More in­sights on life inside Gitmo

The Washington Times Weekly - - Letters To The Editor - Stephen M. Kirby

The ar­ti­cle in the Oct. 29 edition ti­tled “Gitmo guards don’t blink” (page 26) made some in­ter­est­ing observations. The ar­ti­cle pointed out that be­fore guards are de­ployed at Guan­tanamo Bay, they go through “cul­tural sen­si­tiv­ity” train­ing. And once de­ployed, they “walk on eggshells” in fear of say­ing some­thing that would of­fend the de­tainees. The fe­male guards even “stay away from the de­tainees who don’t like to see fe­males.”

But here are some things left un­said in the ar­ti­cle, but found at the of­fi­cial Gitmo web­site (http://www. jt­fgtmo.south­ xWEBSITE/in­dex. html). Prayer times are posted and ar­rows are painted on the ground in each cell and in the com­mu­nal ar­eas so the de­tainees know the di­rec­tion to Mecca. Once the call to prayer is sounded, de­tainees re­ceive 20 min­utes of un­in­ter­rupted time to prac­tice their faith. The guard force en­sures that de­tainees are not in­ter­rupted dur­ing those 20 min­utes, even if de­tainees are not in­volved in reli­gious ac­tiv­ity. Signs are even posted to re­mind the guards to be quiet. De­tainee med­i­cal ap­point­ments, in­ter­ro­ga­tions and other ac­tiv­i­ties are sched­uled around the prayer sched­ule. Ev­ery de­tainee is is­sued a per­sonal copy of the Ko­ran. Strict mea­sures are in place to en­sure that the Ko­ran is han­dled with re­spect by de­ten­tion per­son­nel.

Is­lamic holy pe­ri­ods, like Ra­madan, are rec­og­nized by mod­i­fy­ing meal sched­ules in ob­ser­vance of reli­gious re­quire­ments. And be­cause dur­ing Ra­madan the de­tainees are fast­ing in the day­time, the non-Mus­lim guards are or­dered not to eat, drink, or chew gum in front of them.

Un­der the head­ing EID-al-Fitr, the Gitmo web­site proudly notes that dur­ing the re­cent Eid prayer the de­tainees were al­lowed to pray to­gether as a group, but the guards were not al­lowed inside the cell blocks dur­ing that time.

The doc­trines of the Ko­ran and the teachings of Muham­mad pro­claim the supremacy of Is­lam and the sec­ond-class sta­tus of non-Mus­lims. The at­mos­phere at Gitmo only serves to val­i­date these doc­trines and teachings. The de­tainees at Gitmo are ji­hadist who were cap­tured while fight­ing in the Cause of Al­lah. Is it any won­der these de­tained ji­hadists be­lieve they are “still in the fight”?

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