GayandRight

My name is Fred and I am a gay conservative living in Ottawa. This blog supports limited government, the right of the State of Israel to live in peace and security, and tries to expose the threat to us all from cultural relativism, post-modernism, and radical Islam. I am also the founder of the Free Thinking Film Society in Ottawa (www.freethinkingfilms.com)

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Hitchens on abusing the Koran...

As usual, Hitchens has some wise words about tolerance, or should I say intolerance.
For whatever it's worth, I know and admire both John Barry and Michael Isikoff, and I can quite imagine that—based on what they had already learned about the gruesome and illegal goings-on at Guantanamo, Bagram, and Abu Ghraib—they found it more than plausible that the toilet incident, or something like it, had actually occurred. A second allegation, that a whole pile of Qurans had been stepped upon at Guantanamo, is equally credible. But mere objectivity requires us to note that this is partly because every prisoner is given a Quran, and that thus there are a lot of them lying around, and that none of this "scandal" would ever have occurred if the prison authorities were not at least attempting to respect Islamic codes. Do Christian and Jewish prisoners in Muslim states receive Bibles and Talmuds? Do secular detainees in Pakistan petition with success to be given Thomas Paine's Age of Reason? Isikoff told me recently that he'd been out to see the trial of a madrasah student in Virginia who was accused of terrorist recruitment and propaganda, and he had been somewhat shocked at the virulence of the anti-Jewish teachings on offer at that school. The school is almost certainly paid for by Saudi money. A Wahhabist version of the Quran, containing distortions of the original and calling for war against "unbelievers" of all sorts, is now handed out by imams in our very own prison system! Do we demand in return that Saudi Arabia allow churches and synagogues and free-thought centers on soil where the smallest heresy is punishable by death? No, we do not. Instead, we saturate ourselves in masochism and invent the silly, shallow term "Quran abuse."

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