||"dawnbreak in the west"|
Tuesday, May 17, 2005
My post yesterday about holy-book disposal systems was a cop-out.
I didn't know where I was going with the topic, so I just let the words pour out. As a scholar, or at any rate a wannabe, there really is a debate in Islam (and Judaism) on how to dispose of holy texts; which has its origin in the days when writing material was expensive and when copying was done by hand. But there's a part of me that is darkly amused by those Muslims (and not Jews, note) who view the destruction of Qur'ans as worthy of a riot, while the murder of unbelieving civilians and the destruction of their holy texts are worthy of celebration.
There is cognitive dissonance among non-Muslim proponents of this war into which Bush has taken us. On the one hand, we'd be cool with Muslims if they'd be cool with us. On the other hand, we recognise that the Muslims' claim, that their Arabic-speaking tyrant of a God is worthy of worship, is false.
People of the former persuasion would like if the Qur'an had never been desecrated (Instapundit), and by extension would like to keep this secret even if it proved true (Barber, and me on a previous day). But then there're people who think the problem is on the other side, with the believers in surat al-Anfal and so forth; in which case it's their job to teach themselves to disbelieve in that nonsense. If they get mad enough to bomb something over here, that changes nothing; they already want to kill us and then to drag all the world into a vast caliphate of falsehood.
A Nazi might convert to a Republican, or a Communist to a Democrat; but either one has at least dropped his founding texts and retained only what he needs to prosper in a democracy (although of course I would retain my suspicions against both). Accepting reformed Nazis and Communists is entirely different from accepting "moderate" Nazis and Communists. Moderate evil is just an evil plotting its way. It's better if they quit being evil... or quit breathing.
What hasn't been done effectively so far is to make clear that the latter choice is, in fact, their only choice. We have been very. Very. Patient. But our government hasn't done a thing to discredit the rogue suras in the Qur'an. This sends the message to Islamic moderates that the rogue suras are just fine.
So I find myself agreeing with Sullivan, again. Let's have that debate. Let's decide what to say and what not to say to Islamic prisoners.
Start with this: Your holy book is wrong. And killing off unbelievers won't change that.
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