Question Of The Day: Are Pig-Quenched ‘Infidel’ Knives Cool, Or Just Bigoted?



‘Qafir’ is a rough Arabic translation of infidel, interpreted as ‘one who denies the blessings of God.’ It’s an epithet sometimes used by Islamist militants and fundamentalists against Westerners, and it’s a term that some American servicemen have taken as a badge of honor.

This Arabic inscription has been incorporated into countless (officially prohibited) morale patches in ‘The Sandbox,’ and now it’s being etched into the blades of custom knives in the hands of some U.S. Marines. Their anti-Muslim sensibility goes farther than this single word, however.

Image courtesy Bates Knives

Bryan Bates is a mustered-out Marine who sells custom knives like this one, primarily to active-duty service members. Most of them are hand-folded Damascus blades, engraved with ‘Qafir’, and most of them are quenched in water or oil that he’s mixed with pig blood.

This unique quench isn’t done for the carbon content of the pig blood; he uses pig blood because it is considered unclean by Muslims. Bates claims that this isn’t intended as an insult to all Muslims, just a highly-offensive f-you to any of them that his brother Marines might meet on the battlefield.

Bates’ knives remind me of the infamous ‘Jihawg‘ bullets that are laced with pork fat, and all of this strikes me as…

Wait, this is the Question Of The Day. How does all this strike YOU? Is it an edgy insult to some of the most vile and violent scum on the planet (Islamist terrorists) or is it an unnecessarily provocative insult to all adherents of the Muslim faith?

Do knives and bullets like these give our enemies all the propaganda they need to recruit more Jihadists, or are they simply a morale force multiplier for our soldiers who carry them?

Were you offended by Robert Mapplethorpe’s also-infamous ‘Piss Christ’ photos, or do you think that all religions (not just Islam) should lighten up and learn to laugh at themselves a bit more?

h/t to the Marine Corps Times for their coverage.


  1. Aharon says:

    Chris, interesting post.

    Yes to all. It is an edgy insult to those opposing the Marines and a morale booster for those who carry the knives. It is provocative and does give propaganda to the Islamic extremists.

    I found the “Piss Christ” photos rude and disgusting, and I am not Christian. I saw no purpose, meaning, beauty, or thought-provoking expression in them other than the artist is probably immature and that not ‘anything’ can be called art. Yes, I do think religions can generally use some lightening up.

    1. jwm says:

      Agreed. And if any American is captured carrying one of those knives and his captors know this story he’s in for a long hard death.

      1. Innercityswede says:

        Any Soldier or Marine that allows themselves to be captured by Jihadis is in for a long slow death no matter what. It’s what they do.

        Islam is a Seventh century totalitarian ideology that is wholly incompatible with Western Civilization because it wants to be so. A devout Muslim is a Muslim that wants to subjugate us, the bad Muslims would probably like to leave the religion without being killed as an apostate.

        If the knife pisses off a Jihadi that’s fine by me, they’re perpetually aggrieved, like Feminists. If it gives them pause in a fight with one of ours so much the better. If it adds elan to the fighting spirit of one of our folks that’s the best.

        The thing with the so called artist of the Crucifix in a jar of urine is that we as tax payers were forced to support that BS. It was meant to be an insult and he succeeded, and then the political elite made us pay for it.

  2. ChuckN says:

    If Bryan Bates wants to to make a real impact, every knife
    would be sent with a list of the politically correct rules,
    regs and ROE policies that are getting both soldiers and
    civilians killed.

  3. Matt in FL says:

    I kinda think it’s stupid, but I have no problems with it. If it makes ’em feel better, go for it.

  4. Chaz says:

    This reminds one of the legend c. 1911, probably false, about how General John J. Pershing discouraged Muslim terrorists in the Philippines by killing them and burying their bodies with pigs.

  5. SigGuy says:

    A good Muslim is a bad person.

      1. Luke says:

        Acknowledging that the Islamic religion commands its adherents to conquer and subjugate the world is not bigotry.
        It is merely true, and has repeatedly confirmed by well over a millennium of experience.

        If this offends you, I really don’t care.

        1. Don says:

          Shows how ignorant you are about the muslim religion and all of its variants and interpretations and followers.

        2. Hanover Fist says:

          So does Christianity.

  6. Don says:

    I think we retain the best moral authority if our military actions are strictly business, not personal. This pig stuff is very personal.


    1. Peter Davis says:

      Agreed, especially when there is an ever growing population of peaceful Muslims in America, and we should view them as the representatives of their religion, not the extremists.

    2. Luke says:

      Killing someone with a knife is also very personal.

      1. Don says:

        The reason is what makes it personal or not. Not the tool.

      2. Matt says:

        Nope. Its Business. I was on the battlefield once, never had to use a knife, but Its all business for me.

  7. Sam L. says:

    Those who hate us have enough reasons already, and will make some up if they need more.

    1. sagebrushracer says:

      Agreed, that makes the whole pig blood thing almost neutral. Its not good, its not bad.

      My view might be different if I was stationed in some miserable sandbox shithole and they were trying to kill me all the time though.

  8. Santander says:

    This seems to violate General Mattis’s (USMC) Professional Dictum:

    “Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.”

    Though, he may have expressed some nuance on another occasion:

    “I come in peace — I didn’t bring artillery.
    But I’m pleading with you, with tears in my eyes:
    If you f_ck with me, I’ll kill you all.”

  9. Mark Davis says:

    Not all muslims are terrorists. But most of the bad guys that our military faces are muslims.

    I say that if your line of work is fighting said bad guys, you can have anything etched on your blade that you damn well please. And you can have your knife quenched in whatever kind of blood you want.

    Amazes me how PC this country has become.

    A former Marine.

  10. C says:

    What about Jews?

    1. Luke says:

      They very rarely go to war against us.

      1. C says:

        So we’re arguing about whether we’re offending people against whom we are fighting a war.

  11. DQ says:

    I don’t think its necessarily an insult in how its made rather than the intention that it was made for. Its hard to believe that Bates did this because there is no motivation or intention behind it, otherwise, why would he even go out of his way to look for pig blood to add to the quenching material.

    Vast majority of Muslims are peaceful and will find the existence of this knife insulting. Especially the ones who are US citizens and in the military serving our country. Its like a caucasian knife maker inscribing the KKK on a knife and said there is no meaning behind it, just sh*** and giggles (except for the fact that he’s racist).

  12. janklow says:

    doesn’t present a great image of Americans.
    also doesn’t really work as a concept, so it’s pointless on two levels.

  13. PubliusII says:

    It’s exactly like painting “Eat this, Tojo!” or “Up yours, Adolf” on the nose of a bomb in 1944. OK, it’s juvenile, but it clearly reflects the intensity of the war.

    In fact, I’d make a point of letting it be widely known that our forces will indeed religiously defile the bodies of muslim enemies. No 72 virgins for you, Mahmoud.

    • Will they treat any prisoners of ours badly? Yes, but they already do that, so what do we lose?
    • Will we lose the trust and friendliness of the people? Well, they already hate us anyway.

    Bottom line for me: More rubble, less trouble.

  14. David says:

    While keeping w/ the theme of blades and Islam . . . Muhammad was no stranger to the sword and using it. He has been called the “the Prophet of the Sword”. Muhammad and Islam are often associated w/ swords. The Saudi Flag has the creed of Islam on it and the sword of Islam as well. The Koran, and Shariah Law, prescibe amputations for certain types of punishments. Etc. Etc.

    The Sunnah (habit, lifestyle, way) of Muhammad makes this whole business personal. His example is supposed to be for all mankind to follow. The practices of a 7th century warlord are codified conduct that are binding for over 1 billion people.

    So yeah there will be (and has been) torture, rape, murderer, and a whole host of bad deeds – some involving blades. So, I cannot get too worked up if some Muslims get offended by a guy that has the word “unbeleiver” in Arabic and the blade was quenched w/ something that Muslims find unclean. We should care more about the violence carried out because of the Sunnah of Muhammad than a metaphorical thumb in the eye.

  15. daveinwyo says:

    I am a proud infidel. Islam is NOT a peaceful religion. I like the looks of this knife, where can I get one?

  16. Daniel says:

    Meh, nice looking knife but the entire pig blood thing turns me off. Prejudice is prejudice, and sticking six inches of D2 into anybody is more than enough of an insult.

  17. Paul B says:

    Islam is not a religion, it is a death cult. We have had such groups throughout human history. The fact that it gives license to pedophiles, rapists, and blood thirsty killers to do as they will with its blessing is all the evidence I need.

    If they don’t like being killed with a pig blood quenched knife, they should not have pissed me off.

  18. g says:

    If you gotta stick a knife into somebody, than the argument itself is already settled. Sure, inscribe INFIDEL on your knife blade if you want, but dipping it in pigs blood? Wholly unnecessary. We may excuse bigotry by saying it’s a part of the brutality of war, but bigotry is still bigotry.

    I guess some of you folks would be shocked there are plenty of PEACEFUL Muslims living here in the US. And yes, some even serve in our military as well.

  19. infidel says:

    It’s a cool knife. Christians have been putting up with more crap than they should have to, and do not need to lighten up. There is ZERO bigotry in this knife or it’s concept. You don’t want to get stuck with it, then get your satanic butt off the battle field and stop being the bad guy. Until I see Muslims protesting against throwing gays off buildings, against drowning and crusifying Christians and slaughtering women and children that they don’t sell into slavery, then there are no moderate Muslims.

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Question Of The Day: Are Pig-Quenched ‘Infidel’ Knives Cool, Or Just Bigoted?

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