The Qur’an question

More from Newsweek on its Qur’an desecration story. They spoke to US Defense Department spokesman Lawrence Di Rita:

“According to Di Rita, when the first prisons were built for suspected terrorists at Guantánamo in early 2002, prison guards were instructed to respect the detainees’ religious rituals. The prisoners were given Qur’ans, which they hung from the walls of their cells in cotton surgical masks provided by the prison. Log entries by the guards indicate that in about a dozen cases, the detainees themselves somehow damaged their Qur’ans. In one case a prisoner allegedly ripped up a Qur’an; in another a prisoner tore the cover off his Qur’an. In three cases, detainees tried to stuff pages from their Qur’ans down their toilets, according to the Defense Department’s account of what is in the guards’ reports. (Newsweek was not permitted to see the log items.) The log entries do not indicate why the detainees might have done this, said Di Rita, and prison commanders concluded that certain hard-core prisoners would try to agitate the other detainees by alleging disrespect for Muslim articles of faith.”

So copies of the Qur’an were defaced at Guantánamo – by the prisoners themselves! The next thing you know, we’ll be told that the torture at Bagram airbase was all self-inflicted.

Newsweek, 30 May 2005

Little Green Footballs finds Di Rita’s account entirely convincing.

LGF, 23 May 2005