Friday, May 13, 2005

Sowing the Wind . . .

You've heard the story by now: Interrogators at Guantanamo Bay "in an attempt to rattle suspects, flushed a Qur'an down a toilet..."

Flushed...a copy of the Koran...down a toilet.

No wonder the Muslim world hates us. The Ivory Madonna is not so crazy about us, right now. In fact, she is simultaneously livid, sick to her stomach, and deeply ashamed to be an American.

This act is offensive far, far beyond burning a flag or an effigy of a country's leader. This is a profound act of disrespect toward the most holy symbol of Islam. It spits in the eyes of the billion-plus Muslims across the globe.

It's hard to find any act that a Muslim could do that would be as offensive to Americans. Even if a Muslim would, for example, flush a copy of the Bible down the toilet -- and what Muslim could force himself to do that? -- it still wouldn't have the same level of offense.

When you look in the Hitchhiker's Guide under "How to earn the undying hatred of every Muslim in the world," you see a picture of someone flushing the Koran down a toilet.

Could the United States have performed any other single act that would be more of an offense? The Ivory Madonna and her friends have been wracking their brains, and they have come up with only one way to make it worse: the interrogators could have wiped themselves with the pages before flushing. And the horror is, (a) we don't know that they didn't, and (b) it doesn't matter...the symbolic effect is the same.

How would our ever-so-patriotic Republicans react if officials of another country -- Muslim or not? -- had flushed an American flag down the toilet? Damn right: they would now be demanding action. You can almost hear the echoes of "bomb them into the Stone Age."

Multiply that outrage by a factor of ten, and you will begin to understand how Muslims -- even moderate, secular Muslims -- feel about us. Right now, there are more than a billion people who want to bomb us into the Stone Age...or further.

One wishes to be charitable, to say that the interrogators did not fully appreciate what they were doing -- but it's hard to believe that. This can only have been an intentional act, a deliberate insult. It was beyond was the mean-spirited act of unlettered, uncultured, uncouth barbarians.

Because of this act, America will have trouble. And we will deserve everything we get. We have deliberately invited the hatred of the entire Muslim world. In the name of national security and public safety, we have invited retribution that will make 9/11 look like a children's birthday party.

Next time around, when we reap the whirlwind, remember . . . we sowed the wind.


The Ivory Madonna's story is told in Dance for the Ivory Madonna by Don Sakers.