Saturday, May 21, 2005

Koran Desecration – A Personal Angle

Ask whether, but also ask why.

Daniel Pipes has commented on the alleged mailorder Koran desecration incident. He has a great deal to say on it. I have to admit I didn’t take this issue at all seriously when I first heard it. It reminds me of the Tawana Brawley incident to a certain degree, and, as Pipes points out, the coincidence of timing, just after the Newsweek retraction, seems more than a little suspicious. It impressed me that the Newsweek article was based on a report where the only people who desecrated the Koran turned out to be Muslims. I am more than a little distressed at the weak-kneed response by Amazon, to something that seems so patently questionable, but I also have some personal experience that makes me angry at this event as well as dubious.

At the beginning of this year, my daughter started 7th grade at a new school. Now, she is very social, but the school was a big shock, very different from her previous situation, and most of the kids had been there a while. For the most part they already had their own network of friends. My daughter was feeling a little left out and always carried a book to read. One day she left the book in class and it disappeared. Since she was upset about it, we walked back the cat with her to figure out where she had left it. Recollection hit and the next day she went to the exact spot, but was unable to find her book.

She kept her eyes open and several days later she noticed it near the expected location. When she collected the book and opened it with high hopes that it was her lost treasure, she was shocked and upset to discover that it had been altered. It had been defaced with some very distressing graffiti and some of the pages were torn and soiled. The malevolent messages were seemingly personal, strange and disturbing. We spent a long time that evening calming her down and discussing what it might mean and what she might do about it.

Now this incident has faded from her life. She has adjusted and made lots of friends at the new school. I’m not going to tell you how we handled the situation, but I’m going to ask you to think about what you would have done. This kind of thing happens. I’m sure you’ve been told that kids are not nice to one another, but let me clue you in. People in general are nonchalantly cruel, not just kids. What does it mean? Probably nothing at all. The same people who do you gratuitous harm may well turn around and be unexpectedly decent. Political Correctness is not one of our species’ attributes.

One thing we did not do was turn this event into an international incident. Our concern was strictly for the emotional welfare of our daughter. I’m thinking that some people may have other agendas.

5/21/2005 6:32 PM


At Wednesday, May 25, 2005 12:45:00 PM, Blogger P-BS-Watcher said...

Amazon will have no difficulty adapting its business model once shari'a is imposed. See Amazon Dhimmis Respond


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