Arabs react to murder of Nick Berg

In addition to a good piece on NPR this morning, here are some roundups of opinion from the Arab street about the barbarous murder of Nick Berg by Al-Qaeda militants:

source: Islam Online - Iraqis condemn beheading of American civilian

BAGHDAD, May 12 (IslamOnline.net) - Iraqis strongly condemned Wednesday, May13 , the beheading of an American citizen in Iraq by unknown people, saying it is against the true essence of Islam.

Dr Muthana Harith al-Dhari, Secretary General of Muslim Scholars Association, strongly denounced the killing, saying it runs counter to the teachings of Islam and "does disservice to our religion and our cause."
Deputy Head of the Islamic Party Iyaad Samarrai said the abhorrent treatment of Iraqi prisoners by U.S. soldiers should never give an excuse for treating U.S. prisoners the same way.

"This is absolutely wrong," he told IOL, asserting that "Islam does prohibit the killing or the maltreatment of prisoners."
Al-Dawa Party, led by Shiite Interim Governing Council member Ibrahim Al-Jafari, also condemned the decapitation of the American citizen in the strongest possible terms.

"Undoubtedly, we reject these acts, which run counter to the true essence of Islam and are totally unjustified," said Jawad Al-Malki, a member of the party's politburo.

He said such acts tarnish the image of Islam and play into the hands of subjective media.

"The beheading of Berg is shocking, grisly, unjustified violence and an act of terrorism," he told IOL.

"By the same token, we condemn the barbaric and terrorist practices of U.S. soldiers against Iraqi prisoners, but as we don't want this to befall our people, we don't want it to befall others as well."
William Warda, an Iraqi rights activist, criticized the beheading as "imprudent".

He said the Iraqi Human Rights Organization denounces the killing of any foreigner in such a gruesome way as it has condemned the abuse of Iraqi prisoners by occupation forces.

"We place all human beings on an equal footing irrespective of their race, religion and color," he told IOL.

source: The Age - Iraqis condemn beheading, blame US

"As Muslims we can't accept it, but we don't blame them. It was a natural reaction to the human rights violations we have seen at Abu Ghraib. What the Americans are doing now is terrible," said a 45-year-old woman dentist who refused to give her name.
"Since the man came here to do something good for Iraq, it was shameful. Whoever comes to serve this country will be treated kindly by Iraqis, but I blame the Americans for being behind such activities," said restaurant worker Falah Faisal, 30.
But Muaid Louis Abdullah Ahhad, a Christian who owns a photo shop, denounced the execution and blamed followers of wanted al-Qaeda militant Abu Mussab al-Zarqawi for the beheading.

Zarqawi, who has a bounty of $US10 million ($A14.39 million) on his head, is accused by Washington of leading a network in Iraq that has carried out attacks against the US-led coalition and civilians aimed at fanning civil conflict.

The video of Berg's killing was entitled "Abu Mussab al-Zarqawi slaughtering an American", though it was not clear if he was involved.

"These people aren't Muslims. They are just using Islam as a cover and are harming the reputation of this religion," said a 50-year-old Shi'ite engineer for Iraqi Airways who also refused to give his name.

"I didn't know about it, but if he was an American, he was innocent. He came to Iraq on a mission to help Iraqis," said Ali Abu Nabi, a 29-year-old house painter.

But his friend, Ahmed Taleb, 24, a kiosk owner, poured scorn on the Americans, saying they had done nothing to rebuild the country.

"It's the poverty that's leading these criminals to act in such a way," he said.

Overall, the reaction might best be summarized as this: horror at the beheading, outrage over the justification using Islam, and some sympathy for the revenge aspect (in terms of assigning partial blame). Since by the US military's own estimates, about 70-90% of the detainees at Abu Ghraib were innocents, I'm inclined to dismiss the latter the way I dismiss Oklahoma Senator Inhofe's dishonorable statements.

There is a useful article on Islam Online about what Islam teaches about treatment of Prisoners of War. The invocation of the murderers of Berg of the Prophet SAW as justification of their acts was particularly obscene and they will pay a price in hellfire - American first, afterlife second. Bill Allison notes that the article was spurred by the Abu Ghraib torture rather than the beheading of Berg; however I think that the detail doesn't really have direct relevance, given the reactions above.


Dan said...

So I expect that Zarqawi can look forward to fairly uncomfortable time in the afterlife judging from the actions in the videotape then, yes?

MikeNargizian said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
MikeNargizian said...

One more thing, the man's name is NICK Berg.


MikeNargizian said...

Every time an atrocity is committed the response is an explanation how Islam prohibits such an act. When a horror is committed by Americans in an Iraqi prison it is not stated how Judeo/Christian principles prohibits such an action? They are just loudly rejected by everyone from the President, to his cabinet, to our newspapers, to the average person on the street. There isn't a statement with BUT.... 9/11 or BUT.... they disemboweled and stamped on 4 Americans the week before.

The silence of American Muslim organizations, CAIR and the rest of the Saudi fundeded cliques is deafening! and right after the thunderous comdemnations only a few days earlier coming from the same organizations.

And while some Iraqis rejected this act there is a reason for this. The Iraqis know the real reality of most Americans in Iraq, the assistance Amercians are offering to Iraqis and the real horror they lived under.

Its in places like Egypt and Syria, and Jordan where you hear the vitriol. Omar noted on his blog how 40% of the comments at the BBC Arabic site after Bush's apology were sympathetic to his statement and the Americans and almost all of those were from Iraq.

When America rejects an act you don't need to search for comments on it... its loud and clear, people are tired of hearing about how an "act is against Islam" yet in Islamic countries around the world is where you see the worst civil rights abuses occuring year after year.
Sudan, Syria, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan etc...

There was another honor killing in the West Bank and the Jordanian Parliament has rejected the law severly punishing honor killings how many times now?
Are Honor Killings against Islam too?
And is Jihad simply a personal struggle while it seems the entire Muslim world and every Christian I've spoken to who has lived in the Middle East speaks of a very Jihad with a "vivid" understanding.


I deleted the comment somehow but had it copied in windows.

MikeNargizian said...

Let me add to his comments below that Koffi yelled louder about the assassination of Rantisi than he ever has about the mass ethnic cleansing and slavery going on in Sudan unchecked.

Pharo from Egypt Blog -http://bigpharaoh.blogspot.com/

I Don�t Read My PapersThe Arab world�s reaction to the Abu Ghreib scandal reminded me of the words of Jesus (peace be upon him) �and why do you look at the speck in your brother�s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye?� Egypt�s �respected� daily papers and cheap tabloids have nothing to print these days except the Abu Ghreib issue. They are so happy. They have found a speck.

Please do not think that I am not disgusted and angry at what happened. I just hate it when people become so hypocritical. This is the reason why the US government should take all measures to judge those responsible. The US should set an example as to how it treats its bad apples no matter who those bad apples are.

A Week of JokesThe Arab League issued a statement condemning the �crimes against humanity� committed by US soldiers against Iraqi prisoners. Hmm, interesting, I didn�t yet see an Arab League statement condemning the daily torture of suspects in Egypt�s police stations, or the arbitrary arrest of Tunisian dissidents, or when the late Syrian president Hafez El Assad slaughtered 20,000 of his own people in the city of Hama in 1982, or when Saddam Hussein filled his mass graves with thousands upon thousands of bodies.Joke 3 Sudan was elected to be a member of the United Nations Commission for Human Rights! Days ago Kofie Anan showed some teeth and threatened to order military intervention in Darfur after the heinous crimes committed by the Sudanese government against the people of Darfur started to get exposed. I was so delighted to hear that Kofie got serious at last. However, his failure to even mention one single word when Sudan was elected to the UNCHR was so disappointing especially since Human Rights Watch labeled what is happening in Darfur as �ethnic cleansing�. Kofie Anan reminds me of my dog. He barks when there is a barrier between him and a stranger and turns into a chicken when that stranger approaches him. In other words, his bark is never serious.