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Soldier Uses Quran for Target Practice


*Don*
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Actually, just to show that there are no hard feelings I think he should also snipe the Avesta, the bible, the torah, the vedas, and any other holy book (what is it for Scientology, can't forget that one)...ohhh...and lets not forget the origin of the species for good measure either. Now, who can honestly be upset if everyone is treated equally? :xp:

 

What it comes down to is that some people (extremists if you will) take things way too seriously. He sniped the Qu'ran, big whoop. The only unfortunate aspect of this is that due to his actions extremists will take out their perceived disrespect of their god on our troops.

 

I would go into a whole religion shpeel here but it's not really for this thread. Enjoy! :)

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(what is it for Scientology, can't forget that one)
Dianetics (fascinating read :rolleyes: ).

 

...ohhh...and lets not forget the origin of the species for good measure either.
Well, if he's going to shoot a scientific publication about biology, I think he would have to do the same for the other branches of science also. :(
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Well, if he's going to shoot a scientific publication about biology, I think he would have to do the same for the other branches of science also. :(

 

Don't get me wrong I abhor the destruction of any book, I cannot stumach the burning of books, and I think anyone that would shoot one is an idiot.

 

However I somewhat get the impression if you shot a copy of Einsteins theory of relativity no phyisicists would want to kill you for doing so. ;)

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Yea, it is just a book. A book that holds a great deal of meaning to the majority of the people in that region of the world, what about good manners? Even if you disagree with the importance or the meaning of a religious book, what does it say about someone that would go out of their way to show another such disrespect? Would any of you go into another person home and shoot their Religious Book, their Diploma or their family photo album?

 

I always understood that a sniper had to have great discipline and self control. I guess that does not include manners.

 

The Islamic world freaked over some political cartoons and a fictional book, to think that this would not cause problems if it was discovered shows a complete lack of intelligence. For his complete lack of judgment and for endangering his fellow solders’ by pulling such a juvenile stunt he should be sent home and possible removed from service.

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May 10th 1933 on the Opernplatz in Berlin. Similar story, more books.

 

If it can be proven that the soldier in question went to the extent of finding a Qu'ran and intentially destroying it for reasons of religious hatred, knowing full well the impact it would have on the very touchy community in question, then he deserves whatever's coming to him.

 

Idiots shouldn't be allowed to hold a gun; and this is only one step away from the type of idiot who signs up "because I want to shoot somebody".

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Even if you disagree with the importance or the meaning of a religious book, what does it say about someone that would go out of their way to show another such disrespect? Would any of you go into another person home and shoot their Religious Book, their Diploma or their family photo album?

 

Well, if they went into my home I wouldn't be too happy, however, [humor]...if we were at "war" with each other and they bought a picture of me, taped it to a tree, and shot it...don't think I would be too upset. Would kind of figure they would be doing that anyway actually, with the whole war thing and all.[/humor]

 

Unfortunately with the way the media has been it seems that people hear Quran or Islam and immediately think terrorist. I would assume (big assumption) that in the soldiers mind he was making a statement to the terrorists/insurgents he was sent there to fight. Unfortunately, people (in this case the soldier) seem to forget that the terrorists are a small minority and that the everyday people they are there to "help" are also part of that same religion.

 

This also brings up an interesting point. How much value does any religious book actually have? First you need to look at the religion...then the version...then how someone is translating it. Technically speaking if they are all right we are all going to "hell" (or whatever it is the other religions call it)...if they are all wrong what does it matter...or maybe everyone (without exception) goes to their version of heaven? The truth is somewhere in between, but that also means that everyone (without exception) is wrong in how they interpret their religious text (Assuming the translation of the text is somewhere close to being right to begin with). So does it have value...I guess it only has the value that you give it. Unfortunately in this case, some people (Again extremists for the most part) take this way too seriously.

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muhammed

 

I'm aware of your utter contempt for anything religious, but at least use proper grammar with people's names, if for nothing else to enhance readability and prevent confusion for those who are reading your posts. The intentional misuse of grammar is distracting.

 

Proper nouns

 

* Specific persons and things: George W. Bush, the White House, General Motors Corporation.

* Names of celestial bodies: Mars, Saturn, the Milky Way. Do not, howver, capitalize earth, moon, sun, except when those names appear in a context in which other (capitalized) celestial bodies are mentioned. "I like it here on earth," but "It is further from Earth to Mars than it is from Mercury to the Sun.

* Historical events: World War I, the Renaissance, the Crusades.

* Races, nationalities, languages: Swedes, Swedish, African American, Jewish, French, Native American. (Most writers do not capitalize whites, blacks.)

* Names of religions and religious terms: God, Christ, Allah, Buddha, Christianity, Christians, Judaism, Jews, Islam, Muslims.

* Names of courses: Economics, Biology 101. (However, we would write: "I'm taking courses in biology and earth science this summer.")

* Brand names: Tide, Maytag, Chevrolet.

 

The Chicago Manual of Style also has the complete rules on capitalization should you need them.

 

As to the topic--is it legal for him to shoot the Koran? Sure. Is it incredibly tacky and disrespectful? Sure. If you're trying to show respect for a country, shooting their revered holy text is not the way to do it. If the soldier was living under Sharia law he'd probably be killed for that.

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Yea, it is just a book. A book that holds a great deal of meaning to the majority of the people in that region of the world, what about good manners? Even if you disagree with the importance or the meaning of a religious book, what does it say about someone that would go out of their way to show another such disrespect? Would any of you go into another person home and shoot their Religious Book, their Diploma or their family photo album?
No doubt that the gesture was childish in the extreme.

 

The Islamic world freaked over some political cartoons and a fictional book, to think that this would not cause problems if it was discovered shows a complete lack of intelligence.
I think he may have considered this (but I'm guessing).

 

For his complete lack of judgment and for endangering his fellow solders’ by pulling such a juvenile stunt he should be sent home and possible removed from service.
This argument has some validity. The argument that he should be punished for shooting the qu'ran in order pander to the muslim community is not. "Manners" or no.

 

Unfortunately in this case, some people (Again extremists for the most part) take this way too seriously.
I'm going to have to disagree with you here. Take a look at the sea of people that show up for al-Sadr rallies, anti-America demonstrations, etc at then try to convince me that these views are only held by a small minority :)
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Well, if they went into my home I wouldn't be too happy, however, [humor]...if we were at "war" with each other and they bought a picture of me, taped it to a tree, and shot it...don't think I would be too upset. Would kind of figure they would be doing that anyway actually, with the whole war thing and all.[/humor]

Are we at war with the Quran? Are we at war with all Muslims? By shooting the Quran the soldier may have been showing his disrespect for the people we are fighting, but he also showed United States disrespect for the Muslim world in general. After all the solder is a representative of the U.S. I agree with others here the Quran is just a book and I do not pretend to understand that culture. So my reaction to such an indecent is not indicative of the Muslim world.

 

I have read the Quran in college, but the meaning I took from its pages are not the same as the Islamic extremist. I do know, in the college course, we were instructed to handle the book with care and respect. We were not allowed to use a highlighter or turn down the pages for a book mark. The Quran was written in Arabic with the English translation on the opposite page. I took from the instructions and the design of the Quran itself that the people of the Muslim faith required great reverence in dealing with their holy book. I do not believe the extremist or the people we are fighting are the only ones that will see this derogation of the Quran as an insult.

 

This argument has some validity. The argument that he should be punished for shooting the qu'ran in order pander to the muslim community is not. "Manners" or no.
No, he should not be punished for destroying a book.

 

Yes, he should be punished for endangering his fellow troops and lack of judgment. I would hope that a sniper in the U.S. military had over abundance of responsibility and judgment given the responsibility that job would seem to entail. However, this solder seems to be lacking in that department.

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By shooting the Quran the soldier may have been showing his disrespect for the people we are fighting, but he also showed United States disrespect for the Muslim world in general. After all the solder is a representative of the U.S.

 

I don't think enough people realize this unfortunately. As logical and straight forward as it is. :(

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On a side note, how do you guys feel about the Military Sargeant that "kissed" and "presented" a copy of the Quran to the Iraqi Tribal Leaders to show respect?

 

I realize that he is trying to portray Americans as "humble", but is all this butt-kissing (for lack of a better term) good?

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On a side note, how do you guys feel about the Military Sargeant that "kissed" and "presented" a copy of the Quran to the Iraqi Tribal Leaders to show respect?

 

I realize that he is trying to portray Americans as "humble", but is all this butt-kissing (for lack of a better term) good?

How is that different than bowing before a member of a Royal Family of another nation? Is it different from a non-Catholic showing respect and reverence towards the Pope? Throughout history we have done rituals to show honor and respect to other cultures. It is not butt-kissing it is called diplomacy. Diplomacy is a term that has been entirely foreign to the United State foreign policy over the past 8 years.

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I think presenting gifts to tribal leaders is a cultural thing (e.g. anyone going to visit a tribal leader brings gifts to him), and a Koran is not an inappropriate gift. If the sergeant was Muslim I think it might be appropriate for him personally to kiss the Koran, but otherwise I think it's a tad excessive.

 

Reagan did not bow to Queen Elizabeth when he visited her, btw. However, that was one head of state meeting another. The protocol is likely different if Joe Ordinary were meeting her.

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How is that different than bowing before a member of a Royal Family of another nation? Is it different from a non-Catholic showing respect and reverence towards the Pope? Throughout history we have done rituals to show honor and respect to other cultures. It is not butt-kissing it is called diplomacy. Diplomacy is a term that has been entirely foreign to the United State foreign policy over the past 8 years.

 

Usually it is the diplomats who do the diplomacy.

I never really heard of military sargeants doing this.

They may respect a certain country's culture, but it is always the diplomats/politicians that handle the political areas.

 

"I sincerely hope that my actions have not diminished the partnership that our two nations have developed together. ... My actions were shortsighted, very reckless and irresponsible, but in my heart [the actions] were not malicious."

 

I also can't understand how, in his heart, the actions were not malicious.

How can you shoot a holy book with good intentions?

Regardless, I do feel that his actions have harmed the partnership that America tried so hard to build.

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Usually it is the diplomats who do the diplomacy.

I never really heard of military sargeants doing this.

They may respect a certain country's culture, but it is always the diplomats/politicians that handle the political areas.

Guess I grew up around my father, step-father and uncles talking about their experiences in Korea and Vietnam. From their experience, on a local level, the solders were the ones doing the diplomacy. My step-father was a medic in Korea and by the sound of his stories he helped deliver a number of Korean children. One of my uncles spoke of searching for Cuban cigars for the leader of a Vietnamese village so that they could sleep indoors. Btw Only my step-father was above the rank of sergeant.

 

Reagan did not bow to Queen Elizabeth when he visited her, btw. However, that was one head of state meeting another. The protocol is likely different if Joe Ordinary were meeting her.
I can’t see Reagan bowing to anyone. I recently watched John Adams, and at least in the miniseries they portrayed him as bowing to King George III after the American’s won independence. At the time Adams was ambassador to England (off topic: I highly recommend the HBO miniseries John Adams). My guess is that one head of state would not bow to another.
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I believe the term is obsequious (re the Gen kissing the Koran). I think diplomacy for the sake of diplomacy has not been a hallmark of GW's tenure. O'course, all of Carter's diplomacy had little to show for it in the end. The art of diplomacy is really about letting the other guy have it your way w/o unduly upsetting him. :D

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Human stupidity is a factor we can never completely anticipate and prepare for. What that soldier did was downright stupid, offensive and primitive. I'm not sure what would be the appropriate punishment for something like that, but I do think he should not be allowed to remain in the military anymore.

As for diplomacy, like it or not, each of us is a representative of their country. Every time we go abroad we represent our country, our people and our culture, because if we do something stupid and/or illegal the news headlines won't say "Joe Johnson did that", they'll say "*Country Name* citizen did that".

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Thought about what? I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that he knew what he was doing (which means that, by definition, he had thought about it before he acted).

I am also pretty sure that he knew what he was doing too. What I am trying to get across is that this soldier should have thought about the effects of what potentially will happen because of his actions. Thats all. :)

 

Okay, I have a question (technically several). Have you ever heard the saying, "Do to others as you would want done to yourself", you know "The Golden Rule"? How do you think that you would feel if someone used something very, I will use the word sacred, of yours as target practice. How exactly would you feel. Please answer honestly.

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Wait a minute... since when do our soldiers have freedom of speech? Their right to speech is severely limited, actually. As far as I know, soldiers cannot even communicate with anyone back home without their message first being read and approved by the military. Soldiers can be punished for communicating something - such as troop movements - that compromises their security. Also, there's probably a number of things you could say to your commander that would get you dishonorably discharged.

 

What this soldier did was so outrageously negligent that he should be punished. Our mission in Iraq isn't just to kill the enemy, but it's to build a positive relationship with the Iraqis. Shooting the Iraqis' holy book is certainly not going to win any hearts and minds. This soldier is guilty of dereliciton of duty.

 

A lot of you guys have said "it's just a damn book so what's the big deal, it's not like he was shooting innocent people!" Well, if he was going around just shooting innocent people, it would actually do less harm to our reputation than shooting their holy book. Soldiers shoot innocent people all the time. It's rare when they do something so STUPID as to shoot the Qur'an for target practice. You may think it's wrong that this is more offensive to the Iraqis than killing innocent people, but too bad, it's not what YOU think, it's what the Iraqis think. We're trying to win their hearts and minds, not yours.

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I think diplomacy for the sake of diplomacy has not been a hallmark of GW's tenure.

Diplomacy for the sake of allies, peace or even superficial diplomacy has not been the hallmark of Bush’s tenure. Funny thing is his father was extremely good at diplomacy.

 

Oh, yes bring up Carter. Carter was good at bring together the Israelis and the Egyptians, but he refused to negotiate with Iran over the hostages. However, the President elect had no problem using diplomacy to trade arms for the hostages. Maybe the next President elect can go behind Bush’s back after November and get something done in Iraq and Afghanistan, be it Obama or McCain.

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Okay, I have a question (technically several). Have you ever heard the saying, "Do to others as you would want done to yourself", you know "The Golden Rule"? How do you think that you would feel if someone used something very, I will use the word sacred, of yours as target practice. How exactly would you feel. Please answer honestly.
That's going to be very difficult for me to answer as "sacred" isn't in my vocabulary. No equivalent that I can think of either.

 

If someone used something that was very important to me as target practice, I would be pretty upset, but from a perspective of ownership and ethics of personal property rather than some non-defendable argument about the relative holiness of said object. Indeed, if the punishment was that said sniper-guy needed to pay restitutions to whomever he stole the qu'ran from, then that would be reasonable and equitable (as well as whatever other reasonable and equitable punishment the military courts deemed appropriate for theft). On the other hand if said sniper-guy bought the copy of the qu'ran himself with his own money, then it is his and he should be able to do whatever he'd like to with it.

 

But we're tacking on a bunch of other stuff that doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me. He endangered lives by shooting the book? Why should lives be endangered? Islam is a religion of peace right? Perhaps the people that would be incited to violence aren't "real" muslims then? Well then why would non-muslims be offended by the desecration of the qu'ran? Either islam is not a religion of peace (and we need to start asking ourselves why we're pandering to a religious culture that believes in violence) or the people that we're worried about upsetting don't have any reason to be upset in the first place. Neither one of these arguments lends itself to this guy getting punished for doing anything wrong.

 

I conceded earlier that mimartin's argument made sense, but I did so within the context that the premise of islam being a religion of peace is false. We can't have it both ways.

 

I hope that answers your questions. Thanks for reading.

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That's going to be very difficult for me to answer as "sacred" isn't in my vocabulary. No equivalent that I can think of either.

But you know what desecrate (desecration) means?

Sacred=worthy of respect in this case. ;)

 

I would be pretty upset.

That is how these muslims feel.

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But you know what desecrate (desecration) means?

Sacred=worthy of respect in this case. ;)

Depends on which definition we're using. Regardless, I don't see how this has any bearing on the answer that I offered you, the main points of which you seem to have ignored.

 

That is how these muslims feel.
I suspect that you stopped reading there.
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