crimes against humanity, let the due process of civil justice prevail (and if interrogators have committed crimes against detainees, let the due process of civil justice prevail). It is the only sane and humane vehicle the civilized world has. But if we stoop to treat those whom we suspect of terrorism like animals, we have become the thing we hate. Have we crossed the line? Apparently some, representing the rest of us, have.