Hezbollah Condemns ‘Un-Islamic’ Berg’s Beheading

BEIRUT, May 13 (IslamOnline.net & News Agencies) – Joining forces with Muslim scholars and Arab and Muslim public opinions, Lebanon’s Hezbollah resistance group condemned the beheading of an American hostage by some unknown Iraqis, dubbing it “an ugly crime that flouted the tenets of Islam”.

“Hezbollah condemns this horrible act that has done very great harm to Islam and Muslims by this group that claims affiliation to the religion of mercy, compassion and humane principles,” the resistance group said in a statement Wednesday, May 12.

A video put on a website Tuesday, May 11, showed the beheading of Nicholas Berg with his executioners saying they were linked to al-Qaeda and avenging the abuse of Iraqi prisoners by U.S. troops.

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Hezbollah, which the United States blacklists as “terrorist”, said Berg’s killing had diverted the world’s gaze from an escalating furor over the abuse of Iraqis by U.S.-led occupation soldiers.

Islam / Islamism

Islamism is a totalitarian ideology adhered to by Muslim extremists (e.g. the Taliban, Wahhabis, Hamas and Osama bin Laden). It is considered to be a distortion of Islam. Many Islamists engage in terrorism in pursuit of their goals.

Adherents of Islam are called “Muslims.” The term “Arab” describes an ethnic or cultural identity. Not all Arabs are Muslims, and not all Muslims are Arabs. The terms are not interchangeable.

“The timing of this act that overshadowed the scandal over the abuse of Iraqi prisoners in occupation forces prisons is suspect timing that aims to serve the American administration and occupation forces in Iraq and present excuses and pretexts for their inhumane practices against Iraqi detainees,” read the statement carried by Reuters.

The Lebanese resistance group, which forced Israeli troops to unilaterally and hastily withdraw from south Lebanon in 2000 after a 22-year occupation, said the executors’ behavior was closer to “the Pentagon school – the school of killing, occupation, crimes, torture and immoral practices that were exposed by the great scandal in occupation prisons”.

Popular Condemnation

Berg’s beheading has also been widely condemned throughout the Arab world.

“This action was bad because it makes Arabs look like barbarians but that’s what the Americans think anyway. My fear is that now Americans will feel Iraqis deserve the torture,” Mamdouh, an Egyptian pharmacy student who did not want to give his full name, was quoted by al-Jazeera.net as saying Wednesday.

Some Arabs said Abu Musab Zarqawi, a Jordanian Washington accuses of being a leading al-Qaeda figure who is alleged to have led the decapitation, had failed the very people he said he was avenging by strengthening Washington’s hand in Iraq, al-Jazeera reported.

“Zarqawi is an enemy of the Arab and Muslim nation because he distorted their image and portrayed Islam in an incorrect manner,” Hasan Ahmad Jar Allah, 41, a Saudi government employee, who had seen the tape on the Internet, told al-Jazeera.net.

“What religion or sect condones such a barbaric act? This is abominable, God curse Zarqawi,” he said of the tape which showed masked men sawing Berg’s head off with a large knife and holding it in the air.

Al-Jazeera.net website also quoted an unnamed Gulf analyst as saying the killing would prove counter-productive for Iraqis.

“This strengthens the position of Americans in Iraq . American people are going to start asking their government when it will retaliate.”

Al-Azhar scholars and Iraqi scholars – both Sunnis and Shiites – have also condemned the beheading.


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IslamOnline.net, Qatar
May 13, 2004
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Religion News Blog posted this on Thursday May 13, 2004.
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