Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Koran desecration, the replay

The Newsweek-Koran fiasco continues to reverberate. According to YNet, Palestinian prisoners at Meggido jail are accusing guards of tearing three copies of the Koran during a search for weapons:
Tuesday evening, the prisoners decided to declare a hunger strike, beginning the following morning and lasting until an investigation is conducted.
The Prisons Service said, “In the course of the search, a few pages from Qurans that were shaken fell out. As a result, the chief warden of the Prisons Service, Lt. Gen. Yaacov Ganot, ordered an investigation of the incident so it would not repeat itself.”
A preliminary look into the case revealed that the sheets in question were too big to have been torn pages from the copies of the Quran.
Clearly, if there was any deliberate desecration of the Koran, this is a serious matter which must be investigated. And I don't discount the possibility that such a thing happened.
However, Israel's Islamic Movement has issued a statement saying that, if the Koran desecration proved true, "it would [be] a delicate and dangerous matter." In other words -- a cause for violence. This comes across as more of a threat than a worried warning.
It seems that this complaint has become a weapon of choice in the Muslim world -- a way to get the Muslim amcha fired up. More than this, by reacting so strongly (with hunger strikes etc.) some Muslims are trying to turn the very allegation of Koran desecration into an act so sensitive that Westerners will become conditioned into accepting, or understanding, of Muslim violence. Which is, of course, a very good position to have them in.

(A slightly different version of events here.)

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