I am sorry to keep returning to this subject so often, but the reporting coming out of the Zacarias Moussaoui trial is so gripping, unnerving and frustrating that I can't stop reading it. Once again, we need to ask Richard A. Serrano of the Los Angeles Times for more information.
Why? Think of it this way. Let's say that some traitor to the pro-life cause was part of a plot to massacre thousands of people that he or she believed were trying to destroy Christianity. Then let's say that this terrorist pled guilty and, on the witness stand, sat holding a Bible lined with Post-it notes and, during questioning, read verse after verse from those Holy Scriptures while attempting to defend the righteousness of the massacre.
Here's my question: Wouldn't you want to know what some of those verses said? Wouldn't you want to know what traditional believers thought those verses actually mean (as opposed to being justifications for mass murder)?
With that in mind, let's turn to Serrano's latest Moussaoui trial report.
Moussaoui ... repeated his deep hatred for Americans and predicted another major terrorist attack on U.S. soil before the end of President Bush's term. He said the strike would be so catastrophic that the government would be forced to release him from prison.
"I fight," he said. "And God will help me and free me."
The 37-year-old Al Qaeda terrorist occupied the witness stand for nearly three hours. In his lap he fingered his worn copy of the Koran, sometimes flipping the pages to read a verse to the jury that he had marked with Post-it notes.
How about it? Is anyone else curious about those passages?
I looked around online and could not find any references that actually quoted the Koranic verses that he used in his defense. Across the Atlantic, reporting by Tom Baldwin in The Times did offer this summary, and many more details about Moussaoui's hatred of Israel and the Jews:
Moussaoui quoted from the Koran which he said called on Muslims to fight for supremacy for Allah. He said that Islam taught that "we have to be the superpower, we have to be above you."
Gerald Zerkin, for the defence, asked him why he hated the US and Americans.
"For theological reasons and life experience reasons," he replied. "You are on a crusade, like [President] George W. Bush says. In Europe, they call New York 'little Israel'," he replied, attacking the US for being the first, in 1948, to recognise Israel, which he called the "Jewish state of Palestine."
"There is no difference between the Jewish state of Palestine and Hawaii," he said.
Once again, we hear the impact of his views of the Koran. But we do not hear what the Koran actually says, nor do we hear how others would interpret these -- for him -- deadly verses.
I think that we need that information. I think that is part of the story.