Monday, June 13, 2005

Quran desecration crock a win for Jihad spin docs

Quran desecration crock a win for Jihad spin docs:
June 12, 2005

BY MARK STEYN SUN-TIMES COLUMNIST

Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe's kleptocrat strongman, destroyed a mosque the other day. It was in Hatcliffe Extension, a shantytown on the edge of Harare razed by the 'police.' Mugabe is an equal-opportunity razer: He also bulldozed a Catholic-run AIDS center. The government destroyed the town in order to drive the locals out into the countryside to live on the land stolen from white farmers. Quite how that's meant to benefit any of the parties involved or the broader needs of Zimbabwe is beyond me, but then I'm no expert in Afro-Marxist economic theory.

The point is the world's Muslims seem entirely cool with Infidel Bob razing a mosque. Unlike the fallout over Newsweek's fraudulent story about the Quran being flushed down a toilet, no excitable young men went bananas in Pakistan; no western progressives berated Mugabe for his 'cultural insensitivity.' And sadly most of the big shot Muslim spokespersons were still too busy flaying the Bush administration to whip their subjects into a frenzy over Hatcliffe Extension's pile of Islamic rubble.

Last week, Ambassador Atta el-Manan Bakhit of the Organization of the Islamic Conference called on Washington to show 'no leniency' to the 'perpetrators' of 'this despicable crime.' 'This disgraceful conduct of those soldiers reveal their blatant hatred and disdain for the religion of millions of Muslims all over the world,' said His Excellency. The Egyptian foreign minister was also in a tizzy. 'We denounce in the strongest possible terms what the Pentagon confirmed about the desecration of the Qu'ran,' said Ahmed Aboul Gheit, calling for strong measures, heads to roll, etc.

And what was it the Pentagon 'confirmed'? That since Gitmo became the global center of U.S. Quran Desecration operations, there have been five verifiable instances of official minor 'disrespect' for the holy book, three of which may have been intentional, which averages out at one incident per year. The same report also turned up 15 documented instances of 'disrespect' by Muslim detainees. 'These included using a Quran as a pillow, ripping pages out of the Quran, attempting to flush a Quran down the toilet and urinating on the Quran.'

When three times as many detainees 'desecrate' the Koran as U.S. guards do, it seems clear that the whole Operation Desecration ballyhoo is yet another media crock and the Organization of the Islamic Conference and all the rest are complaining about nothing. Or is Quran desecration one of those things like Jews telling Jewish jokes or gangsta rappers recording numbers like 'Strictly 4 My Niggaz'? Are only devout Muslims allowed to desecrate the Quran? No doubt that's why the Egyptian foreign minister and company had no comment on the recent suicide bombing at a mosque in Kandahar, which killed 20, wounded more than 50 and presumably desecrated every Quran in the building.

Yet, as is often the way, the Muslim world's whiny spokespersons have been effortlessly topped by the old hands of the anti-American left. Thus, according to Amnesty International, Gitmo is the 'gulag of our time.'

Well then, these are diminished times for gulags. According to the Encyclopaedia Britannica, some 15 million to 30 million prisoners died in the Soviet gulags. By comparison, Guantanamo at its peak held 750 prisoners; currently, there are 520; none have died in captivity, and, as I wrote 3-1/2 years ago, it has the distinction of being 'a camp where the medical staff outnumber the prisoners.' You'll get swifter, cleaner and more efficient treatment than most Canadians do under socialized health care. It's the only gulag in history where the detainees leave in better health and weighing more than when they arrive. This means they're in much better shape when they get back to their hectic schedule of killing infidels: Of the more than 200 who've been released, around 5 percent -- that's to say, 12 -- have since been recaptured on the battlefield.

Why would an organization in the human rights business want to trivialize the murder of millions in totalitarian death camps by comparing them with a non-death camp that flatters every aspect of the inmates' culture? If Gitmo's a gulag, what words are left for the systemic rape being practiced by the butchers of Darfur? Or is it because they've so exhausted the extremes of their vocabulary on Guantanamo that the world's progressives have so little to say about real horrors like Sudan?

No serious allegation of torture at the camp has been substantiated, and in the al-Qaida training manual found in Manchester, England, a couple of years back Rule 18 couldn't be more explicit: When held captive by the infidel, members must 'complain to the court of mistreatment while in prison' and say that 'torture was inflicted on them.' A healthy skepticism would thus seem to be advisable. Instead, Thomas Friedman of the New York Times runs around shrieking like a hysterical ninny that Washington needs to shut down Guantanamo right now -- not because of anything that actually occurred there -- but because of negative 'perceptions' of the camp in the overseas press."

Steyn is awesome

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