What’s wrong with this picture?

In a synagogue, cover your head; in a mosque, take off your shoes.



It shows Marines in a mosque in Falloujah, wearing combat boots.

(Of course they’re wearing combat boots, dummy! They’re Marines, and they’re in combat.)

Right. But, equally of course, one does not enter a mosque with shod feet. Or, if it’s necessary to do so, it’s considered polite to leave the photographers outside.

The picture, which occupied about 2/3 of the space above the fold in today’s Los Angeles Times, should make an excellent al Qaeda recruiting poster.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com