The Qur'an Written in Saddam Hussein's Blood

Dictators develop some odd behaviors. If absolute power corrupts absolutely, perhaps it's the kind of corruption that happens to old hard drives, and which causes them to do erratic things. Take Saddam Hussein. Toward the end of his reign, he had 27 litres (that's 57 pints!) of blood drawn and used as ink for a handwritten Qur'an. And now all these years later, Iraqi leaders have to figure out what to do with the thing, the Guardian reports. It's not a simple matter.

Over the course of two painstaking years in the late 1990s, Saddam Hussein had sat regularly with a nurse and an Islamic calligrapher; the former drawing 27 litres of his blood and the latter using it as a macabre ink to transcribe a Qur'an.

But since the fall of Baghdad, almost eight years ago, it has stayed largely out of sight - locked away behind three vaulted doors. It is the one part of the ousted tyrant's legacy that Iraq has simply not known what to do with.

The vault in the vast mosque in Baghdad has remained locked for the past three years, keeping the 114 chapters of the Muslim holy book out of sight - and mind - while those who run Iraq have painstakingly processed the other cultural remnants of 30 years of Saddam and the Ba'ath party.

Read the full story at The Guardian.

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