Or is that just a fictional concept used to make movies and books just a little bit creepier?
Anywho, Saddam Hussein had a calligrapher pen a copy of the Qur’an using his own blood to show his piety. It took 27 litres of the stuff to produce the end result. Getting access to this book has been fraught with problems, as it’s been sealed away in a vault for years along with other cultural pieces from the time of Hussein.
On one flank had been the government, doing all it could to prevent access. The Shia-led regime is highly sensitive to the re-emergence of any symbols that might lionise the remnants of the Ba’athist rank and file, which still orchestrates bombings and assassinations every few days.
And then there are the Sunnis themselves, who are fearful of government retribution if they open the doors and of divine disapproval if they treat this particularly gruesome volume of the Qur’an with the reverence of a holy book.
“It was wrong to do what he did, to write it in blood,” says Sheikh Samarrai. “It is haraam [forbidden].”
Despite this, Sammarie says he acted as the document’s protector during the mayhem that followed the US-led invasion in 2003, hiding pages in his house and moving others among the homes of his relatives.
“I knew this would be much sought after and we made the decision to protect it. …
Some liken the existence of the thing to being a good reminder for just how brutal a man he was, but nobody thinks it should be on display in a regular museum.
So, what on earth should be done with the thing? Ideas?