Much is being written and talked about these days of our alleged torturing of the terrorists in our custody, especially at the Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad. Some human-rights advocates have complained vociferously of our treatment of the al-Qaida prisoners at Guantanamo. We’ve seen these TV images of orange-clad, shackled detainees shuffling to interrogations.
But it is obvious that our military has a problem: How do we get information out of these terrorists who consider themselves martyrs for Allah, have nothing else to live for, and therefore cannot be persuaded to provide information that would help us in our struggle against them?
To an Islamic terrorist, martyrdom is their highest aspiration. That is their sole purpose for living. It is part and parcel of their adherence to a religion that calls for such self-sacrifice in the name of Allah. They are like living mummies, wrapped from head to foot, embalmed in the cloth of a religion that requires total submission to the will of Allah.
Of course, different Muslims may have different interpretations of Allah’s will, but the terrorists consider it to be a holy call for human self-sacrifice. For their suicidal action that kills their enemies as well as themselves, they are rewarded in paradise with a large number of virgins recruited for their pleasure by Allah. Whose sisters are these virgins, and don’t they too have human rights? And once they are no longer virgins, what happens to them?
The only alternative treatment for these fanatical prisoners is to try to wean them away from their religion, in short, to convert them to Christianity. Is that against their human rights? We have provided every Muslim prisoner at Guantanamo with a copy of the Quran. Why give them the book that keeps them enslaved to Allah? How about also giving them a copy of the Christian Bible translated into Arabic? How about having them listen to lectures given by Muslim converts to Christianity? Would the human-rights advocates consider that a form of cruel and unusual punishment?
When American prisoners were held by the communists, the latter tried to brainwash them into becoming communists. But their methods backfired. It simply made their prisoners more patriotic Americans, despite their real brutal and painful torture.
But, as Christians, we would be trying to liberate these Muslim prisoners from their enslavement by a malevolent religion that calls for their death as martyrs. I have no idea whether or not giving them a Bible to read would have much of an effect on these men, who are so completely committed to their religion. But it would be worth a try. Perhaps the religion of love might begin to separate them from their religion of death. All we would have to do is simply put doubt in their minds over the rightness of their religion.
Of course, they would be under great pressure from other prisoners not to read the Bible and refuse to attend lectures. Perhaps they have been so deeply brainwashed by Osama bin Laden that conversion is an impossibility. That would teach us something about the fanatical psychology of these terrorists, and why they should be locked up for life.
Should they be given their freedom while they are still wedded to their religion of death, they would no doubt seek a means of exercising their martyrdom by killing as many of us as they can.
Many Muslims have become Christians, and we should consult such persons who might help us design a program that would have an impact on these prisoners. What led them to convert to Christianity? How can we put doubt in the minds of Islamic true believers? Do they have an Achilles’ heel? Would they not rather live than die? How about showing them Mel Gibson’s film, “The Passion of the Christ”?
So let us not think about torture – even the very benign kind used at Abu Ghraib – when we are unwilling to try something else. It makes no sense to give these prisoners copies of the Quran so that they can keep being the terrorists they’ve become. Let’s take back the Qurans and give them something else to read.