Wait a minute. I thought we were supposed to believe that the jihadists were twisting the Qur’an.* And now the American marines are studying the Qur’an in order to think like jihadists? What does that tell us? From the Times Online, with thanks to J. Lynch:
AMERICAN marines and military intelligence analysts are studying the tactics of insurgents in Iraq — staging mock hostage takings, roadside bombings and suicide missions, as well as studying the Koran, praying to Allah and learning to think like jihadists.
The Pentagon is struggling to adapt to an enemy that has just claimed the life of the 1,000th combat soldier in Iraq. “The department simply has to be more agile,” Donald Rumsfeld, the defence secretary, admitted last week. “We have got to focus more on the post-conflict phase.”…
For a touch of realism, newcomers are supplied with traditional Arab garments and ordered to take off their shoes indoors. “You need to think of yourselves as mujaheddin, holy warriors,” the group is told, “and you aspire to be a shahid, a martyr killed in battle.”
In Ali G accents, the trainees learn to call out Allahu Akbar (God is most great) and Alhamdu Lillah (praise be to God). They are given a Penguin Classics translation of the Koran and an Islamic prayer mat and are shown how to pray.
“One reason you are strong is that the infidels go to church only on Sunday, but you kneel and reflect your submission to God five times a day,” Purdy told them in character.
“We don’t have nuclear weapons, but we have you and you are more powerful than the weapons of the Jewish dogs and infidel crusaders.”
For supper they are given pitta bread, tahini and stuffed vine leaves, which they poke at mistrustfully with their fingers — there is no cutlery. In a room next door are peanuts, chocolate bars and crisps for those who cannot cope. “The guys are only used to hamburgers,” said Purdy.
CLARIFICATION: Just so there is no misunderstanding: as I have written many times and explained in detail in my book Onward Muslim Soldiers, the jihadists are working from deeply embedded traditions within Islam, with ample justification in the Qur’an and other Islamic texts. I do not believe that they are “twisting the Qur’an.” The sentence above was intended to mean that the mainstream media, as well as the government, would have us believe, with no evidence, that the jihadists are “twisting the Qur’an.”