More Muslim Outrage Over Beheading
I said the other day that there would be more negative commentary regarding the beheading of Nick Berg from the Muslim community, but I didn't expect it from these two sources.
Two Islamic militant groups, Hezbollah and Hamas, issued strongly worded condemnations yesterday of the videotaped beheading of American civilian Nick Berg in Iraq.
Lebanon's Hezbollah and the militant Palestinian group Hamas, labelled terrorist organizations by the US, said the slaying was un-Islamic.
In a statement, Hezbollah called Berg's killing an "extremely brutal and cruel" act. "Hezbollah condemns this grisly act which has caused great harm to Islam and to Muslims by this group which falsely claims to belong to the religion of mercy, compassion and genuine human values."
Of the killers shown cutting off Berg's head, Hezbollah said: "This group belongs to the Pentagon school - the school of killings, occupation, crime, torture and immoral practices as exposed by the big scandal in the [US] occupation prisons."
Osama Hamdan, Hamas' representative in Lebanon, denounced both Berg's killers and US President Bush in the same breath. "I condemn this brutal act and sympathise with the family of the slain American man," he said.
Both Hezbollah and Hamas said the beheading hurt Arab causes, and predicted that the United States would use it to turn attention away from the prisoner-abuse scandal.
Meanwhile, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia became the first Arab states to denounce the beheading.
The Emirates' information minister, Sheikh Abdullah, issued a statement Wednesday night during a visit to Washington. "We are ashamed, because these terrorists carried out this attack in the name of our religion and our culture," he said. "This brutal act has nothing to do with Islam or our Arab values."
Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the United States called the decapitation "criminal and inhuman." "It is not out of character for them (al-Qaeda members) to commit acts that violate the teachings of Islam, a noble religion that deplores such acts," Prince Bandar told reporters in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
I admit that the motives may be suspect, and it does leave them open to counter-commentary from the Israelis, but let no one ask where the condemnation from the Muslim world is - it's right under your nose if you open your eyes.