Gitmo: Controversy over inmates hiding weapons in Qur’ans leads to hunger strike

The guards there already handle the Qur’an with great care, in tacit admission that they really are unclean kuffar, and know it. Now the jihadis there are pressing for their Qur’ans to be off limits to inspection, even by the “Muslim linguists” who inspect them now (the kuffar guards are apparently unworthy to perform such an inspection). They’d be able to plot all sorts of things in that event — but at least the military wouldn’t be “Islamophobic.” “Qurans at crux of Guantánamo hunger strike,” by Carol Rosenberg for the Miami Herald, April 5 (thanks to Darcy):

A senior Pentagon official said this week that Muslim captives at the detention center in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, have hidden weapons inside their copies of the Quran, a claim the U.S. military has yet to substantiate.

“There have, in the past, been incidents of detainees storing contraband in their Qurans; items found have included improvised weapons, unauthorized food and medicine,” wrote William K. Lietzau, deputy assistant secretary of defense for rule of law and detainee policy.

He made the claim in a one-page letter dated April 1 to the Center for Constitutional Rights, a New York law firm. The firm wrote Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel on March 14, seeking a meeting to discuss the ongoing hunger strike at the Guantánamo prison, which they said started over a Feb. 2 Quran search and grew to present “a serious threat to the health and life of detainees.”

Lietzau, responding for Hagel, offered a broad defense of Quran search policy and told the lawyers he was “aware of reports that many detainees are engaged in a hunger strike.”

The Miami Herald has been asking the military since mid-March to provide specific details, including photographs, of items found concealed in detainees” Qurans. n [sic] light of the Lietzau letter, The Herald asked additionally for specific incident reports. No details have been provided.

A dispute over Quran searches has been the underlying issue of the hunger strike that lawyers for the captives say is more widespread than the military acknowledges. On Friday, Navy medical staff considered 41 of the 166 detainees to be weak enough or to have lost enough weight to be classified as hunger strikers. Eleven were getting tube feedings of nutritional supplements, the camps said, and no hunger strikers were hospitalized.

Lawyers have proposed that, if the Pentagon cannot agree to stop having staff search Qurans, it should let the captives turn them in for safekeeping. Prison officials refuse. Navy Capt. Robert Durand, a spokesman, said letting captives return their individual Qurans would amount to a concession of desecration.

Several defense lawyers were asked whether they had ever heard an allegation of captives hiding contraband in Qurans.

“They”re not going to desecrate their own Qurans,” said attorney David Remes, who met with several hunger-striking Yemeni detainees and likened a weapon hidden in the holy book to hiding “a saw in a birthday cake.”

They’re not? Why not? Other jihadis have.

Remes called the military”s claim “desperate, grasping at straws” surfacing weeks into complaints about the prison staff’s searching the captives” Qurans.

“If they were searching and they had found any kind of weapon they certainly would”ve made that claim when the hunger strike began,” Remes added. “Either they made it up or it was so long ago it was irrelevant.”

In the past when contraband was found in prisoners” cells “” but not Qurans specifically “” the details were documented in a database.

A review of leaked, classified U.S. military risk assessments covering detainee behavior from the prison’s opening until 2008 show the prison camps painstakingly recorded items seized from prisoners” cells. Examples cited included a razor found inside a detainee’s legal materials, a flexi pen wrapped in toilet paper, food hidden under a mattress, a sharpened spoon, “a pen that had been reinforced with paper and string,” a cup adorned with drawings of planes striking the World Trade Center.

But there’s no entry in the voluminous reports of a captive’s having hidden a weapon in his Quran.

Durand said the Quran searches Feb. 2 went this way in Camp 6, the communal camp where the hunger strike started: Guards collected the Qurans without touching them, in what looked like “a postal box,” and then turned them over to a Muslim linguist for inspection. The prison has not said whether that search yielded any contraband.

When Durand was asked for specific examples, he replied with a general statement: “We always find contraband,” he said in an email Wednesday morning. “Every search, every time. From improvised weapons (clubs, shanks, knives, garottes) to hoarded medications to unauthorized electronics (audio/video recorders, games, etc.). Sometimes in the Quran, but every search results in something.”…

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  1. says

    “Guards collected the Qurans without touching them

    The reason? Right here:

    “the Bible may get passed around, rifled through, dropped, tossed and stuffed into hotel room drawers. But not the Koran. According to Army policy, the standard operating procedure is: “Handle the Koran as if it were a fragile piece of delicate art.”

    It’s a quick read article. Take a moment.

    The “Army” denies responsibility for the presentation discussed here yesterday.

    But the folks at CENTCOM take full responsibility for this nonsense.

    I pointed this out to Zhudi Jasser on a radio program a couple of years ago.

    He didn’t want to hear about it.

    Ever hear anyone with a public bully pulpit denounce it?

  2. says

    They should make a rule saying that if even one Koran has been found containing weapons then all Korans will be confiscated.
    As for handling the Koran, well it should be done with bare hands, one hand carrying the book and the other holding a half-eaten bacon sandwich. They should show ZERO respect for this terrorist’s handbook and if the Muslim prisoners don’t like it they can go on hunger strike if they wish, the longer the strike, the better!

  3. says

    Muslims have hidden explosives in a Quran in order to make a bomb.—-no-wait.html

    Iraq: Islamophobes hide bomb in Qur’an — no, wait…

    And I definitely recall reading, right here – though I can’t currently track down, in my masses of files, the precise story and links – that hollowed-out Qurans *have* been used to conceal a/ a knife and b/ illegal drugs.

    In the case of the text that 19th century British PM William Gladstone called “this accursed book”, I must say that there is a certain congruity between the nature of what is written there, and the turning of that book, as physical object, into a bomb, or into a container for a weapon or for dangerous, addictive psycho-active substances.

  4. says

    “And yet Muhammad used to read the Qur’an on Aisha’s lap while she was in menses!!!”

    Hold on there Salah, but wasn’t mohammy illiterate? Also, wasn’t the coran invented at least 100 years after mohammy bit the big one?

  5. says

    أن عائشة حدثتها أن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم كان يتكئ �ي حجري وأنا حائض ثم يقرأ القرآن
    Sahih al-Bukhari صحيح البخاري 293

    Try Google Translate.