Undue Respect

Where's the ACLU?

Where's the First Amendment, at least under its modern interpretations?

What, separation of church and State, but not of mosque and State?

Why are our soldiers being given detailed (and absurd) instructions on how to reverently handle the koran to comply with the demands of a religion?

To make matters even worse, it is not a general policy, but one that applies to only one particular religion, held above all others.

Held above even the Judeo-Christian religions on which our own culture is based.

Even under its original interpretations, there's a Constitutional problem here.

The Washington Post reports:
More than two years ago, the Pentagon issued detailed rules for handling the Koran at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, requiring U.S. personnel to ensure that the holy book is not placed in "offensive areas such as the floor, near the toilet or sink, near the feet, or dirty/wet areas."

The three-page memorandum, dated Jan. 19, 2003, says that only Muslim chaplains and Muslim interpreters can handle the holy book, and only after putting on clean gloves in full view of detainees.

The detailed rules require U.S. Muslim personnel to use both hands when touching the Koran to signal "respect and reverence," and specify that the right hand be the primary one used to manipulate any part of the book "due to cultural associations with the left hand." The Koran should be treated like a "fragile piece of delicate art," it says.
Well guess what, it's not -- it's just a book!
The memo, written a year after the first detainees were brought to Guantanamo from Afghanistan, reflects what U.S. officials said was a specific policy on handling the Koran, one of the most sensitive issues to Muslims. The Pentagon does not have a similar policy regarding any other major religious book and takes "extra precautions" on the Muslim holy book, officials said.
In other words, we bow down to our Overlords. We recognize their intrinsic moral superiority.
"They're not supposed to in any way disrespect or desecrate the Koran, and there are a very specific set of rules the military has on handling the Koran," State Department spokesman Richard A. Boucher said yesterday. "We made it clear that our practices and our policies are completely different" from allegations in a Newsweek article that the magazine formally retracted yesterday. The Newsweek report said that U.S. military investigators had confirmed that a U.S. interrogator at Guantanamo had flushed a copy of the Koran down a toilet.
Doesn't help you much to grovel though, does it? It just invites you to be kicked more.
The Pentagon memo, among other directives, barred military police from touching the Koran. If a copy of the book was to be moved from a cell, the memo said, it must be placed on a "clean, dry detainee towel" and then wrapped without turning it over at any time. Muslim chaplains must then ensure that it is not placed in any offensive area while transported.
Oh, brilliant. Military Police cannot touch a koran. That means there is known prisoner material that is "off limits", and thus a natural place for them to hide things like notes, shanks, etc. to make trouble.

Belmont Club has this similar perspective:
...it is nearly undeniable that the effect of the media's coverage of American misdeeds has been to make the slightest infraction against enemy combatants ruinously expensive. Not only the treatment of the enemy combatants themselves, but their articles of religious worship have become the subject of such scrutiny that Korans must handled with actual gloves in a ceremonial fashion, a fact that must be triumph for the jihadi cause in and of itself. While nothing is wrong with ensuring the proper treatment of enemy prisoners, the implicit moral superiority that has been accorded America's enemy and his effects recalls Rudyard Kipling's The Grave of the Hundred Dead.
...
The modern "grave of a hundred dead" isn't a pyramid of skulls over the tomb of British Subaltern: it's an American Secretary of Defense's head on a stake over a photograph of a jihadi wearing a pair of panties as a hat. It is front-page calls for an abject American apology for flushing a Koran down a toilet even if it was never flushed down a toilet at all, except on the pages of Newsweek. It is calls for an admission of guilt if only the mere possibility of guilt existed. And if that were not psychological domination at par with the worst the British Empire could offer in its heyday then nothing is. There are Empires today of a different sort, but they maintain the power by much the same means.

There'll be some who say that toppling Saddam was meant to be an object lesson to the Arab world. If so, it has sent mixed messages because it was never prosecuted with the kind of frightening brutality that some have advocated. The image of the US after OIF is one of a giant afraid to hurt or even give offense to its enemies. Even in the battles of the First and Second Fallujah there were always extraordinary efforts to preserve mosques and similar places, probably to the glee and wonderment of the enemy. If the Kevin Sites incident and the subsequent investigation proved anything it was that the Marines were no Shikaris.
...
We live in a strange world where the Beslan story vanishes in weeks while Abu Ghraib lives on for years.
At Victor Hanson's Private Papers, Bruce Thornton muses on
...the arrogant intolerance of a religion convinced it has been chosen by God to rule the world, and so is justified in using every means, whether violence or propaganda, to fulfill that divine mandate.
At this point, the typical leftist imagines he's talking about the dreaded Christian Right, a delusion so stunning as to be incomprehensible. But rather,
As the final and complete revelation of the divine, Islam feels no need to respect or tolerate other religions or secular notions like "human rights," for they are all the detritus of infidel history to be swept away in the final triumph of the one true religion.

Hence, while we in the West anxiously monitor our words and deeds for even the slightest offense against Islamic sensibilities, we receive in exchange no such consideration; indeed, our eager protestations of respect merely excite more contempt.
...
Worse still, a whole revisionist history in which the intolerant, imperialistic conqueror is transformed into the tolerant, peace-loving victim of Western imperialism is propagated by self-loathing Westerners whose bigotry against their own culture confirms the Islamist view that we are indeed Godless heathens and spiritual cripples.

Just look at Ridley Scott's Kingdom of Heaven, a truly Orwellian reversal of history in which the fanatical jihadists are depicted as tolerant and civilized, the Christian believers are caricatured as either venal hypocrites or psychopaths, and the only good Europeans are those who have lost their faith. The mentality that would spend over a hundred million dollars on this historical lie is that of a psychological dhimmi, the non-Moslem who concedes Islam's superiority and hence right to rule him. That is, the world-view of those for whom appetite and pleasure are the highest goods, flabby tolerance is the camouflage of moral exhaustion, and respect for the culture of the "other" is merely an expression of disbelief in the value of one's own.

In short, like the hand wringing of the administration over an obvious lie only the irrational and ignorant would believe, this willingness to demonize the culture that created you and to extol as superior the culture that wants to destroy you can only be described as suicidal. Certainly the Islamist sees it that way, which is why he feels confident in predicting the ultimate triumph of his religion: he is willing to die and kill for his beliefs, whereas significant numbers of Westerners don't really believe that there is anything worth dying and killing for.

Increasingly we Westerners resemble the Eloi of H.G. Wells' The Time Machine, beautiful, gentle, highly civilized hedonists whose fate is to be devoured raw by the brutal Morlocks. We are the beneficiaries of a culture created by those before us who forged European civilization in the fires of resistance to Islamic jihad: in Spain, in Sicily, in Eastern Europe, in Greece — the plunder, rape, slaughter, massacres, sacks, kidnapping, and enslavement perpetrated by the armies of Allah were for centuries fought by those whose names now most Westerners have forgotten or would be embarrassed to claim as their own. Don John, Charles Martel, Leo the Isaurian, Prince Eugene, Montecuccoli, Andrea Doria, El Cid, Sobieski, Charlemagne, Suvorov, Boucicaut, Hunyadi, Fernando II of Castile, Alfonso I of Aragon, Guiscard, Harold Hardrada-who among us knows anything about the men who fought and killed so that Europe, and Europe's offspring America, today looks like Europe and America instead of looking like Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, or Syria?

Because of the brutal violence of those warriors against jihad, we in the West today enjoy the luxury of cynicism, cheap irony, effete tolerance, and hedonism. We moral dwarves stand on the shoulders of those giants and spit on their heads, thinking our ingratitude is really an intellectual sophistication superior to the primitive superstitions and na├»ve ideals that have made our lives of freedom and prosperity possible. Meanwhile jihad by other means — demography, immigration, terrorism, the oil weapon — continues apace, at least until the time when a nuclear, chemical, or biological weapon falls into the hands of a modern jihadist and we are returned to the sort of slaughter our ancestors suffered for centuries. Maybe then we'll wake up.
Oh, I seriously doubt it. Winston Smith finally loved Big Brother when he pulled the trigger to put him out of his misery. They'll thank our killers for getting rid of evil Western culture, and for thus saving the Earth.