Twenty-three year old Stanislav Shmulevich awaits arraignment on hate crime charges for “criminal mischief and aggravated harassment,” accused of having hurled Korans into toilets at Pace University’s Manhattan campus, 10 months ago. This past October 13, according to police, a teacher discovered a paperback Koran in a second-floor bathroom toilet, while on November 21, a student found another submerged Koran in the same bathroom.
The now disproven Guantanamo Bay Koran flushing incident of May, 2005—reported errantly by Michael Isikoff, a veteran Newsweek journalist—was a distressingly stupid spectacle, accompanied by a tragic outcome—the loss of human life. Rioting which originated in Afghanistan, spread throughout much of the Muslim world, from Gaza to Indonesia. Rancorous Muslim mobs shouting “Protect our Holy Book!” burned down government buildings and ransacked the offices of relief organizations in several Afghan provinces. This senseless violence caused at least 15 deaths, and injured scores of others.
Another false accusation of Koran desecration by non-Muslim infidels—with even more horrifying consequences—a brutal pogrom against the defenseless dhimmi Jews of Shiraz, Iran—took place in October, 1910. David Littman has provided the full translation of an Alliance Israélite Universale report of the 1910 Shiraz pogrom which was precipitated, in large part, by a mendacious allegation against the Jewish community: desecrating copies of the Koran by placing them in cesspools (latrines).
…about three weeks ago, some scavengers were busy cleaning out the cesspools of a Jewish house when they brought to light an old book, a few pages of which were unsoiled and which was recognized as a Koran…On the first day of the festival of Succoth, some Jews were returning home from synagogue in the morning when they noticed at the entrance of their house a veiled Muslim woman holding a parcel under her arm. As soon as she saw them approaching, she hurriedly threw her parcel into the cesspool…then she ran away. The parcel was hastily pulled out. Once again, it was a Koran…not sure, in effect, that other Korans had not been thrown, likewise as the first ones, into Jewish houses without the knowledge of their inhabitants…it was [deemed] prudent for this dignitary [the leading Muslim religious leader of the city] to be informed, in case one of these books should be discovered and seized on as a pretext to molest the Jews. [emphasis added]
This appeal was to no avail, and in the ensuing carnage and destruction,
Not a single one of the Jewish quarter’s 260 houses was spared. [emphasis added] Soldiery, …sayyids [descendants of the prophet and/or Muslim dignitaries], even women and children, driven and excited, less by religious fanaticism than by a frenetic need to plunder and appropriate the Jews’ possessions, engaged in a tremendous rush for the spoils. At one point, about a hundred men from the Kashgaīs tribe, who were in town to sell some livestock, joined the first assailants, thereby completing the work of destruction.
But these fanatics weren’t satisfied to rob the Jews of their possessions. They engaged in all sorts of violence against their persons. As soon as their quarter was stormed, the Jews fled in all directions, some to the houses of Muslim friends, others to the British Consulate, on to the terraces, and even into mosques. A few remained to try and defend their property. They paid for it with their lives or a serious injury. Twelve of them were killed in this way in the mêlée. Another fifteen were stabbed or hit with bludgeons or bullets from rifles or revolvers; they are in an alarming condition. A further forty sustained light injuries. An unlucky woman was wearing gold rings in her ears. A soldier ordered her to surrender them. She made haste to comply and had taken off one of the rings and was trying to remove the other when the impatient fanatic found it more expeditious to tear off the ear lobe together with the ring. Another woman was wearing around her neck a big silk braid to which was attached a small silver case containing some amulets…[an assailant] tried to snatch it from her and, seeing that the braid held, cut it with his knife, making at the same time a deep gash in the flesh of the unfortunate Jewess. How many more such atrocious scenes have occurred, of which I have not yet heard!
In short the outcome of yesterday’s events is as follows: 12 people dead and about 50 more or less seriously injured, whilst the five to six thousand people comprising Shiraz community now possess nothing in the world but the few tatters they were wearing when their quarter was invaded. [emphasis added]
While there appears to be solid evidence that Stanislav Shmulevich did in fact subject a Koran (or Korans) to “toilet trauma”—including a surveillance photo of the defendant leaving a Pace University meditation room where Korans were stored, and his reported “admitting statements” to police—“Muslim activists”, i.e., the ubiquitous unindicted co-conspirators of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), admonished the university to “crack down on hate crimes” following the original incidents. But as Robert Spencer observed, aptly,
No one, of course, is calling upon those “Muslim activists” to take a strong stand against those Muslims who are justifying violence on the basis of the Koran and thereby [may] lead people [like Stanislav Shmulevich] to come to despise the book.
As described by the late Indian scholar Sita Ram Goel, Koranic sanctioning of violence and hatred was the subject of a formal Petition filed in the Calcutta High Court on March 29, 1985. The plaintiffs maintained that the Koran, in violation of the Indian Penal Code, incited violence, disturbed the public tranquility, promoted feelings of enmity, hatred and ill-will between different religious communities, and insulted other religions or the religious beliefs of other communities in India. Their request for proscription of the Koran included three “annexures” documenting such Koranic injunctions, and divided into the following three categories:
- verses which preached cruelty, incited violence and disturbed public tranquility (i.e., 2:193; 8:39; 2:216; 9:41; 9:123; 66:9; 9:73; 8:65; 8:66; 47:4—15; 8:12; 69:30—33; 8:15—18; 25:52; 9:39; 9:111; 3: 169—171; 4:100; 48:29; 49:15; 2:154; 3:157—158; 8:59—60; 9:2—3; 9:29; 8:67; 4:84; 29:6; 29:69; 61:9—13; 9:36; 9:5; 9:14; 9:20—22; 4:95—96; 8:72—74; 3:142)
- verses which promoted, on grounds of religion, feelings of enmity, hatred and ill-will between different religious communities in India (i.e., 4:101; 60:4; 58:23; 9:7; 8:13—14; 8:55; 25:55; 5:72; 9:23; 9:28; 3:28; 3:118; 4:144; 5:14; 5:64; 5:18; 5:51)
- verses which insulted other religions as well as the religious beliefs of other communities in India (i.e., 5:17; 4:157; 5:116—118; 98:6; 68:8—13; 38:55—57; 22:19—21; 22:56—57; 5:36; 15:2; 72:14—15;41:33; 4:125; 25:27—29; 26:96—99; 3:85; 8:38; 31:13; 29:41—42; 37:22—25; 37:26—32; 25:17—19; 7:173; 21:66—67; 21:98—100; 16:20—21; 6:22—23; 6:40—41; 6:148; 2;221; 24:3)
The Indian plaintiff’s “Calcutta Koran Petition” was ultimately dismissed on a legal technicality June 21, 1985, but the intervening 22-years make clear that such Koranic motifs continue to pervade Muslim discourse across the globe, from major jihad terror organizations (like Hamas, Hizbollah, and Al Qaeda), to the leading Sunni and Shi’ite institutions of religious training, and even within the public school systems (both religious madrassas, and even more “secular” learning environments) of Arab and non-Arab Muslim countries. Perhaps the most salient and disturbing illustration of these ominous trends is found in the writings and pronouncements of Muhammad Sayyid Tantawi, who wrote in his 700 page treatise rationalizing Muslim Jew hatred (Banu Isra’il fi al-Qur’an wa al-Sunna [Jews in the Qur’an and the Traditions], originally published in the 1970s, and then re-issued in 1986/87):
[The] Qur’an describes the Jews with their own particular degenerate characteristics, i.e. killing the prophets of Allah (2:61/3:112), corrupting His words by putting them in the wrong places (3:69/3:78), consuming the people’s wealth frivolously (9:30), refusal to distance themselves from the evil they do (4:156/4:151/3:110), and other ugly characteristics caused by their deep-rooted lasciviousness (2:96)…only a minority of the Jews keep their word (2:78/3:24)….[A]ll Jews are not the same. The good ones become Muslims, the bad ones do not. (Qur’an 3:113)
Tantawi was apparently rewarded for this scholarly effort by being named Grand Imam of Al-Azhar University in 1996, a position he still holds. These are the expressed, “carefully researched” views on Jews held by the nearest Muslim equivalent to a Pope—the head of the most prestigious center of Muslim learning in Sunni Islam, Sunnis representing some 85% of the world’s Muslims. And Sheikh Tantawi has not mollified such hatemongering beliefs since becoming the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar as his statements on the Jews as “enemies of Allah, descendants of apes and pigs”, the legitimacy of homicide bombing of Jews, or “dialogue” with Jews (just below), make clear.
…anyone who avoids meeting with the enemies in order to counter their dubious claims and stick fingers into their eyes, is a coward. My stance stems from Allah’s book [the Qur’an], more than one-third of which deals with the Jews…[I] wrote a dissertation dealing with them [the Jews], all their false claims and their punishment by Allah. I still believe in everything written in that dissertation. [i.e., from above, in Banu Isra’il fi al-Qur’an wa al-Sunna]
Western discourse must move well beyond condemnation of clumsy acts of disapproval, such as Koran flushing, and their aggressive prosecution under pressure by Muslim avatars of real hatred, and abettors of murderous jihad terrorism, such as CAIR—to more fundamental and unnerving questions: What role do Koranic injunctions themselves—eternal and beyond criticism (least of all by non-Muslims)—play in inciting “criminal mischief and aggravated mischief”, and much more heinous crimes against humanity, including jihad genocide, and the destruction of non-Muslim religious, cultural, and political institutions?