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Chan'ad Bahraini

(Scomberomorous maculatus Bahrainius)

Note: This page has moved to a new address. Please click on the following URL to get there: http://chanad.weblogs.us/index.php?s=How to avenge a crime. Sorry for the trouble.

How to avenge a crime

Tuesday, June 15, 2004
The recent terrorist activity across the causeway in Saudi Arabia is very sad, and before all else, my condolences go out to those affected by this barbarism. However it is also sad that these Muslims think that they can achieve something meaninful through these acts. The Washington Post reports on the kidnapping of American Paul Johnson in Saudi that:
The group said in a statement that it was acting to "avenge U.S. mistreatment" of Muslim detainees. "We have our legal right to treat [American hostages] the same way they treat our people," the group said, mentioning the Iraqi prison where U.S. troops have mistreated detainees and the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, according to news service reports from Saudi Arabia.
Somehow, these guys think that they can actually "avenge" the horrendous acts which took place in Abu Ghraib by repeating the acts on someone else. Now I can't speak for any of the Abu Ghraib torture victims, but I don't really think they would feel any better knowing that some other innocent individual was made to undergo the same suffering.

There are so many issues in the Muslim world which need to be dealt with: poverty, human rights, health, technological advancement, democratic reforms. Yet these guys think that they're doing some huge justice for the "umma" by capturing and murdering people. When will they realize that waging a jihad against the US is of no use? We need to be waging a jihad against poverty, illiteracy, crime, child abuse, disease and corruption, for these are our real enemies. But we never hear any fatwas urging Muslims to make sure all of their children get a decent education.

Sure, I understand why anyone would be angered by the abuses of Abu Ghraib, but that does not justify it for anyone else to inflict those acts on anyone else. And this is the difference between the civilized and uncivilized world. One example of how civilized people behave is the case of Daniel Pearl. If you recall, Daniel Pearl was a journalist for the Wall Street Journal reporting from Pakistan in 2002. At the time he was trying to interview some militant extremists to understand the conditions that drive them towards terrorism. Despite the fact that he was one of the few journalists who actually wanted to hear what they had to say, he was kidnapped and later beheaded for the mere crime of being a Westerner.

However I want to focus on how those close to Daniel Pearl responded to this vicious crime. They did not issue any statements calling for the death of all Muslims, or branding all Muslims as terrorists. Rather, his family and friends set up a fellowship in his name. The Daniel Pearl Fellowship annually sponsors one mid-career journalist from Pakistan to work in a US newsroom for six months. The aim of this project is for the journalist to gain an understanding of American life, and then return to Pakistan to report from there. What a perfect response this was. One of the real problems in Pakistan, and the Muslim world in general, is that there is an abundance of disinformation about America in the local press, and this fellowship would try to recitfy the situation. Had those killers been aware of the fact that most Americans are not actually war-hungry conspirators, then maybe Daniel Pearl would be alive today. But the fellowship set up in his name just might prevent the murder of someone else in the world. If that happens, it can be said that Danny Pearl's life has truly been avenged.

If only we Muslims had the guts to avenge Abu Ghraib in the same courageous spirit with which Daniel Pearl's family and friends avenged his murder.
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2 Responses to 'How to avenge a crime'


Anonymous Anonymous says:

Very true, its not those immediately affected by the violence on either side but ideologically driven types who scream the language of vengence and are ready to seek redress. This superb article by William Dalrymple in the New York Review of Books on Pearl's murder - contrasting the dignity of his wife, Marianne, with the buffoonery of French philosopher Bernard-Henri Levy - makes your point further.

http://www.nybooks.com/articles/16823

Well worthwhile reading.    

Anonymous Anonymous says:

Terrific post; well written and says it all. We all need to remind ourselves that bad people do bad things, and the rest of us have to speak up for what is right. You done good.
Marlene    

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