Quantcast

A Gift From Guantanamo Bay

Gianna Toboni

'VICE' correspondent Gianna Toboni tells us about the Qur'an she was given by a former Guantanamo Bay guard.

Terry Holdbrooks, a former Guantánamo Bay prison guard, gave me this Qur'an when I visited him at his home in Phoenix. At the age of 20, he was transferred to the notorious prison without any knowledge of Islam, and he said many of the other American guards thought it would be "best to kill all the detainees." Holdbrooks took a different approach. He started to talk to the inmates, calling them by their names and asking about their religion. Six months later, Holdbrooks converted to Islam. He emphasized that the detainees hadn't tried to convert him; in fact, he'd almost had to beg them to teach him about their religion. When he gave me this Qur'an, he said it wasn't to convert me but to educate me. —GIANNA TOBONI, CORRESPONDENT

Watch 'Guantanamo: Blacked Out Bay' on VICE News