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Re: Midsummer a beheading mystery

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  • holderlin66
    http://www.smirkingchimp.com/print.php?sid=16840 How can we not imagine someone we love in the hands of these madmen? How can we not picture our husbands or
    Message 1 of 10 , Jul 3, 2004

      "How can we not imagine someone we love in the hands of these
      madmen? How can we not picture our husbands or wives, sons or
      daughters, trembling and crying and pleading and weeping and
      suffering such hideous psychological, and then physical, pain?

      When I think of these beheadings my hands clench and unclench, my
      teeth grind, and my brain spins around in circles. I want to
      scream "Stop it!" at the top of my lungs - like a kindly
      kindergarten teacher pushed over the edge by her charges' smirking
      bad behavior. Stop it! Stop it! Stop it! These beheadings make me
      feel as though our most precious possession, our civilization, is
      under direct attack.

      But beheadings have a long history, in the West as in the East, and
      not just in the name of terrorism. There are at least two famous
      beheadings in the Bible. David cut off Goliath's head after he was
      dead, and Herod had John the Baptist's head cut off while he was
      still alive.

      Man's inhumanity doesn't stop with the Bible. The guillotine,
      created to be a "humane" method of execution, comes to mind. So does
      the Coliseum of ancient Rome, the Inquisition, Vlad the Impaler, and
      the Tower of London. Remember Mary, Queen of Scots?

      And today we have Saudi Arabia, which has already given us Osama bin
      Laden, al-Qaida and 9/11. On Fridays there, they cut off the hands
      and feet of thieves and the heads of murderers, homosexuals and
      those who practice "witchcraft," among other offenses. According to
      Amnesty International, the Saudis have executed 1,409 men and women
      between 1980 and November 2002, "and the real figure may be much

      In Afghanistan, during the Taliban days, they held public beheadings
      on Fridays in a stadium in Kabul. On an Islamic Web site called
      Haimza, which claims it is "linking the Muslim community together on-
      line," Dr. Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips explains why Friday is the
      preferred day.

      "We were instructed (by the Prophet) to carry out the cutting of
      hands or heads, stoning people to death, lashing, etc. in public,
      and the greatest gatherings of Muslims, excluding the two Eids and
      Hajj, is on Fridays," he says. "It was the practice of the Prophet
      to gather as many people from the community to witness the
      implementation of the Islamic law."

      Philips goes on to say that in Saudi Arabia, beheadings are a
      deterrent to crime: "The number of murders which are committed in
      Saudi Arabia in a year are less than the number of murders which are
      committed in New York City in a week."

      This is faulty reasoning. For the low crime rate in Saudi Arabia to
      be attributable solely to the brutality of its justice system, you'd
      have to first flood it with guns. Then see what happens.

      The death penalty in any form is brutal, dehumanizing and
      coarsening - look at our behavior at Abu Ghraib. It has proven so
      unsuccessful as a deterrent against violent crime that most nations
      have given it up.

      Violence just breeds more violence. As a case in point, consider a
      Reuters story out of Afghanistan last week: "Afghan soldiers
      beheaded four Taliban fighters after guerrillas cut off the heads of
      an Afghan interpreter for U.S.-led forces and an Afghan soldier."

      Many Muslim leaders have suddenly become shocked, shocked, by the
      recent terrorist beheadings. They fear a backlash, especially
      against Muslims living in Europe.

      According to a story last week in USA Today, Imam Mohamad Adam El-
      Sheikh, co-founder and chief cleric at the Dar Al Hijrah mosque in
      Falls Church, Va. says, "Beheadings are not mentioned in the Koran
      at all. According to Islamic penal law, killers will be sentenced to
      death, but the means of execution are not mentioned... Whoever did
      (the beheadings), we don't condone this. They are not following
      Islam. They are following their own whims."

      Some suggest that terrorist beheadings are symbolic: the brutal
      killing of one American is a symbol of killing all Americans.

      "These radical Islamists see such acts as the ultimate symbols of
      power over an enemy: horrific and utterly unambiguous examples of
      ruthlessness," wrote Daniel J. Wakin in The New York Times last week.

      Just after 9/11, we made jokes about bombing Afghanistan and Iraq
      back to the Stone Age. Instead, it looks as if we just bombed
      ourselves back there and took the whole world with us."
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