Roz Kaveney (rozk) wrote,
Roz Kaveney

The consequences of my tiresomely literal mind

I find myself struck with a degree of incredulity about the Gitmo Koran episode and the quasi-apology for it.

How precisely does a Koran get a few drops of urine sprinkled on it? Was the interrogator drinking it for health reasons and got clumsy, or choked? Or was he waving his penis at the interrogee and happened to get spontaneously taken short? In either case, what was the Koran doing in the room? Was he trying to persuade the interrogee of an incorrect texual reading which might change his political mind? Or was it there as part of a pile of other sacred literature as part of standard office furniture?

No, of course not, it was there, knowing the bibliolatry of many Muslims, in order to create shock and humiliation as part of the interrogation process by being desecrated. Now, this is not torture, but it is still not OK.

At the same time, I don't think riots in which people are killed are an appropriate response. I remember when Ian Paisley desecrated a Host in the Oxford Union in order to express his contempt for Catholics and the doctrine of Transubstantiation. I was a Catholic at the time, and did actually sort of believe that the Host was in some sense the Body and Blood of Christ manifesting as bread. I did not though want to kill anybody about it, just be vaguely upset.

Neither Paisley nor interrogators should do this stuff.

Asking us to believe that the urine-spattering is a mere accident is an insult to our intelligence.
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