Whose justice?

The Organization of the Islamic Conference (which really needs to rework its name, as it sounds a bit superfluously redundant) has issued a press release last week on the now-thoroughly debunked “Koran down the toilet” story. (Hat tip: Little Green Footballs. Here is the full text of their statement:

The Official Spokesman of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, Ambassador Atta El-Manan Bakhit, has stated that the confession by the southern command of the United States army on the occurrence of cases of desecration of the Holy Qur’an in Guantanamo prison was a confirmation of the practices that had been reported in the papers and strongly condemned by the Organization of the Islamic Conference.

He said that this disgraceful conduct of those soldiers reveal their blatant hatred and disdain for the religion of millions of Muslims all over the world and throws into doubt the nature of the instructions given to the American soldiers on religious values and principles of tolerance.

He added that these unequivocally rejected practices could only lead to an incitement of religious feelings and a deepening of the gulf of difference and intolerance between the Muslim world and the United States of America.

The OIC Spokesman urged the United States Government to live up to its responsibilities and not be lenient with the perpetrators of the desecration. He also demanded that those responsible for this despicable crime should be brought to justice immediately and that urgent measures should be taken to calm the tension in the Muslim world and ensure that such detestable acts are not repeated in the future.

Now, my first reaction is to say “sure!” and go along with their demands. After all, most of the “desecrations” incurred by our people have been inadvertent, and those that were not have been dealt with. The desecrations done by the detainees, however, are far more serious. The idea of submitting these guys to Shariah justice is tremendously appealing.

But that would be a grave error. The statement by the OIC contains a very dangerous assumption, one that we dare not leave unchallenged. By calling the alleged (and discredited) allegations of desecration a “despicable crime,” the OIC presumes that their laws are binding on us, and that they can get us to enforce their laws for them.

What I expect is that the Bush administration, if it even bothers to take note of this rather ludicrous ploy, will politely thank them for their concern and repeat that the matter is being handled in accordance with our own laws and policies.

Let’s never forget that the same laws that OIC is citing are the same laws that require the death penalty for anyone who chooses to leave Islam. To give those laws the slightest foothold in the United States is not only a grave strategic error, it’s a betrayal of our own Constitution.

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