What to Do With the Bloody Qur’an?

Saddam's Blood Qur'an poses a Dilemma

Don’t worry, I am not suggesting desecration of the Islamic Holy book nor am I endorsing the attention-seeking antics of Pastor Terry Jones. Rather the bloody Qur’an in question is the one created out of 27 litres taken from former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein over two years that was painstakingly turned into a holy book. We learn from this piece in yesterday’s Guardian that since the Iraq invasion, the Blood Qur’an has been kept locked away in a vault inside a vast mosque in Baghdad.

The problem is that some prominent politicians want to rid Iraq of all connections with Saddam. In 2005, the Iraqi Government formed a committee to oversee the removal of symbols linked to Saddam. The trouble is that destroying the Qur’an would be sacrilegious. Even the reporter covering the piece was asked to stand at least 10 feet away from the glass housing the relic. I doubt there is a devout Muslim who will be able to burn it. What a dilemma?

I wish had known about Saddam’s Blood Qur’an when I was researching, “SuperSense.” In retrospect, I think he produced the mother of all essentialist relics!


Filed under Essentialism, In the News

7 responses to “What to Do With the Bloody Qur’an?

  1. A question (anon)

    This is kind of related (and I hope that you don’t mind if I’m anon) – – but has there been any studies into feelings of discomfort and (I’m not even sure of a polite word here!!) contamination (?) when faced with a loved-one who has cheated on you? As if they are somehow ‘tainted’ by what they have done, even if there is a kind of reconciliation or ‘moving on’ with the relationship? :/

    • brucehood

      Maybe, there was a study done by Zhong and Liljenquist published in the highly prestigious journal “Science” in 2006 where people were asked to think back on a time when they had cheated on someone… didn’t say it whether it was cheated on a loved one but I guess that most have figured among some of the participants. Anyway, when they did so participant felt dirty and chose a cleansing wipe over a pen as a reward for taking part in the study!

      Zhong, C. (2006). Washing Away Your Sins: Threatened Morality and Physical Cleansing. Science, 313(5792), 1451-1452. DOI: 10.1126/science.1130726

  2. rachycakes

    What a dilemma indeed: religious belief vs. political expediency. In the Iraq context, it becomes something of a circular argument, doesn’t it?

    Aside from the obvious questions regarding superstitious belief in the ‘holiness’ of a book, this begs the further question of how megalomaniacal someone has to be to have a Qu’ran written in their own blood in the first place – especially when you consider that Saddam Hussein’s rule/dictatorship was intended to be secular. Bizarre.

    I’m trying very hard not to swear, while my brain is screaming “WTF!!”.

  3. How extraordinary…. it leaves me speechless

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