Friday, May 28, 2004

The war rages on..

I've gotten some criticism from readers who say I neglected the prisoner abuse scandal in Iraq, while giving attention to the case of Nicholas Berg. Sometimes it takes a while to be able to put a thought into coherent words, sometimes it's impossible. The goings on at Abu Ghraib is a strong example. I simply am speechless regarding this story.

While I am naturally furious at those who created the environment in which this could happen, I am also slightly sympathetic to what is obviously a public relations disaster for US foreign policy. The stain of the sins committed at Abu Ghraib and other American prisons will remain forever, and any remote chance Americans had of doing any good in the middle east is gone.

Even Nick Berg's murderers failed to overshadow the prisoner abuse scandal.

Meanwhile battles rage between US troops and the Mahdi army boogeymen, and holy mosques have been damaged in the crossfire. And Sadr's fighters have been declared heretics by the Ayatollah Sistani. I wonder if shiite muslims in Iraq will join with Sistani in blaming Muqtada al Sadr for this, or follow logic and blame the Americans (who were the ones shooting at the mosque after all).

What is really annoying me is the war of lies that happens each time some incident occurs. With all the wild accusations flying in either direction it is impossible for me to believe anything I read. Who's to know, REALLY, if it was a wedding party that was attacked by American forces, or a rebel camp? And how am I to surmise whether US forces had a hand in Nick Berg's death or not?

You can't fool everyone all the time, but you can certainly bewilder them. I am currently in a state of growing bewilderment regarding the war in Iraq. Oh, and I can't wait to see Michael Moore's movie, "Farenheit 911"

Raed has been making some great posts lately. I like his fighting and analytical style. Raed's posts come across to me as heartfelt and balanced.

Thursday, May 13, 2004

Allahu Akhbar...

I just watched the video of Nick Berg's death. It was brutal and shocking, and reminded me of the equally horrible footage of Daniel Pearl's murder.

The animals who carried out this killing were cowardly, hiding behind their ski masks, clutching automatic weapons while their boss read out some standard extremist drivel.

Needless to say, every one of those people will have their skins burned off a thousand times in hell, not only for the murder comitted, but also for the cynical and twisted way it was carried out. The murderers' twisted perception of Islam is fully exposed by their method, and as a Muslim I am filled with rage that people could pervert our religion in such a way.

Nick Berg, just like Daniel Pearl, was slaughtered in precisely the same manner as a sheep during the Eid-el-Adha (feast of the sacrifice). Laid on his side, Mr. Berg's throat was cut while his killers repeated over and over again Allahu-Akhbar, Allahu-Akhbar, Allahu-Akhbar. These madmen think that they are slaughtering a human being in a somehow "Islamic" or "Halal" way, that by doing it like this they are fullfilling God's wishes.

Ritual slaughter of livestock as practiced by many Muslims is a celebration of God's mercy in staying Abraham's hand, although Abraham was ready to slaughter his own son at God's will. Every time a Muslim ritually slaughters a sheep, it is God's mercy that is celebrated. In order for a slaughter to be acceptable, it must be done in a certain way; the animal is laid on its side, and as the throat is cut, the words Allahu Akhbar (God is Greater) are uttered. As is obvious in the video (even if you don't understand Arabic), this is how Mr. Berg is murdered.

Allahu-Akhbar. The fact of these words being used in such a way is sickening. Allahu-Akhbar means literally "God is Greater", and is a sweeping declaration of God's magnificence, to which nothing can compare. Whenever a Muslim sees something wondrous, the most appropriate reaction is to say Allahu-Akhbar, which can be translated roughly as saying "this wonder is nothing compared to the magnificence of God". In war, soldiers use these words to find inner strength and conquer fear. After all, God is Greater than this battle, or that war. God is Greater than my enemy, and Greater than any cause I would choose to fight for. God is, quite simply, Greater.

Allahu-Akhbar is one of the most beautiful and powerful phrases that exist for the expression of Islamic faith. I am sure that Satan is filled with glee that his murderous demons have publicly used these words in such a way, while committing such a filthy act.