Such "culture learning" blends seamlessly with an International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) guidance to all troops in Afghanistan to revere the Quran and its teachings. That's the unmistakable message of COIN Advisory #20100924-001, which I found on the ISAF website.
"Never talk badly about the Quran or its contents," says the guidance, a no-nonsense formulation of Islamic prohibitions against any criticism of Islam. Touching it is out, too. "It is considered culturally insensitive for any non-Muslim to touch a copy of the Quran," ISAF explains. Why that is indeed the Islamic case, ISAF doesn't explain. Presumably, it might upset troops to learn that this injunction exists because Muslims consider non-Muslim "najis," or unclean, and thus unfit to touch their religious book. Before searching people, ISAF advises, "ask them if they have a Quran or religious item present. If so, ask them to remove it or put it in a suitable place before conducting the search."
Think the Navy SEALs who zapped Osama bin Laden asked him to put his Quran in a "suitable place" first? We can only hope.
Of course, there's more: "Additionally," ISAF continues, "verbal disrespect for Islam and/or the Quran is considered as inappropriate as physical desecration of the Quran. Insulting the Quran is an act of blasphemy."
The way Islam treats women stinks = verbal disrespect for Islam. The verses of the Quran that call for jihad against infidels are heinous = insulting the Quran. But ISAF, veritable mouthpiece of the coming caliphate, deems such talk "inappropriate" and outright "blasphemy." This might win the generals an extra cushion at the foot of the caliph's throne, but, as the Marines are learning in their Culture Learning classes, they'll have to drink all their chai and finish their goat, first.
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