May 12, 2004

More Than Two

Jim Peacock noted yesterday that while five murderers gleefully sawed off the head of Nick Berg to shouts of Allahu Akbar, only two Muslims to date have signed his petition denouncing terrorism.

Maybe Jim should send the petition link to Zeyad. (Yes, I know Zeyad no longer considers himself Muslim, my darling detail-obsessed people . . . but, gosh! D'ya suppose he might know a few?) Zeyad has no difficulty staking out a position on this:

So, to distance myself from the shameful hypocritical Arab and Muslim masses. I wish to denounce this barbaric act and the pathetic ideology that fueled it, to disown any person from my part of the world who would justify it, and to offer my sincere condolences and sympathy to the family and countrymen of Nicholas Berg.

And for Muslims, who are definitely going to say 'this isn't the real Islam':

"When you meet the unbelievers, strike off their heads; then when you have made wide slaughter among them, carefully tie up the remaining captives." Surat Mohammed:4

Grow up, and leave the 7th century.

Incidentally--since apparently it's impossible to consider what happened to Nick Berg as wholly separate from what happened at Abu Ghraib, even though Berg was kidnapped 20 days before the release of the Abu Ghraib photos*, even though Berg is the second American to be decapitated on video and shares one particular trait with the first one, which I am repeatedly told has nothing to do with their deaths, when I am deemed worthy of being told it at all--incidentally, Firas at Iraq & Iraqis has a few questions for the Arab media:

Here in Baghdad any one can see that the media is talking about Abo Ghraib more than the Iraqis themselves. Its not Iraqis they are crying on they are using this case against the Americans. Please try to answer these questions:

Is there any prison in the world with out humiliation?
Did any one talk about Iraqi human rights before April 2003?
Did any one ask what those people in Abo Ghraib did to be treated like that?
Can any Arab country open its prisons for any committee?
Would any one dare to criticize prisons system in any other Arab country?

Well……Tank you Arabs, we don’t need your voices now, we know how to solve our problems very well, and it’s being solved.

So let's see: I can't get good reporting over here, they can't get good reporting over there . . . is it 1984 yet? And I don't mean on the damn calendar.

*Via Tim Blair, who commits more real journalism just as a hobby in one week than Reuters does in one month.

Posted by Ilyka at May 12, 2004 10:30 PM in hell is other people

Eh, I can see Peacock's point, but I'm not sure how it fits into the larger context. I'm on board with the idea that, culturally, the Arab and Muslim states are not doing enough to convince us that the radical interpretation of Islam is not the dominant or "true" one. But on an individual basis, I'm not a big fan of loyalty oaths.

Plus you have to factor in the percentage of people who are even aware of the existence of the petition, and the percentage of those people who are inclined to put their names to online petitions . . . who knows, you know? Maybe there are American Muslims out there calling the Saudi embassy every day to complain about these things that we don't even know about. I'm not gonna take it as an article of faith or anything, but who knows, you know?

Posted by: Phil at May 13, 2004 03:44 AM

Maybe I'll try that. I had meant it at first to be a place for the moderate American Muslims to speak out. I know there are quite a few Iraqi bloggers who would definitely sign it and even promote it but I was really hoping that my own countrymen would take it up.

I tried to get some of the bigger bloggers to link to it but I guess they didn't take me seriously on it. I tried to get the help of a couple websites that are obstensibly about Muslims against terrorism but got nothing from them either.

Quite frankly, I'm really disheartened that I can easily find Iranians who even now could be in real physical danger for speaking out against terrorism who will do so yet I don't hear anything from Muslim Americans about it.

Posted by: Jim at May 13, 2004 02:13 PM

I just had a very bad thought. The petition is worded as against terrorism and would be inclusive of the terrorist attacks against Israel. It is written without wiggle room so anybody who signs it is saying that the PLO, Hamas, etc are terrorists in plain terms impossible to misinterpret. I wonder if there would be more signatures right now if I had worded it so it could be interpreted as excluding Israel.

Posted by: Jim at May 13, 2004 02:16 PM

No surprise either, that both beheaded Americans were also Jews.

Phil, I agree that it's possible some Muslims are unaware of the petition. But I don't consider outrage and commentary that objects to this atrocity to be a loyalty oath. I think that by not saying anything, Muslims are giving tacit approval. Period. In some places, they may be afraid to speak out, but it's just all too quiet around here. Makes me wonder.

Posted by: maura at May 14, 2004 02:20 AM