A mere rumor of a desecration of a copy of the Qur'an can already cause heavy rioting by Muslims with the destruction of property and the loss of lives.

The following links point to articles reflecting on the Muslim reactions to the now infamous Newsweek story on alleged Qur'an desecrations in Guantanamo Bay:

However, there is not only hypocrisy on the part of Muslims as outlined in the above articles.

As tragic as the newsweek story turned out, look at these words of Condoleeza Rice, the US Secretary of State, made before the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs on 12 May 2005:

"Disrespect for the holy Koran is not now, nor has it ever been, nor will it ever be, tolerated by the United States." (Source)

On the other hand, the above linked article on desecration of Bibles in Saudi Arabia ends with this line:

"The American State Department had no comment on this issue." (Source)

Something is not quite right here.

The story is not over yet. Muslim rioting is not restricted to Islamic countries. The following is taken from a Christian information and prayer letter:

More than 300 Muslim protestors set fire to a wooden cross outside the American Embassy in London last Friday 20th May.

The crowd, led by Omar Bakri Muhammad and Yassar al-Siri, were protesting against the alleged desecration of a Qur’an by American military interrogators at Guantanamo Bay. This followed claims by Newsweek magazine that a copy of the Qur’an had been put down a toilet. American and British flags were also burnt, and the protestors chanted calls for violence against the US and UK. Amongst the protestors were about 50 women, some of whom had brought their children.

At the time this protest took place, Newsweek had retracted their story about the alleged incident in Guantanamo Bay. Yet the cross-burning still took place, and has caused little interest in the British media.

Riots in Afghanistan about the same issue had already caused the deaths of 16 people.


Whatever happenened in Guantanamo Bay is far from clear, but it was done by police or military personal or secret agents in order to "extort" information from Muslim radicals. It was wrong, but it was not for reasons of religious hatred. It was not by Christian believers for Christian reasons. The above incident, however, was organized and performed by a Muslim religious leader, inciting his followers to this action of religious hatred. Bakri is not a nobody, this was not simply an emotional response by an uneducated Muslim. Sheikh Omar Bakri is a/the "Judge of the Shari'ah Court of the UK and Ameer of Al-Muhajiroun" (a radical Muslim movement based in the UK).

Note the stark difference in attitude. The Christian group is calling for prayer and for refraining from deliberate insult. The Muslim religious judge and leader deliberately seeks to insult and desecrate a Christian symbol. Are they inspired by the principles of a religion of peace?

Of related interest: The riots caused by a cartoon in a Danish newspaper are examined in the article, Is Islam above criticism?

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