Monday, June 13, 2005

The Qu'ran and Najis

Diane West's latest article covers the rules American troops have to abide by in handling the Qu'ran in Guantenemo. She opposes them handling the Qu'ran in the specified way.
The fact is, under Islamic law, non-Muslims are deemed unfit to touch the Quran. That much is generally known. What is not usually considered is the reason: According to the Islamic law, we are unclean.

The term is "najis." . . .

In effect, then, with its official policy of clean cloves and detainee towels, the United States military is promoting, enabling and accepting the Islamic concept of najis -- the unclean infidel -- a barbarous notion that has helped fuel the bloodlust of jihad and the non-Muslim subjugation of dhimmitude. Our soldiers are many things: self-sacrificing, bold, loyal and true. They are not unclean.

Is this political correctness run amok? Not exactly. It's something else again, a new threat from within that needs vigilant redress. P.C. is about victimology, the elevation of perceived victim groups to the canonical pantheon. The Gitmo rules are more blatantly about surrender, a voluntary self-extinguishment, a spreading condition of denial of what is right and worth standing for. Not what you expect from the United States Southern Command.
I'm not sure I buy that Ms. West. For one thing, there are practical concerns involved. Guantenomo bay is essentially a prison - how riled up do you want the prisoners to be? You might have fantasies that our troops can offend dozens of prisoners and suffer no consequences, but I'm pretty sure that is not the case.

Secondly I think the article presents a false dichotomy. It posits respect for Islam as submission to it. I don't know if that is necessarily true, and it hasn't escaped my notice that Conservatives argue regularly that paying respect to Christianity in America isn't submitting to it.

Anyway an interesting but wrongheaded article.

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