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Black Crosses Exist in Reality of War

Yesterday, reporters Dahr Jamail and Ali al-Fadhily released an article discussing claims that the American war in Iraq is a religious war against Islam. In the article, there are allegations of widespread vandalism against mosques and Korans by American soldiers. “Photographs are being circulated of black crosses painted on mosque walls and on copies of the Quran, and of soldiers dumping their waste inside mosques.”

The article itself does not show those photographs. Searching online, I can’t find any photographs of black crosses painted inside mosques. I can’t find much news about them either, or even blog discussions saying that they exist. I did find a transcript of Amy Goodman interviewing a soldier who was in Fallujah, referring to the rumors of vandalism. The soldier, however, said he had not seen any himself.

This is not to say that the claims are false. Certainly, many people in Iraq don’t have reliable access to electricity right now, much less access to the Internet through which they could publish evidence.

More fundamentally, it doesn’t matter whether Americans have really been painting black crosses inside mosques in Iraq. What matters is that many Iraqis believe that this Christian vandalism is taking place. What George W. Bush and his pro-war followers never seem to have considered is that their war, instead of bringing clarity, would damage the ability of people, in Iraq and in the United States alike, to determine what is real and what is not. Given this ambiguity, the rumors of black crucifixes painted in Iraqi mosques acquire an operational reality.

No surge in the number of American soldiers can overcome the news of outrageous acts that have not been seen but are nonetheless believed. In 2008, we need to choose a new President who understands that beliefs are stronger than bullets, and will seek to persuade rather than invade.

9 comments to Black Crosses Exist in Reality of War

  • Iroquois Honky

    Just like the fake pig photographs circulated by Danish imams in Gaza touched off the embassy burnings. the Koran forbids attacking people outright unless they have attacked religion. So the task is manufacturing opinion to convince people there is a Christain “crusade”. Vandalism is to Arabs as WMD is to the west.

  • Iroquois Honky

    BLACK crosses? christians would never use this. Black has devil connotations.

  • You know, I don’t think that you can say that Christians would never paint black crosses. I just searched for pictures of black crucifixes, and found large numbers of them used by Christians.

    Besides, who’s to say what Christians would never do? The Christians say that they follow the Commandment Thou Shall Not Kill – but plenty of Christians kill.

  • Iroquois Honky

    Where? A crucifix is not a cross is not painted. We do not use image of dead Jesus, the whole catholic “suffering” cult we find repugnant, we always show empty cross in worship for the “living” god (crucifixion scene is okay for storytelling)and drape with black on Good Friday before Easter as a symbol of the temporary victory of the forces of evil. It just doesn’t sound right to me.

    Black may have some further kind of symbolism for that culture, I know it’s associated with something bad, whether racially (they aren’t what we would call PC and refer to Yemenis as “black”) or spiritually (there is a popular song about someone who has a “white heart” (gelb abeeyahd?) white meaning good. No, it has a Moslem flavor to me.

    Warfare is not the same as murder, warfare is okay under both Old Testament and Koran under certain conditions,(and the propaganda is designed to “prove” those conditions have been met). Manslaughter or homicide is not, this is cross cultural, not necessarily religious value. The test for a standard is not whether people ever do it but whether sanctions are applied when they do do it. It is no accident that when Dubya wanted to make a war pronouncement from a church, he sure didn’t do it from one of the mainstream churches–even the churches that recognize ethical okay-ness of war for self-defense, etc. all backed off from this war early on, mostly because of the pre-emptive part–it didn’t fit the traditional definition of a “just war.”

  • Tom

    Despot George said it himself – it’s a crusade!

    “Lookie what Georgie has gone and done now, Thelma. He’s gotten all them A-rabs all riled up.”
    Paw Kettle

  • “We”? We not being Catholics?

    Are you seriously saying that Catholics are not Christians?

    And pardon, does the Commandment say don’t kill, or just don’t murder? Does the old language distinguish?

    What kind of flavor is Moslem flavor? Is like strawberry, or more like chocolate?

  • Iroquois Honky

    jClifford, sweetie, I’m speaking from my own religious tradition, Catholics have an accretion of traditions that are not necessarily biblical in origin. Google it yourself, plenty of people have posted biblical translation websites here, you can just look for something with “war” in it and compare to the commandment. Of course war was not prohibited; they were constantly warring, and not nicely either. You’re not Moslem flavor, jClifford, I can tell right away. Moslem tastes more like pbuh and is more respectful towards women.

  • Pardon, but what have I done that is disrespectful toward women?

    You’ve just insulted me, and I expect you to back it up or retract.

  • Iroquois Honky

    “Is like strawberry, or more like chocolate?” lol, but I recognize a snark when I see one. Also you’re showing off with the large font. But am I angry? Oh, no, according to Bible, Jesus says anyone who is angry with brother is subject to same judgment as one who kills. Matthew 5:21. (not the same as one who wars) Really I do prefer bouncy, spunky American men. God bless America in the male department, definately. Besides, I didn’t say jClifford not respectful, I said Moslems more respectful, –not necessarily a Good Thing. The flip side of Moslem respect for women is the discomfort of living on a pedestal and in a fishbowl, a rather suppressed and constricted existence.

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