Tuesday, August 09, 2005
Harry Potter's worldwide popularity is so broad-based that it has become favorite reading for Islamic terror suspects at the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay.Remember how in the aftermath of the "Koran in the toilet" non-scandal, it transpired that the detainees were responsible for three times as many cases of Koran desecration as the guards? Are you surprised, then, that Harry Potter book, which was initially used to be read to the detainees as a form of torture, now top Guantanamo bestseller list? Gives a whole new meaning to "number one with a bullet." And no one better drop their copy of "The Half Blood Prince" into a loo, or all the kiddies around the world will riot.
Lori, who for two years has overseen the detention center's library, said J.K. Rowling's tales about the boy wizard are on top of the request list for the camp's 520 al Qaeda and Taliban suspects, followed by Agatha Christie whodunits.
"We've got a few who are kind of hooked on it. A couple have asked if they can see the movie," said Lori, a civilian contractor who asked that her last name not be publicized.
The question is, why? Do the jihadis identify themselves with the story of a boy wizard fighting against Lord Voldemort, a.k.a. the George W Bush? Does Hogwarts bring back fond memories of madrassas and Afghanistan terror training camps? Is the robed an bearded Dumbledore just a bin Laden/Al Zawahiri father-teacher figure for the mudjahedin? Or do the unholy warriors, just like everyone else, deep down simply enjoy a quiet night in, a cup of warm tea, and a good book?
America is the Great Satan - the tempter and the seducer. It should try to tempt more. Every cell at Guantanamo should have been equipped with three TV monitors playing non-stop Western programming (captioned in Arabic and Pashto), and the floors strewn with Western magazines. No exotic cuisine at the canteen, either - hamburgers, hotdogs, pizza and stake, watered with a choice of Coke or Pepsi.
In the long run it would probably beat the "stress positions".