Monday, May 16, 2005

Bound to be a Holy Book

I know news stories are support to have the most important parts at the top, the so-called-pyramid. I also note, as I have before, that unless it's three dimensional, it's a triangle, kids. But sometimes the most interesting part of a story is a little farther down, like in this coverage of Muslim reaction to the recent Newsweek retraction about a story of US interrogators at Gitmo supposedly flushing a Koran down a toilet. Reuters reports:
Aman was the leader of a group of clerics who Sunday vowed to call for a holy war against the United States in three days unless it handed over the military interrogators reported to have desecrated the Koran.
Hand over US troops to angry mobs in Pakistan? Now there's a reasonable thought. I don't know if a Koran was flushed or not, but one can't help but wonder if apologies would be recognized by those described by Aman as "illiterate peasants". Actually, he says, "average illiterate peasants", and perhaps he should contemplate that illiteracy being an average condition is a more pressing problem than toilet contents in Cuba. I might be tempted to point out that many Americans consider their flag sacred, and I guess it's a good thing no one in Pakistan has ever harmed an American flag or else this conflict might escalate. Or perhaps the attribution of mystical qualities that deserve worship on books is a bad thing unto itself. Just for the record, if someone in Asia destroys a copy of Lord of the Rings, I promise in advance to hold no angry protests or issue calls for death. Peace starts with one person, they say.

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