However, what makes me genuinely furious, rather than merely angry, is the desecration of another masjid illustrated at right. The militia of Muqtada Sadr occupied the Kufa masjid, the site of the martyrdom of Imam Ali As himself, and used it for their crude and clumsy political ends. And it happened in MY masjid, too - the Kufa masjid was renovated (under UNESCO's auspices) with contributions from Dawoodi Bohra muslims around the world, including my family's. The Kufa masjid is an icon of my faith and part of the fabric of my community's practices and traditions - and history. Where is the outrage?
Oh yes, there certainly are desecrations of masjids to be angered about. But the desecration of the masjid that Jeanne speaks about happenned well before the soldiers arrived there.
In fact, perhaps it is cleansing in some way for that masjid to now host the forces of liberation rather than oppression.
UPDATE: Bill Allison finds a link I'd meant to add as context for this post but had lost - as usual we are on much the same wavelength. Excerpt:
As US and Iraqi troops mopped up the last vestiges of resistance in the city after a week of bombardment and fighting, residents who stayed on through last week's offensive were emerging and telling harrowing tales of the brutality they endured.
Flyposters still litter the walls bearing all manner of decrees from insurgent commanders, to be heeded on pain of death. Amid the rubble of the main shopping street, one decree bearing the insurgents' insignia - two Kalashnikovs propped together - and dated November 1 gives vendors three days to remove nine market stalls from outside the city's library or face execution.
The pretext given is that the rebels wanted to convert the building into a headquarters for the "Mujahidin Advisory Council" through which they ran the city.
Another poster in the ruins of the souk bears testament to the strict brand of Sunni Islam imposed by the council, fronted by hardline cleric Abdullah Junabi. The decree warns all women that they must cover up from head to toe outdoors, or face execution by the armed militants who controlled the streets.
Two female bodies found yesterday suggest such threats were far from idle. An Arab woman, in a violet nightdress, lay in a post-mortem embrace with a male corpse in the middle of the street. Both bodies had died from bullets to the head.
Much of the offense taken by Muslims about the sanctity of mosques is almost transparently situational. I think that we muslims who have the good fortune to live in a place like Houston, rather than one like Falluja, have an obligation towards perspective. If there is self-deception, I believe it to be unintentional, and the blame can largely be placed at the feet of the false concept of Dar ul-Islam as a trans-national entity to which muslims should show some kind of allegiance. Clearly, in the case of Fallujah, membership in Dar ul-Islam is not something any western muslim would tolerate, having grown used to liberty.
Oh, and as for the template, I'm working on it :) You won't recognize the place, trust me, after I'm done...