Sunday, May 18, 2008

Soldier Shoots Koran, Predictable 'Outrage' Follows

You can be sure we'll be hearing about this one for weeks. Sure, the guy was stupid to do something like this and has been sent home, but the feigned outrage is just a little too much to take.

I could understand if the usual suspects condemned the crimes perpetrated in the name of Islam, but for some reason they never say a peep about decapitations, suicide bombings or honor killings.
A soldier used the Quran -- Islam's holy book -- for target practice, forcing the chief U.S. commander in Baghdad to issue a formal apology on Saturday.

Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Hammond, commander of U.S. forces in Baghdad, flanked by leaders from Radhwaniya in the western outskirts of Baghdad, apologized for the staff sergeant who was a sniper section leader assigned to the headquarters of the 64th Armored Regiment. He also read a letter of apology by the shooter.

It was the first time the incident -- which tested the relationship between U.S.-backed Sunni militiamen and the military -- was made public since it was discovered May 11.

"I come before you here seeking your forgiveness," Hammond said to tribal leaders and others at the apology ceremony. "In the most humble manner I look in your eyes today and I say please forgive me and my soldiers."
Good luck with the groveling.
Officials said the soldier claimed he wasn't aware the book was the Quran. U.S. officials rejected the claim.

Tribal leaders, dignitaries and local security officials attended the ceremony, while residents carried banners and chanted slogans, including "Yes, yes to the Quran" and "America out, out."

Sheikh Hamadi al-Qirtani, in a speech on behalf of all tribal sheiks of Radhwaniya, called the incident "aggression against the entire Islamic world."

The Association of Muslim Scholars in Iraq also condemned the shooter's actions and the U.S. military's belated acknowledgment of the incident.

"As the Association of Muslim Scholars condemns this heinous crime against God's holy book, the Constitution of this nation, a source of pride and dignity," the groups statement said, "they condemned the silence by all those who are part of the occupation's agenda and holds the occupation and the current government fully responsible for this violation and reminds everyone that God preserves his book and he [God] is a great avenger."
Robert Spencer has some thoughts on this.
Of course, we are not engaged in a war in a country where the majority of people revere the Bible, but that doesn't completely account for the difference. The possibility that Muslims worldwide might be incited to murderous rage because of an incident like this can never be discounted. Major General Hammond and his staff are trying to head that off. That's fine, but it also just plays into the mentality that to riot and kill because of something like this is a perfectly natural and rational reaction to it. At a certain point, someone is going to have to have the guts to stand up and say, "Wait a minute. The incident that set you off may indeed have been offensive, but your reaction is insane. If someone insults you, that is no justification to kill him or anyone else, or to destroy anything." But we are a long, long way at this point from that kind of common sense.
Update: In typical understated fashion, a Kosling says this is worse than Abu Ghraib. And we all know how well that went over with the haters on the left.

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