So he has ordered genealogists to construct a plausible family tree linking him to Fatima, the daughter of the prophet Muhammad. (This ancestry is an honor he shares, perhaps, with everyone in the hated West. Saddam sees the prophet less as the bearer of divine revelation than as a political precursor—a great leader who unified the Arab peoples and inspired a flowering of Arab power and culture. The concocted link of bloodlines to Muhammad is symbolized by a six hundred-page hand-lettered copy of the Koran that was written with Saddam’s own blood, which he donated a pint at a time over three years. It is now on display in a Baghdad museum.
TALES OF THE TYRANT by Mark Bowden
(The New Kings Of Nonfiction, edited by Ira Glass)