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Old 05-19-2008, 06:34 PM   #1
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Soldier Uses Quran for Target Practice

CNN LINK

The soldier was a sniper and used the Islamic sacred book as target practice.
The man was relieved of his duties, reassigned, and was forced to write a formal letter of apology.
Today, the Iraq Islamic Party called the millitary's actions unacceptable and asked for harsher punishment.

What are your thoughts on how this matter should be dealt? Clearly, it is a sensitive subject since the Quran was involved. With that in mind, how should the punishment be carried out?


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Old 05-19-2008, 06:49 PM   #2
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Alright, while I believe in a perfect world this should be alright, in this imperfect one it's plain stupid. So yes, upp the punishment, while it might not do much good for the individual, in this case the deterrent for other soldiers is more important. Winning the hearts and minds is hard enough without needless provocation.


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Old 05-19-2008, 06:54 PM   #3
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Maybe I skimmed too quickly, but what punishment do they think he really deserves (they might not be happy with what the "severest punishment" is under UCMJ). Frankly, I think they've got a right to bitch, but hope the military doesn't allow itself to be pushed around just to soothe ruffled feathers.


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Old 05-19-2008, 07:25 PM   #4
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Nothing. He should not be punished. Pulled out of the Middle-East, yes, but this kind of activity is protected by Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Speech. It was stupid, but it was well within his rights as an American citizen.
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Old 05-19-2008, 07:36 PM   #5
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Agreed.

No one would've have cared if it had been a bible, so this shouldn't be a career-wrecker. Given the context it was a pretty stupid thing to do, though.


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Old 05-19-2008, 07:43 PM   #6
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That was a pretty stupid thing to do. Although this soldier is protected by the Constitution, that was the wrong thing to do. Especially in the Middle East.

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Old 05-19-2008, 07:47 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by *Don*
CNN LINK

The soldier was a sniper and used the Islamic sacred book as target practice.
The man was relieved of his duties, reassigned, and was forced to write a formal letter of apology.
Today, the Iraq Islamic Party called the millitary's actions unacceptable and asked for harsher punishment.

What are your thoughts on how this matter should be dealt? Clearly, it is a sensitive subject since the Quran was involved. With that in mind, how should the punishment be carried out?
It was a very stupid thing to do, but am I the only one who thinks; he's a sniper and shoots people for a living, surely the shooting of a person should create a bigger stir than shooting a book?



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Old 05-19-2008, 08:36 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Qliveur
No one would've have cared if it had been any other book
Fixed.

Let's face it; the military needs to capitulate as quickly as possible before muslims start demonstrating how "peaceful" islam is by issuing fatwas and/or rioting in the streets.
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Old 05-19-2008, 09:27 PM   #9
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Depends on what you mean by capitulate.

Wonders if Achilles is remotely related to the late Neville Chamberlain.


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Old 05-19-2008, 09:31 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
Fixed.

Let's face it; the military needs to capitulate as quickly as possible before muslims start demonstrating how "peaceful" islam is by issuing fatwas and/or rioting in the streets.
Having gone in, I think there is responsility on our part (UK and US) to leave the country in a better state than it was and to leave responsibly. However given all the massive errors, it may be beyond saving in that regard.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf
Depends on what you mean by capitulate.

Wonders if Achilles is remotely related to the late Neville Chamberlain.
I fail to see the connection, between accuraltly assessing a battlefront, and trying to 'appease' a tyrant. I do not think the future road in Iraq is anything but blood stained for the forseeable future.



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Old 05-19-2008, 10:09 PM   #11
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Although I agree that the soldier is very much within his rights to shoot a Quran, given his location, I get the sinking feeling that this will result in riots/bombings.

In the long run, the sniper's actions have definitely created a small roadblock for the United States.
For that reason, I feel that there should be harsher consequences.

As Achilles said before, its really in America's best interests to appease the Iraqis so that they don't start "demonstrating".


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Old 05-19-2008, 10:26 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonathan7
Having gone in, I think there is responsility on our part (UK and US) to leave the country in a better state than it was and to leave responsibly. However given all the massive errors, it may be beyond saving in that regard.
I was referring to the incident. I can only assume that you inferred that I was referring to our occupation of Iraq in general.

...and it sarcasm anyway

Quote:
Originally Posted by *Don*
In the long run, the sniper's actions have definitely created a small roadblock for the United States.
Perhaps. I say that we opened that door when we started throwing copies on the ground in Gitmo, but I suppose that each new incident might be a new barrier. *shrugs*

Quote:
Originally Posted by *Don*
For that reason, I feel that there should be harsher consequences.
Because he shot a book? Really? I think [edit]the punishment that he received[/edit] was too much.

Last edited by Achilles; 05-19-2008 at 10:45 PM.
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Old 05-19-2008, 10:42 PM   #13
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I wonder if the soldiers are under orders not to disrespect the Koran or the Islamic religion. I know during the first Gulf war an Army Division went to great lengths not to do either by ordering the soldiers not to do either.

If the soldiers are not under such orders then our military leaders are complete morons and their stupidly is jeopardizing all our troops over there.


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Old 05-19-2008, 10:51 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonathan7
I fail to see the connection, between accuraltly assessing a battlefront, and trying to 'appease' a tyrant. I do not think the future road in Iraq is anything but blood stained for the forseeable future.
Frankly, the military shouldn't allow itself to be manipulated by public opinion in the ME to exact a "severe punishment" just b/c someone(s) feels offended. If the Sgt is to be punished it should only be within the noraml confines of the UCMJ. Caving in to muslim extremists out of fear is no better than merely allowing them to make all your decisions for you. Pull him out and rap him on the knuckles for stupidity.


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Old 05-20-2008, 12:11 AM   #15
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It may have been intolerant to Muslim beleifs for him to do so, but it's just a book... I bet they've got plenty of extra Qurans... Although he should apologize, but shooting some book shouldn't be punishable by maximum military punishment (Isn't that court martial?)


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Old 05-20-2008, 12:56 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arcesious
It may have been intolerant to Muslim beleifs for him to do so, but it's just a book... I bet they've got plenty of extra Qurans... Although he should apologize, but shooting some book shouldn't be punishable by maximum military punishment (Isn't that court martial?)
No, a court martial is actually to determine the punishments soldiers get.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
Because he shot a book? Really?
Well, the thing is it was the act of shooting it. It most likely will have some repercussions. You have to be able to see from a different point of view. The people that we are battling in the Middle East are Muslims. How do you think that they would react to this?

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Old 05-20-2008, 01:14 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rev7
Well, the thing is it was the act of shooting it. It most likely will have some repercussions. You have to be able to see from a different point of view. The people that we are battling in the Middle East are Muslims. How do you think that they would react to this?
As per my first post, I imagine that they would react exactly the same way they did when that Danish newspaper published the cartoon about muhammed. Or when that British teacher named the class teddy bear muhammed. Or when the way that guy did when he stabbed that Scandinavian film maker on the street in broad daylight for making a film about islam. Et cetera, et cetera.

I understand what the argument is, I just don't get how it is that we live in a world where grown-ups participate in this kind of thinking. It's completely ridiculous that someone is being punished over a book. And the fact that we're rolling over and playing along with this silliness just helps to legitimize the whole thing.
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Old 05-20-2008, 01:31 AM   #18
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That is true Achilles. I guess that we will just have to wait and see what is goiong to happen. It is silly; however, I think that this soldier should have used better judgement. Potentially, this soldier just signed the death warrant for fellow armed servicemen in the Middle East. Unfortuanalely.

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Old 05-20-2008, 01:50 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rev7
Potentially, this soldier just signed the death warrant for fellow armed servicemen in the Middle East.
How is this different than the reported violations of the quran that go back to 2005 (the aforementioned throwing and kicking that took place at Gitmo)? It's not as though this is the first time something like this happened.
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Old 05-20-2008, 02:09 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
How is this different than the reported violations of the quran that go back to 2005 (the aforementioned throwing and kicking that took place at Gitmo)? It's not as though this is the first time something like this happened.
I am sure that incidents like this have happened before. It wouldn't surprise me at all. What I am trying to say is that the soldier should have thought before he acted.

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Old 05-20-2008, 02:39 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rev7
What I am trying to say is that the soldier should have thought before he acted.
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).
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Old 05-20-2008, 02:55 AM   #22
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Given that he went to the effort to acquire a Qur'an, load his rifle, and shoot it repeatedly, I'd say he had some considerable period of time to contemplate what he was about to do.
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Old 05-20-2008, 06:30 AM   #23
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Achilles, the act serves as a reminder. It's not that there aren't "better" examples for raicals to use, but it helps focus the attention of many on the "great satan".


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Old 05-20-2008, 07:50 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Corinthian
Nothing. He should not be punished. Pulled out of the Middle-East, yes, but this kind of activity is protected by Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Speech. It was stupid, but it was well within his rights as an American citizen.
Absolutely. He was a fool for doing something like this, since it's such a delicate topic and all, but I don't think his livelihood should have been taken from him.

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Old 05-20-2008, 08:01 AM   #25
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I'm about to be higly controversial... But I think its time many Muslims grew up, and realised that a book is not as important as the lives of people, I think it time they realised that if Allah is so powerful he can quite easily smite me himself, and doesn't need any help in that endevour. I think that while the Danish Cartoons were distasteful and disrespectful, the reaction from many proved them to be correct.

I think however this soldier should be coutmarshalled for putting the lives of his fellow soldiers at risk, however I think we need to recognize most soldiers are not the sharpest knife in the draw; and that is certainly the case with our friend who caused this thread.



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Old 05-20-2008, 01:41 PM   #26
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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?

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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Old 05-20-2008, 01:51 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KinchyB
(what is it for Scientology, can't forget that one)
Dianetics (fascinating read ).

Quote:
Originally Posted by KinchyB
...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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Old 05-20-2008, 01:56 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
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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Old 05-20-2008, 02:13 PM   #29
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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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Old 05-20-2008, 02:21 PM   #30
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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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Old 05-20-2008, 02:28 PM   #31
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^^there is a reason "because I want to shoot somebody" is the single most used reason by people wishing to escape the draft


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Old 05-20-2008, 02:48 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mimartin
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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Old 05-20-2008, 02:53 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
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.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yale Style Manual
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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Old 05-20-2008, 03:32 PM   #34
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Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Speech protect this man. In a way, I wish it didn't - then I might have a chance to see that idiot who made '**** Christ' thrown in the clink. It's not against the Law to show a religion disrespect.

Last edited by Jae Onasi; 05-20-2008 at 05:08 PM. Reason: Freedom of speech doesn't extend to expletives here
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Old 05-20-2008, 03:45 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mimartin
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.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mimartin
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).

Quote:
Originally Posted by mimartin
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.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KinchyB
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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Old 05-20-2008, 03:50 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KinchyB
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.

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Originally Posted by Achilles
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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Old 05-20-2008, 04:44 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mimartin
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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Old 05-20-2008, 05:02 PM   #38
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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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Old 05-20-2008, 05:14 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by *Don*
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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Old 05-20-2008, 05:17 PM   #40
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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.


From MST3K's spoof of "Hercules Unchained"--heard as Roman medic soldiers carry off an unconscious Greek Hercules on a 1950's Army green canvas stretcher: "Hi, we're IX-I-I. Did somebody dial IX-I-I?"

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