Uh-oh! Dilemma in Iraq: What should be done about the artifacts left behind by Saddam Hussein's regime? Such as, oh, I don't know, say, the 605-page Qur'an written in Saddam Hussein's blood?

Yes! There is, indeed, a copy of Islam's holy book, written in between 24 and 27 liters of blood drawn from one of the most notorious dictators of the 20th century. (Saddam apparently "sat regularly with a nurse and an Islamic calligrapher" to complete the project, an attempt to seem like one of those cool religious dudes everyone seems to like.) And, as one might guess, no one is really sure what to do with it, now that Saddam is dead and his Ba'ath party has been outlawed.

Because, well, it is totally gross, and, most likely, utterly blasphemous. And it stands as a massive monument to a brutal, murderous despot. But! On the other hand! It's almost... impressive. Or something. It's certainly... memorable. Ali al-Moussawi, a spokesman for the prime minister, argues that Iraq should hang on to it:

"We should keep this as a document for the brutality of Saddam, because he should not have done this.

"It says a lot about him. It should never be put in a museum though, because no Iraqi wants to see it. Maybe in the future it could be sent to a private museum, like memorabilia from the Hitler and Stalin regimes."

While the blood Qur'an's caretaker, Sheikh Ahmed al-Samarrai, is less sure:

"It was wrong to do what he did, to write it in blood," says Sheikh Samarrai. "It is haraam [forbidden]."

As is its calligrapher:

"I don't like to talk about this now," says [calligrapher Abbas Shakir Joody al-]Baghdadi, speaking by telephone from the US state of Virginia, where he now lives. "It was painful part of my life that I want to forget about."

Until they figure it out, the pages are being kept in a mosque called "The Mother of All Battles," protected by a series of doors that can only be opened with three keys, each kept by a different person in a different place in the city. So, no, don't expect to see it any time soon.

[Guardian via Delta Sierra]