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Americans focus on Guantanamo, ignore mosque bombings
Scripps Howard News Service


June 23, 2005

NEW YORK - For all the grief America is suffering over Guantanamo, U.S. soldiers there might as well have flushed 1,001 Korans down 1,001 toilets - live on Al-Jazeera TV.

Newsweek's May 15 retraction of its false and deadly Koran-in-the-can story has worked as well as a severed brake line in slowing calls by Democrats (and some wobbly Republicans) to padlock the terrorist detention facility.

Illinois' Dick Durbin, the Senate's No. 2 Democrat, infamously compared Gitmo to the Soviet Gulag, Nazi concentration camps and the Khmer Rouge's killing fields, despite the base's paucity of firing squads, gas chambers or neatly stacked human skulls.

After a week of brickbats, Durbin Tuesday tearfully offered a qualified apology for his remarks.

Bushophobes should squirt some of their copious bile on those who esteem devout Muslims far less than do Gitmo's guards. Leftists shriek when a GI forgets to don gloves before touching a Koran, but snore when Taliban, al Qaeda and other terrorists blast mosques to bits.

Associated Press reports, among others, document how militant Islamists (primarily Sunnis) treat Shiite shrines with all the deference the SS showed synagogues in the 1940s.

- June 1, 2005: A suicide bomber blasted the funeral of Mullah Abdul Fayaz, a moderate cleric, at his eponymous mosque in Kandahar, Afghanistan. He killed Kabul's police chief and 20 others, while wounding 50.

- January 20, 2005: A suicide bomber exploded inside the Ghocha Park Mosque in Sheberghan, injuring 21.

- January 16, 2005: An anti-personnel mine went off at the Sal Metra mosque in Urozgan province, wounding two worshippers.

- June 30, 2003: An earlier bombing at Fayaz's mosque injured 16.

To date, colleagues of the Gitmo Boys have killed 21 and wounded 89 in Afghan mosque bombings.

Iraq's picture is even bloodier:

- May 23, 2005: A car bomb at a Baghdad mosque killed two and wounded 22, including 11 children.

- May 19, 2005: A bomb at a Saydiya mosque killed two and hurt five.

- April 22, 2005: A car bomb at a Baghdad mosque disrupted Friday prayers, killing nine and wounding 26.

- March 10, 2005: A suicide bomber detonated himself during a funeral at a Mosul mosque, murdering 47 people and injuring at least 101.

- February 18, 2005: On Ashoura, Shiites' holiest day, homicide bombers attacked two Baghdad mosques, killing 25 and wounding 30.

- February 18, 2005: That day, a car bomb killed eight and hurt 10 at an Iskandariyah mosque.

- August 26, 2004: Mortar shells pummeled a Najaf mosque, leaving 27 dead and 63 injured.

- March 2, 2004: Homicide bombers, mortars, and hidden explosives at mosques in Baghdad and Karbala killed 181 and wounded 573 Ashoura worshippers.

- August 29, 2003: A car bomb outside a Najaf mosque killed 85 and injured 140.

Add the 386 killed and 970 injured in Iraq to the Afghan figures above: The terrorist pals of Guantanamo's al Qaeda and Taliban residents have butchered 407 Muslims and injured 1,059 more in these mosque attacks alone.

After crying for these murdered and maimed Muslims, weep for the Korans destroyed in this mayhem. At worst, a May 27 Pentagon probe revealed, U.S. personnel at Guantanamo mistreated Korans on 13 occasions, only five deliberately, notwithstanding Army requirements that soldiers "handle the Koran as if it were a fragile piece of delicate art."

In one "atrocity," a Koran was stacked atop another Koran on a TV set. Interrogators twice "either touched or stood over" the Koran during questioning. Most regrettably, a soldier relieved himself outdoors last March 25. The breeze shifted towards a cellblock, and an adjacent air duct splattered his urine onto a detainee's nearby Koran and uniform. The soldier was reprimanded and reassigned to gate-guard duty. The detainee scored a new Koran and a fresh uniform.

Compare this to the Islamofascist explosions and fires that reduce Allah's words to ashes.

Muslim detainees mishandled the Koran 15 times, the Pentagon reports. One used his Koran as a pillow. Another tried to annoy guards by tearing up his Koran and stuffing its pages into - get this - a toilet.

Despite detainees' disrespect for these Korans - furnished by U.S. taxpayers, not the Book of the Month Club - America somehow remains this story's perceived villain.

When, oh when, will President Bush go on offense to reverse this dangerous misperception?


On the Net:

May 27 Pentagon report on Guantanamo:


Deroy Murdock is a columnist with Scripps Howard News Service and a senior fellow with the Atlas Economic Research Foundation in Fairfax, Va.
E-mail him at deroy.murdock(at)

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