Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Desecration

In addition to being a Unitarian Universalist, I am a packrat and a bibliophile. So I was triply disturbed when I found a very nice copy of the Quran under some leaves and seat cushion at the bottom of an abandoned bathtub behind a local plaza. By 'very nice', I mean: Hardback, the size of a phonebook, about 2 inches thick, textured cover, full page full color art, English, original arabic, and transliterated arabic on each page, plus footnotes, Cloth ribbon bookmark, plus a large cardboard bookmark with an arabic transliteration guide.
My roomate and I guessed that it would retail for well over $100, but whoever did this got it for free. It had been sent out by the Council on American-Islamic Relations, and included a letter explaining that Muslims regard the book as sacred.
"For example, Muslims avoid placing the Quran on the floor, near the toilet or sink, near the feet, or in dirty or wet areas, as this is considered innappropriate treatment of a holy text."
Again, I found it in the bottom of a bathtub under some leaves and a seat cushion. So this seems like a tailor-made desecration. I wonder if the person intended to come back for it to show off.
It had been rained on, so the front cover and many of the frontmost pages were wet, and the pages had spots of mildew near the spine. When we got it home I looked up ways to salvage it, and it is now drying. [This was written 25 days ago, it is now dry.] I expect that this will always be one of my favorite books, simply because I've rescued it. Despite the tears and spots that won't come out, I wouldn't trade it for any other copy, unless it was signed by the author.

Lessons:
1. You can find awesome things if you look through the trash.
2. If you give people a great offer, some will still decided to disrespect you for it.
3. If you want a really nice copy of the Quran send $8 shipping and handling to CAIR.

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