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Old 05-17-2005, 04:26 PM   #46
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Originally posted by Irvine511

i simply don't care if the rioters were justified or not. it's incidental to the real problem -- the consequences of the Bush administration's new, half-baked policies on interrogation. this self-inflicted wound is only beginning to be felt. we need to be better than the enemy that is, not the enemy we wish they would be.
You nailed it.

That said, if someone took the spiritual book that is sacred to me and crapped all over it I really wouldn't care. It's just a book. The true teachings of any religion should be held sacred within the temple of one's heart where no one can touch it.

edited to add...but in the context of war, of course these things carry different weight.

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Old 05-17-2005, 05:04 PM   #47
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Afghan prisoners 'shackled, hit, humiliated'
By Marc Kaufman, April Witt

March 27 2003

Afghan men freed on Tuesday after spending months in legal limbo as United States prisoners in the war on terrorism said that they were generally well fed and given medical care, but they were housed in cramped cells and sometimes shackled, hit and humiliated.

After a chaotic day in which it was uncertain when, or if, all the prisoners would be released from Afghan custody, 18 men wearing new American sneakers and carrying colourful gym bags walked out of a run-down police compound in Kabul. Some hugged jubilantly; others left feeling bitter and vengeful.

The men, the largest single group of Afghans to be released after months at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, gave varying accounts of how US forces treated them during interrogation and detainment. Some flashed medical records showing extensive care by US military doctors, while others complained that US soldiers insulted Islam by sitting on the Koran or dumping their sacred text into a toilet to taunt them.

Only one prisoner was met by his family. Most of the men are from distant southern or eastern provinces and there were no relatives to meet them, as there had been no time to notify them. Neither the Afghan authorities nor the US officials had given them any money, they said.

"We have no relatives here and no money to get home," said Sher Ghulab, 30, a labourer from the eastern province of Jalalabad.

The men uniformly said that American forces treated them more roughly during initial interrogation and captivity in Afghanistan than during the detainment at Guantanamo.

All of those released said they were not terrorists. Some acknowledged that they had fought with the Taliban, but not by choice. Others said that US forces snatched them away from ordinary lives as farmers, students or taxi drivers.

Sarajudim, 24, who like many Afghans uses only one name, was one of several men who said they were forced to fight with the Taliban after the US declared war on terrorism. Prisoner Merza Khan said that Americans in Kandahar tied him up and alternately forced him to lie face down on the ground, then squat with his hands on his head for hours.

Sulaiman Shah said he was a businessman captured for no reason in northern Afghanistan. "I was in such a small (cell) and couldn't go outside for many days," he said. "My toilet was next to my bed, and it was a very bad way to live."

The US military is investigating the deaths of two Afghan prisoners interrogated at a US military centre at Bagram air base north of Kabul. A military doctor had listed the two deaths as homicides.

- Washington Post, New York Times

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Old 05-19-2005, 04:03 AM   #48
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accdg to Ann Coulter it's all a vast left wing conspiracy


"How about the media adding to the list of reasons not to run a news item: "Protecting the national interest"? If journalists don't like the ring of that, how about this one: "Protecting ourselves before the American people rise up and lynch us for our relentless anti-American stories."
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Old 05-19-2005, 05:59 AM   #49
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i'd prefer to not dignify Ann Coulter by paying any attention to her "writing"
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Old 05-19-2005, 09:26 AM   #50
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Certainly the right wing can't have all the fun of conspiracies....
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Old 05-19-2005, 10:13 AM   #51
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^ fair enough
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Old 05-19-2005, 01:07 PM   #52
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[Further to Deep's post] Was Newsweek right?


The Bush Administration's aggressive response to a Newsweek story alleging that US interrogators at Guantanamo Bay flushed the Koran down the toilet in front of Islamic detainees displays the height of hypocrisy. After Newsweek clumsily issued an apology, followed by a retraction, White House spokesman Scott McClellan called on the magazine to "help repair the damage that has been done, particularly in the region," by explaining "what happened and why they got it wrong." Maybe the Bush Administration should do the same, by opening up its secret facilities for inspection to the Red Cross and other third-party observers. We are printing below a letter from reader Calgacus--a pseudonym for a researcher in the national security field for the past twenty years--that shows how the desecration of the Koran became standard US interrogation practice.

"Contrary to White House spin, the allegations of religious desecration at Guantanamo such as those described by Newsweek on 9 May 2005 are common among ex-prisoners and have been widely reported outside the United States. Several former detainees at the Guantanamo and Bagram airbase prisons have reported instances of their handlers sitting or standing on the Koran, throwing or kicking it in toilets, and urinating on it.

One such incident (during which the Koran was thrown into a pile and stepped on) prompted a hunger strike among Guantanamo detainees in March 2002. Regarding this, the New York Times in a 1 May 2005, article interviewed a former detainee, Nasser Nijer Naser al-Mutairi, who said the protest ended with a senior officer delivering an apology to the entire camp. And the Times reports: "A former interrogator at Guantanamo, in an interview with the Times, confirmed the accounts of the hunger strikes, including the public expression of regret over the treatment of the Korans." (Neil A. Lewis and Eric Schmitt, "Inquiry Finds Abuses at Guantanamo Bay," New York Times, May 1, 2005, p. 35.)

The hunger strike and apology story is also confirmed by another former detainee, Shafiq Rasul, interviewed by the UK Guardian in 2003 (James Meek, "The People the Law Forgot," The Guardian, December 3, 2003, p. 1.) It was also confirmed by former prisoner Jamal al-Harith in an interview with the Daily Mirror (Rosa Prince and Gary Jones, "My Hell in Camp X-ray World Exclusive," Daily Mirror, March 12, 2004.)

The toilet incident was reported in the Washington Post in a 2003 interview with a former detainee from Afghanistan:

"Ehsannullah, 29, said American soldiers who initially questioned him in Kandahar before shipping him to Guantanamo hit him and taunted him by dumping the Koran in a toilet. It was a very bad situation for us, said Ehsannullah, who comes from the home region of the Taliban leader, Mohammad Omar. We cried so much and shouted, Please do not do that to the Holy Koran. (Marc Kaufman and April Witt, "Out of Legal Limbo, Some Tell of Mistreatment," Washington Post, March 26, 2003.)

Also citing the toilet incident is testimony by Asif Iqbal, a former Guantanamo detainee who was released to British custody in March 2004 and subsequently freed without charge:

"The behaviour of the guards towards our religious practices as well as the Koran was also, in my view, designed to cause us as much distress as possible. They would kick the Koran, throw it into the toilet and generally disrespect it." (Center for Constitution Rights, Detention in Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay, August 4, 2004.)

The claim that US troops at Bagram airbase prison in Afghanistan urinated on the Koran was made by former detainee Mohamed Mazouz, a Moroccan, as reported in the Moroccan newspaper, La Gazette du Maroc. (Abdelhak Najib, "Les Americains pissaient sur le Coran et abusaient de nous sexuellement", April 11, 2005). An English translation is available on the Cage Prisoners web site.

Tarek Derghoul, another of the British detainees, similarly cites instances of Koran desecration in an interview with Cageprisoners.com.

Desecration of the Koran was also mentioned by former Guantanamo detainee Abdul Rahim Muslim Dost and reported by the BBC in early May 2005. (Haroon Rashid, "Ex-inmates Share Guantanamo Ordeal," May 2, 2005.)
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Old 05-20-2005, 05:07 PM   #53
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Why Islam is disrespected

By Jeff Jacoby, Globe Columnist | May 19, 2005

IT WAS front-page news this week when Newsweek retracted a report claiming that a US interrogator in Guantanamo had flushed a copy of the Koran down a toilet. Everywhere it was noted that Newsweek's story had sparked widespread Muslim rioting, in which at least 17 people were killed. But there was no mention of deadly protests triggered in recent years by comparable acts of desecration against other religions.

No one recalled, for example, that American Catholics lashed out in violent rampages in 1989, after photographer Andres Serrano's ''Piss Christ" -- a photograph of a crucifix submerged in urine -- was included in an exhibition subsidized by the National Endowment for the Arts. Or that they rioted in 1992 when singer Sinead O'Connor, appearing on ''Saturday Night Live," ripped up a photograph of Pope John Paul II.

There was no reminder that Jewish communities erupted in lethal violence in 2000, after Arabs demolished Joseph's Tomb, torching the ancient shrine and murdering a young rabbi who tried to save a Torah. And nobody noted that Buddhists went on a killing spree in 2001 in response to the destruction of two priceless, 1,500-year-old statues of Buddha by the Taliban government in Afghanistan.

Of course, there was a good reason all these bloody protests went unremembered in the coverage of the Newsweek affair: They never occurred.

Christians, Jews, and Buddhists don't lash out in homicidal rage when their religion is insulted. They don't call for holy war and riot in the streets. It would be unthinkable for a mainstream priest, rabbi, or lama to demand that a blasphemer be slain. But when Reuters reported what Mohammad Hanif, the imam of a Muslim seminary in Pakistan, said about the alleged Koran-flushers -- ''They should be hung. They should be killed in public so that no one can dare to insult Islam and its sacred symbols" -- was any reader surprised?

The Muslim riots should have been met by outrage and condemnation. From every part of the civilized world should have come denunciations of those who would react to the supposed destruction of a book with brutal threats and the slaughter of 17 innocent people. But the chorus of condemnation was directed not at the killers and the fanatics who incited them, but at Newsweek.

From the White House down, the magazine was slammed -- for running an item it should have known might prove incendiary, for relying on a shaky source, for its animus toward the military and the war. Over and over, Newsweek was blamed for the riots' death toll. Conservative pundits in particular piled on. ''Newsweek lied, people died" was the headline on Michelle Malkin's popular website. At NationalReview.com, Paul Marshall of Freedom House fumed: ''What planet do these [Newsweek] people live on? . . . Anybody with a little knowledge could have told them it was likely that people would die as a result of the article." All of Marshall's choler was reserved for Newsweek; he had no criticism at all for the marauders in the Muslim street.

Then there was Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who announced at a Senate hearing that she had a message for ''Muslims in America and throughout the world." And what was that message? That decent people do not resort to murder just because someone has offended their religious sensibilities? That the primitive bloodlust raging in Afghanistan and Pakistan was evidence of the Muslim world's dysfunctional political culture?

No: Her message was that ''disrespect for the Holy Koran is not now, nor has it ever been, nor will it ever be, tolerated by the United States."

Granted, Rice spoke while the rioting was still taking place and her goal was to reduce the anti-American fever. But what ''Muslims in America and throughout the world" most need to hear is not pandering sweet-talk. What they need is a blunt reminder that the real desecration of Islam is not what some interrogator in Guantanamo might have done to the Koran. It is what totalitarian Muslim zealots have been doing to innocent human beings in the name of Islam. It is 9/11 and Beslan and Bali and Daniel Pearl and the USS Cole. It is trains in Madrid and schoolbuses in Israel and an ''insurgency" in Iraq that slaughters Muslims as they pray and vote and line up for work. It is Hamas and Al Qaeda and sermons filled with infidel-hatred and exhortations to ''martyrdom."

But what disgraces Islam above all is the vast majority of the planet's Muslims saying nothing and doing nothing about the jihadist cancer eating away at their religion. It is Free Muslims Against Terrorism, a pro-democracy organization, calling on Muslims and Middle Easterners to ''converge on our nation's capital for a rally against terrorism" -- and having only 50 people show up.

Yes, Islam is disrespected. That will only change when throngs of passionate Muslims show up for rallies against terrorism, and when rabble-rousers trying to gin up a riot over a defiled Koran can't get the time of day.

Jeff Jacoby's e-mail address is jacoby@globe.com.
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Old 05-20-2005, 06:58 PM   #54
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I agree to a point with the above article. But we do have Christians on American soil who do claim this to be a "holy" war. We do have religious sanctions that are calling for a revolution against abortion and gay marriage. We do have highly vocal religious people that are praying for the death of judges.

I'm not trying to defend anyone here, but I'm trying to make the point(once again) that it's the vocal minority that make headlines. If this was truly the belief of all or even a majority of Muslims this world would be in a hell of a lot more trouble than we are.

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