Sunday, September 05, 2004

Shedding Innocent Blood Will Not End Occupation

Khaled Almaeena, almaeena@arabnews.com

The group that murdered 12 Nepalese workers in cold blood has added another ugly page to Iraq’s continuing story of agony.

The so-called Ansar Al-Sunna who posted pictures of their hideous act on the Internet are nothing but plain murderers. One wonders if such a group even exists.

Somehow in their demented minds the Ansar Al-Sunna believe that their actions are justified. With their twisted logic, they transformed poor helpless workers, who were mainly cooks and cleaners, into enemies of the Iraqi people. They claimed that these poor souls marched into Iraq with their mops and kettles to support the “American Crusaders.” The kidnap and murder of these impoverished breadwinners has caused all of us shock and revulsion. May their families find solace in the fact that we grieve for their loved ones.

These barbaric acts of terrorism in which innocent people are killed should be condemned and denounced by everyone. These people who call themselves “Ansar Al-Sunna” are nothing but a band of criminals who have shamed all Muslims. We ask them from where did they get the teachings to kill defenseless people? Where is it written that prisoners should be slaughtered? Who gains from this act? Why attack the Buddhists who are a peace-loving people? Why infuriate a whole area of Southeast Asia that traditionally has been hospitable to us?

A few years ago, when the Taleban in their twisted logic bought special Howitzers and ammunition to shoot and destroy historical Buddhist monuments I criticized them in this very newspaper. I received a lot of hate mail attacking me. I replied in another article that there would be reactions to such aggression and there were. Copies of the Holy Qur’an were burned in Japan. A mosque was attacked in Vietnam and Muslims in Southeast Asia bore the vengeful brunt of these reactions. Reacting to the latest killings of the Nepalese, a mosque was attacked in Katmandu.

While the Nepalese drama was going on, there was concern for the two French journalists held captive by yet another Iraqi group. I must ask: When did kidnapping become the appropriate way for Muslims to solve international disputes? Personally, I do not believe that these animals have any religious affiliation. They are plain cutthroats and murderers and as such should be hunted down and brought to absolute justice.

These people seem to thrive on media attention. It is time for the international media to wake up and institute a global agreement to refrain from using the statements of these criminal organizations. It is disgusting to see them shown on television as they invoke God’s name and kill people. We are not in the age of the Inquisition. If Iraqis have grievances against the occupation of their nation, they should display them in a more civilized manner.

True, thousands of innocent Iraqi men, women and children have died because of American bombings. True, Palestinians are being subjected to unimaginable suppression, degradation, humiliation and depravity. But committing crimes, such as the kidnapping and murder of innocents as a response, is not acceptable. There are legal means to express anger and outrage.

We all know the intentions of our enemies. We should confront their challenges to our sovereignty in a very cool and calculated manner. Shedding innocent blood and committing barbaric acts will not remove the Americans from Iraq nor make the Israeli usurper leave the Occupied Territories.

So what should we do? We all must rise up with one voice and not only condemn these acts as Arabs but the Iraqi people should actively demonstrate the rejection of these acts and expose the perpetrators. We cannot afford to lose any more time. Enough blood has been spilled. In our values it is enjoined upon us to feed the prisoner that has come to attack us before we feed our children.

I do not believe in conspiracy theories but something is gnawing at my mind. The sudden mushrooming of these groups who have taken upon themselves the kidnapping and killing of innocent people is certainly suspicious. Who is behind them? What are their motives? Even a simple person would understand that these acts are detrimental to our cause.


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