“the utmost respect for religion of the prisoners”

That is how the New York Times quoted State Department spokesman Richard Boucher regarding the recent Newsweek story that the Koran had been desecrated by guards at Guantanamo Bay. The report resulted in anti-American riots in Afghanistan and Pakistan and the report has since been retracted.

However, it is incredible to me that anyone can say that the United States has shown the “utmost respect for [the] religion” of their Muslim prisoners with a straight face. In my rudimentary understanding of Islam, I have been led to believe that their religion, which often emphasizes modesty and is not friendly to homosexuality, is not being respected if: a)Their picture is taken naked. b) They are placed in sexual positions with individuals of the same sex. c) They are led around naked by a leash.

Imagine if naked pictures in sexual positions with others of the same sex had been taken of Christian prisoners in the midwest or deep south, where their religion apparently expressly forbids homosexuality. They would cry and scream that their religion was not being respected, that their rights were being deprived them. The captors would be shocked. “How can you say that?” they’d ask. “We’ve never desecrated a Bible!”

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