black and tan eyes

Friday, December 09, 2005

The Saga Continues...

I have put off from posting on the hostage crisis until the outcome is known, but I thought I'd write an entry anyway, as the saga has taken a particularly vile turn.

A jailed Al-Qaeda cleric has made an appeal to the "Swords of Righteousness Brigade" for their victims to be released. Sounds nice, but this "mercy" he calls for, as we shall see, only applies to a select few.

"I, your brother Abu Qatada ... beseech my brothers in the Swords of Truth in Iraq, who are imprisoning the four Christian peace activists, to release them in accordance with the fundamental principle of mercy of our faith," he said in an appeal aired on Arab television on Wednesday.

"Our prophet said mercy should be shown unless there is a reason in Sharia (Islamic law) that prevents it," he added in a videotape supplied to Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya channels by his lawyers.

Now, this echoes a similar statement from the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, reproduced on none other than the ISM website:

From your brothers in arms, the sons of the same blood who have suffered from one enemy, to the fighters against the invaders in Iraq, at a time when we are engaged in one battle against a single unjust plan by Zionist imperialism; a plan aimed at dividing the region, the theft of its wealth and the subduing of its peoples in the name of deceitful excuses such as the spreading of democracy and freedom, we appeal to the hands that are fighting the Anglo-Saxon invasion of the lands, those who reject occupation. This occupation is the real terrorism in this world. As a result of the actions of this occupation, be it the killing of humans, or destruction of houses and trees, a group of free people in the world have moved to stand by the Iraqi and Palestinian peoples, as they continue to suffer from the evils of the occupation. Those volunteers include: Tom Fox, James Loney, Harmeet Sooden, and Norman Kember.

Those are the same friends of the martyr Rachel Corrie who was crushed under an Israeli bulldozer as she stood in the defense of our people and her friends against the Israeli Zionist occupation. We came to know them as they took a courageous stance against the new system of apartheid and the racist separation Wall. They suffered as we did, and were wounded by the bullets of the occupation, while others were exiled and imprisoned.

Hey, say the right words ("apartheid", "imperialism", etc) and anyone can be posted on the ISM website!

Of course, if any of the four hostages were, say, in cahoots with America or Israel, or if they were Jewish (no matter their allegiences) - buh-bye... In fact, a US Security consultant has just met a tragic end at the hands of the savages of the "Islamic Army". Would Al-Aqsa martyrs and Mr Abu Qatada have advocated "mercy" for this American hostage? They're probably passing the lollies around at this very moment.

On a similar note, a petition has been doing the rounds – bigwigs Arundhati Roy and Noam Chomsky head the signatories – calling on the kidnappers to release their hostages. Sounds noble enough. However:

They are not spies, nor do they work in the service of any government. They are people who have dedicated their lives to fighting against war and have clearly and publicly opposed the invasion and occupation of Iraq. They are people of faith, but they are not missionaries. They have deep respect for the Islamic faith and for the right of Iraqis to self-determination.

Would there have been as great a stir from the intellekshul elite had the hostages not been against the war? What’s most amusing is that the text of the petition amounts to “don’t hurt them, they’re on your side”:

We appeal to those holding these activists to release them unharmed so that they may continue their vital work as witnesses and peacemakers.

This attempt to play nice with bloodthirsty maniacs is vomit-inducing. Judging from some of the comments left by the signatories (I refuse to directly link the petition, sorry – try Harry's Place), they honestly seem to think of the captors as simply misguided resistors of the Occupation. This misconception is quite popular in these morally topsy-turvy times. In reality, the “insurgents” have little interest in peace, and it is doubtful whether an American withdrawal will suddenly transform them into happy campers. Their chief victims have been other Iraqis, after all.

Of course, I do hope Mr Sooden and co. are released unharmed. Perhaps they'll come out a little wiser, though I'm not holding my breath.


  • Excellent post.

    You can tell a lot about someone by the friends he/she keeps.

    I have linked to it:

    By Blogger Habib, at 9:46 AM  

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