Stripped of Their Humanity

The abuses in Iraq are just the latest in a long-standing pattern of dehumanizing Muslims.


05/24/2004 11:18:58 PM

sk-trth 5/19/04 9:52:01 AM Those who are familiar with the last few centuries don't seem to know that at a time when "the West" was on the fringe of "civilization," the Islamic world was at the center, preserving much of the culture of the past and advancing it as well. Re: Islamic traditions are failing in the West simply because of the inability to comercialize it.(e.g. Budhism is now so popular, Catholics are scared!)Islam can gain much heights however due to its poetic nature not through radicalism.


05/20/2004 06:13:48 PM

Torture is wrong. We all know that. Yet we have all heard that torture is used by certain governments in dire circumstances, when lives were at stakes. We could debate for hours if certain methods are acceptable or not to save lives of innocents. However the torture described was physical torture; sleep depravation, food depravation, even being made to endure painful situations, some to horrible to recount. However, not since reading the accusations made by Tibetans against the Chinese, and the crimes of Nazis against the Jews have I heard of acts deliberately directed at an individual's faith. If a person is humiliated because he is a Muslim, rather than because he is terrorist, then all persons of Islam are humiliated.


05/19/2004 09:52:01 AM

Those who are familiar with the last few centuries don't seem to know that at a time when "the West" was on the fringe of "civilization," the Islamic world was at the center, preserving much of the culture of the past and advancing it as well. We would do well to learn about how centers become fringes and so on.


05/18/2004 11:49:33 PM

Posted by Barashee: "the Islamic press is simply psychopathic--totally self absorbed, convinced that they are singled out for mistreatment by others and totally oblivious to how they treat others. They are centuries behind the curve of maturation." Gee, doesn't that sound just like Christian fundamentalism? Most Muslims are not Fundamentalists, just like most Christians are not fundamentalists. But this vocal minority on both sides has been the central cause of pain, suffering and death of millions of innocent people. This must stop. Sensible, sane and rational people of all faiths must work to keep these lunatics from destroying the world.


05/18/2004 09:39:10 PM

In fairness to the US military, I have to applaud the speed with which moves have been made to isolate and punish those responsible for prisoner abuse (subject to due process of law obviously). What I'm waiting to see is if this was a few isolated incidents by a few soldiers (which would still be loathsome but sadly, inevitable at war) or an action taken according to orders. If it turns out to be the latter (and that's still very much an "if" question) then here's hoping that they too will be prosecuted under due process of law.


05/18/2004 02:33:48 AM

In the name of Allah the Father, the Most Gracious Son, the Most Merciful Holy Spirit. The military has swiftly stopped the abuse at Abu Ghraib that occured October-December 2003 period by almost 0% of soldiers. It gave public announcement & criminal investigation by January. By February, it suspended 17 U.S. soldiers including Generals. By March 6 soldiers were criminally charged. Thus, justice will be served within the system. I am proud of the military swift action. Can you expect anything like that in Muslim societies? Can we expect Muslims to love Allah & not allow terrorists to use the Mosques as shields; i.e. sacrificing Allah?


05/18/2004 02:26:27 AM

In the name of Allah the Father, the Most Gracious Son, the Most Merciful Holy Spirit. The U.S. tries to do to Muslim countries just as the U.S. has done to Japan & West German; i.e. to turn it into free, democratic, first world nations. For that to happen, they must want it & be mature enough to live peace & prosperity. For the first time in Abu Ghraib, Muslims no longer fear thousands of death per day by their own people under Sadam.


05/18/2004 02:18:14 AM

Bismillah Ar-Rahman Ar-Rahim. Take a look at history & around you right now. What religion tends to produce first world nation, democracy, hospital, modern science, Mother Teresa, the Red Cross, and reverend John Harvard University just to name a few? While a religion/ideology may sound good, historical data may say otherwise.


05/18/2004 02:14:47 AM

In the name of Allah the Father, the Most Gracious Son, the Most Merciful Holy Spirit. Each religion has different propensity for peace & violence. The current major conflicts in the world right now are between Muslims and non-Muslims in India, Philippine, Israel, Russia, Sudan, Indonesia, etc. See link below for the translation of the message in Berg video where the terrorists invoked Koranic verses and the Battle of Badr beheadings.


05/17/2004 04:07:28 PM

idrism, Actually, my "religion" is Buddhism. It's more a path to follow than a set of iron clad rules put in a holy book. Buddha made no claims to supernatural powers. But your intent is probably correct. I don't believe in the existence of supernatural beings like gods and devils. To me, all your religions are the same, mental constructs created by humans to help deal with existential realities like suffering and death. When you religionists argue which religious construct is "true" it reminds me of medieval monks debating how many angels could dance on the head of a pin. Might as well be the Tooth Fairy. But some people use their religion to open to love and the understanding that we are all one on this small planet. Others use religion to shut down into rules and regulation, the letter of the law. Which kind are you?


05/17/2004 12:23:53 PM

mohammed: generalization is what causes a lot of hatred and crime against others. I will not call myself christian because of the way a majority especially on bnet talk about hate towards gays and other religions. We are to love each other and our enemies but people think they have the authority to accuse and condemn. I am glad to hear that you are not among those who do not promote hatred. Like you said God will deal with those who do.


05/17/2004 09:26:46 AM

Bismillah. The beheading of Mr. Berg was as far off from the normative teaching of Islam; the act violated a long list of injunctions from Qur'an and Hadeeth, such as not harming non-combatants, not mistreating prisoners of war, and not committing excesses in war. If Mr. Berg's butchers were not on the Sunnah of the Prophet, how could they be acting on behalf of Islam? They can't, and God knows best how He will deal with them in the hereafter. The salaf and the early scholars fought apostates before they fought the external enemies of Islam. Why? Because these people were more dangerous than the external foe. Muslims today could take a lesson from them and agressively expose those who execute crimes against humanity in the name of Islam.


05/17/2004 09:07:05 AM

Bismillah. In the butchery of Berg and the silence of Muslims worldwide Hogwash. Three Arab states have formally denounced the beheading, even tho they had nothing to do with it, as well as many Islamic scholars. Here in the US, Islamic organizations have also condemned it. CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations) has started a global online petition denouncing terrorism and is calling on Muslims worldwide to sign it. Likewise, I'm aware of several Islamic websites which have posted articles condemning the execution of Mr. Berg. Wake up, please, and stop distorting the facts. There is no ugly face to Islam, only the disparity between normative Islamic principles and some misguided Muslims who choose not to practice them.


05/15/2004 03:38:02 PM

Thankyou dagtall and others for trenchant posts. The public positions by the Islamic press is simply psychopathic--totally self absorbed, convinced that they are singled out for mistreatment by others and totally oblivious to how they treat others. They are centuries behind the curve of maturation. Just as we all need to grow up, they need to realize that their behavior affects how they are perceived. That means they can DO something about how they are perceived. Good behavior has a reward and not just in the after life.


05/15/2004 06:29:10 AM

In the butchery of Berg and the silence of Muslims worldwide, we are witnessing the real and ugly face of Islam. The Berg Butchery was inhuman and the silence of world Muslims is defining. The Pope, who opposes the war, issued a caution against marrying Muslim men on the basis of the disgraceful and dehumanizing way that Muslim countries treat women. My prayer is that Islam awakens.


05/15/2004 03:34:31 AM

i agree with dagtall. although i definately do not approve of prisoner abuse (i think we need to hold ourselves to a higher standard), its absurd that muslim community does not take any responsibility for the way the world sees it. i lived in paris for a year (where there is huge arab population), and I got sexually harassed and molested on an almost daily basis by arabs. i was followed, yelled at and called a slut. whether i ignored them or told them to f--- off, made no difference. they were completely obnoxious and disgusting. the same happened in denmark, where many arabs are now moving. not only that but the instance of rape has gone up, in a country with a very low crime rate. my aunt and uncle lived in saudi arabia for awhile because of work and my aunt was constantly treated like garbage. she couldn't even drive without a man. she saw people having their hands cut off in public for stealing. when muslims stop acting barbaric, perhaps the rest of the world will stop treating them like barbarians.


05/14/2004 08:39:26 PM

idrism: You words are hateful, may I ask how this is showing that all religions are God? Islam is not the only true religion it is one you believe in. God will decide who is his not anyone religion and certainly not any who think they are the only true ones. He clearly states that none know him. I find it hard to believe that a religion who states to be true would even make that statement.


05/14/2004 08:36:19 PM

Muslims dehumanize themselves, every time they cheer a terrorist act, called for the murderer of innocent non-Muslims or look peace in the face and reject it, or call out how great their god is and call for blood in the same breath. The beheading of Nicholas Berg is a perfect example of Islamic compassion and tolerance and acts that dehumanize Muslims. Nicholas Berg wasn’t even a combatant, nor were the numerous other beheading victims of these Islamicist freaks. What was done to the Iraqi prisoners (an aberration) does not compare to the beheading (the status quo). The criminals who abused the Iraqi prisoners will receive a trial, by the authorities of their own culture, because we as a culture and a society reject what they as reprehensible and unacceptable. But the Islamicist terrorists freaks are praised and lauded as true Muslims, patted on the back by most other Muslims, and those Muslims giving lip service to express their horror of the beheading, wink approvingly of the act.


05/14/2004 08:34:07 PM

It is Muslims who dehumanize Muslims. Christians may have wronged Muslims in the past, but Jesus and the New Testament and Christian dogma never decrees or accepts violence against anyone, that’s on old men wearing dresses with political power. On the other hand, the Koran commands intolerance and violence toward non-Muslims (if they wont be lorded over by Muslims or convert to Islam), condescension, hatred, violence toward non-Muslims is a corner stone of Islamic faith, and to bring Islamic rule to the world by war and bloodshed if necessary. It is the Koran that dehumanizes Muslims, by dehumanizing non-Muslims, and brainwashing them to hate and commit murder. Look at the world, wherever Muslims are, and are not in complete control and they do not lord over their neighbors, they threaten, bully and plague the society or governments they live in with civil war and violence. Yes, that’s the superior “humanizing” faith of peace for you.


05/14/2004 04:12:00 PM

jacknky, your religion is science what do you know about the truth." each religion claiming to have the inside track to the truth" all religions are God. The devil is here to cause confusion, therefore two religions went astray except Islam. Its teaches that God is one who is above all that he created. none is worthy, none has the the right to be worship except HIM!!!!


05/14/2004 01:20:22 PM

idrism, Study your history and you will see two mono-theistic religions (three if you count Judaism) each claiming to have the inside track to THE TRUTH and those who aren't of "our" religion are heathens and infidels. I would submit that is a mis-use of religion when it is used to divide humanity into "us" versus "them". It is a lower form of religion that appeals to humanity's baser side. When religion is used to bring us together as one into the human family it uplifts and appeals to our basic wisdom. So, what is your religion- divisive or inclusive?


05/14/2004 01:13:50 PM

denisemac I hope you're right. I tend to believe in the law of karma. If something was ill-begun it's hard to see how much good will come out of it. The problem with helping people is that they have to want our help. My guess is that most Iraqis are glad Saddam is gone and now they want us gone too. And the question remains if our presence is stabalizing or de-stabalizing. I guess we'll see.


05/14/2004 11:25:14 AM

cliff: study your history you are looked upon as devils and heathan's becuase of your peoples devilish ways. You talk about dehumanzing; what about four hundred years of dehumanzing and it still going on to this day by the devil pawns. By way what is your religion? Do you know anything about the oneness of God? You say your not of Abraham. Abraham is of Adam therefore mankind is of Adam. Who are you of.


05/14/2004 10:48:29 AM

cliff: you are right about how religions use their faith to talk with hatred but luckily if you look close not all feel this way it is the few. The bible where all of these beliefs come from God has taught to love and have compassion it does not teach the hatred that those say such hateful things. They are obviously not truly Gods or they would not say such things to cause stumbling blocks. God is about peace not hate. I hope someday you will see this and not return hate for hate.


05/14/2004 10:45:05 AM

jack: they say that we have done a lot of positive things there and it is only a few renegades who supported suddam who are causing the problems. We are training them to fight back as military. I know it is their problem but I have always been one to jump in and protect those who could not fend for themselves and my heart goes out to them just as in Germany was torturing the jews. I wish we had not waited so long to go in. But I also believe that if we were a strong nation God would use us to stop things. But he has his own plans and we humans, including me, think that we can protect everyone but like you said it really is not for us to do. But I think since we stuck our nose in at least finish the job.


05/14/2004 10:38:42 AM

cliff, Have you ever noticed how we humans divide ourselves up into groups-nations and religions- and attack one another because we're different? I know we humans are tribal but wouldn't it be refreshing if more of us just thought of ourselves as humans, equally capable of love hate, greed and compassion, and not as American and Iraqi, Christian and Muslim?


05/14/2004 10:04:11 AM

Dehumanzing Muslims has contributed to these abuses, but when we in the West are called "Devils", "heathans" and other offensive terms often used by so called Muslim leaders is that not also dehumazing? Equally I find the whole concept through about by Muslims, Jews and Christians that they is only on true faith, one true path to God, also dehumazing. Because not only does it denigrate my faith, but it implies that my cultural identity and heritage is somehow inferior simply because I do not claim to be of the family of Abraham.


05/14/2004 09:24:29 AM

rob, You were credible until your last sentence. I was going to make the point also that perhaps any nation needs to find its own way. We get into trouble when we try to lead them (Vietnam and Iraq). But let's not go exterminating people, OK? Denise, I guess the question is whether our presence is making things worse or better. I wonder if ultimately there would be less terrorism in Iraq if we weren't there to be targets. At any rate, the solution the Iraqis came to if we were gone would be their own, not ours. We just might not like the results, that's all, since they're sitting on the world's second largest oil reserve. Perhaps that has a lot to do with why we're staying? Thank you for your civil discussion.


05/14/2004 01:12:34 AM

We don't even value ourselves as human beings. We are objects. Owners of things, holders of positions, measured and respected only by our money and power. Those without power and wealth, or more importantly, in the way of power and wealth and not easily distracted by sports and jingoism, are discarded and imprisoned and abused in the US just the same as outside. The indoctrination begins in schools we are forced to attend. The US loved Saadam Husein and supported his every evil opressive deed specifically because he was opressive and therefore served the interest of private power. We just kill and torture and abuse him now because he reverted to his Arab Independance roots and stopped following orders, made public Iraqi oil and even began to value it in Euros instead of dollars. We will install another evil dictator before we go to make sure Iraqi people have no crazy ideas about who is really in charge.


05/13/2004 05:25:04 PM

rob: a little extreme there don't you think????


05/13/2004 05:09:31 PM

Our American government has to learn to stay out of other nations affairs. We are quite capable of defending ourselves if attacked. We have enough technology and nukes to exterminate everyone. There is no need to push our idea of a free society on others. They obviously dont want us there. Muslim culture and religion hates the american way of life. They find us decedant and sinful. We need to leave and let them find there own way. If we cant do that then we need to exterminate them all to end the problem. decide.


05/13/2004 04:57:54 PM

Where were all these"champions" of human rights when Saddam Hussain and his two sons were slowly dipping Muslims in boiling oil, hung upside down? Where were these "champs" when Uday and Qusay raped young virgin girls whom they picked up in high schools for their beauty? Where were these "Champs" when Saddam shot his two Muslim sons-in-law to death leaving the two daughters husbandless and thier children fatherless? Where wewre these Champs when Saddam beheaded Muslim enemies and stuck thier heads on poles by the highways so the others could see what awaits them if they stepped out of line?


05/13/2004 03:41:47 PM

jack: I just felt bad for the Iraq's when we pulled out before and left them in the hands of Sadam who punished them for helping us. But I believe as you do that I would be very surprised if this current administration can pull it off. They are self righteous. But the way it is now if we pulled out I think there would be more terrorism on those left behind as never before.


05/13/2004 03:12:11 PM

Light of Idris, Good point. I wonder how many friends we could have made if we spent those billions of dollars building up the infrastructures in the countries where terrorists come from. It certainly couldn't have been any worse than what we're doing and I'll bet we could have done something about the poverty and hopelessness that breeds terrorism.


05/13/2004 03:08:59 PM

denisemac, I've heard our leaders say we shouldn't leave Iraq until "the job is done". I presume that means when there is a stable government there that we can find acceptable. But if our presence there is de-stabalizing and part of the problem then how will we ever leave? It doesn't look like we'll be leaving under ideal circumstances so when do we leave? I wonder if there could be a coalition of Muslim countries to monitor Iraq and get the inflammatory Americans out. Certainly not with the current Administration.


05/13/2004 01:49:45 PM

light: kind of hard to just pull out without getting their government back in control but yet we should not of been there in the first place at least not for the reason that were given.


05/13/2004 01:36:28 PM

"To the President of the United States. "Pull out of Iraq, end re-construction and use these billions to educate American children." We don't need the horsepucky." Exactly.


05/13/2004 10:49:13 AM

this is one American who respects human life and does not claim to think I am superior then anyone and know that Americans in general do not condone what happened in the prisons but there are sick people in every walk of life. The ones who cut off the head of a innocent American who justify themselves will have to life and die with their justification but revenge is God's and it did not get revenge on those prison guards but brought condemnation upon their own heads.


05/13/2004 10:45:25 AM

mohammed: that is what has always caused misunderstandings and fights among humans. If one person does something wrong people accuse the whole group. It is the nature of humans. But luckily I think most realize and have the intelligence to know that those who cut his head off were not representative of you. But of course the problem with war is our representatives are a few and act upon such prejudice. Going to Iraq and killing innocense is the guilt of a few in office who believe in what they are doing and the some trying to justify because they don't know how to stop it. But then there those of us who there is nothing can be done because God is in control and know there is a reason beyond our understanding. You and me and others who do not want any part of this tragedy know this through faith.


05/13/2004 07:39:55 AM

Bismillah. You know, I condemn the attrocities at Abu Ghraib. And I condemn Berg's beheading. But what I am also finding rather disturbing is the trend of Americans who are so shocked at Berg's beheading and so willing to forgive or marginalize Abu Ghraib. At least one radio DJ I listened to recently wasn't even sure that something even happend at Abu Ghraib, as if the photos and Congressional investigation doesn't prove at least that there were attrocities happening. I suppose if we want to believe that in the afterlife paradise is going to be America and hell will be the Arab world, then this sort of patriotic sentiment has its place in the hearts of the God-fearing. Otherwise, I think we might well consider we are all sons of Adam, and that we should be equally outraged at the crimes against humanity, regardless of race or religion. con't


05/13/2004 07:39:44 AM

con't When I see a Muslim committing a crime, like the beheading of Berg, I am more than willing to condemn the action and explain why it has no legitimate basis in Islam. My fellow Americans are okay with that. But when I recently emailed a link to a website depicting the horrors at Abu Ghraib to several of my non-Muslim friends and family, some of them were angry. Not at the photos, but at me! This itself is an outrage. Peace and guidence.


05/12/2004 11:35:09 AM

I think this situation calls for the old saying "2 wrongs do not make a right". We are suppose to be above what we went over there to stop. According to Bush we freed the people from abuse but how do we justify doing the same? If these people are in prison for doing such things then they are due process of law as in this country. Even in our country we find some institutions mistreating prisoners. How many inocents are there in the prison? How many have been locked up in our prisons who were later proven innnocent. So we think torturing them condones us? If we are the same we have no selfrighteous business being there. Killing innocent people to get after the guilty is a horrible horrible offense.


05/12/2004 10:20:32 AM

Oh, those awful Liberals in Congress. How dare they question wars? Do they think they have a right to speak or something? And how unfair of the facts not to support President Bush, who has a G-d given mandate to rule our barons, as they rule us. Yes, and since only most Vietnamese hated us, had we only fought on for _another_ ten years and committed _another_ half-million troops to the cause, we could have won! Those rotten Liberals. As for Safi's essay, I don't think we Americans dehumanize Muslims any more than any people dehumanize people they don't know, and rather less than most. We keep looking for the positive, friendly face of Islam. Unfortunately, it keeps not turning up.


05/12/2004 09:54:25 AM

All people are worthy of respect, even a murderer. Much of the Bible was written by people who had commited murder. The military justice system is working. And don't forget that it was a brave and noble Muslim who told our troups where Jennifer was being held. We need to sort em out, I mean the "prisoners." Those who are guilty of crimes against the Iragi people should be held to account just as Nazis who were guilty were dealt with. The politicans "lost" the war in Vietnam, not our military. The Liberals in Congress are doing the same things they did back then. We can't and will not do that again.


05/12/2004 08:47:37 AM

Reading these posts I'm encouraged that more Americans are questioning the Iraq war. BTW, I'm not American myself, but I'm assuming most of those posting here are. Going into Afghanistan when we had good intellegence that Bin-Laden was there, and was responsible for 9/11, I can understand. Going into Iraq, when the intellegence on WMD was questionable, and there was no link to 9/11, I don't, unless there is something else going on, such as securing American access to Iraqi oil for example. I can't claim to know for sure, but it's strange that there are a lot of ex-oilmen in the current US adminstration. Oh, and acolytejohn, because an American was brually murdered by some Iraqis, it's OK for Americans to treat any Iraqis they can get their hands on any way they want, is it? Never mind that the Iraqis themselves already feel the same way, but in reverse, which is what led to the beheading in the first place.


05/12/2004 06:51:04 AM

The abuses of the Iraqi detainees and the murder of Berg sicken and sadden me. There was no justice in either acts, regardless of whether the victims were innocent civilians or prisoners of war. I feel so ashamed about what these American soldiers have done and do not believe that they were "made" to do it. Anybody with a moral conscience and respect for humanity would not have done those things. Both sides are guilty. Yet I am reminded that there are good soldiers who following the Geneva code and trying their best for a war in which the cause may be somewhat confusing, even if in the name of "freedom". I am also reminded that there are so many innocent Iraqi people who must have been outraged by the murder of Berg. The actions of the worst of the us are making any good efforts futile...


05/11/2004 11:15:30 PM


05/11/2004 11:04:27 PM

Did you see the pictures of the Iraqi prisoners beaten to death?


05/11/2004 09:41:39 PM

I am outraged that the US Senate is still considering public release of additional pictures after the beheading of the American contractor. The author of that article wouldn't an atrosity if it bit him in the rear. Just turn the prisoners over to some of the Muslims whose loved ones were abused by Saydam's (sic) cronies. See how they are cared for then. What is needed is some quick trials of the real criminals and some public executions or those guilty of captal offenses. Let the trials begin.


05/11/2004 08:43:06 PM

barblee PLEASE DONT APOLOGISE ON OUR BEHALF.After seeing that video of the poor young man being beheaded I lost any thing for them if i had any thing at all


05/11/2004 05:56:37 PM

To all the prisoners who have been shamed by U.S. actions against prisoners and caused pain to their loved ones I apologize. I for one, am outraged and sickened by this story. Court martial and dishonorable discharge would be appropriate.


05/11/2004 05:52:57 PM

I am a senior and a Christian. This story is so sad and I am so sorry for what has happened to these prisoners. This scandal tells me what I have already been witnessing for the past many years that man has fallen to a new low in the eyes of God. As to whether higher ups knew what was going on who knows ? If we knew the truth all the time we probably couldn't stand it. The perverse morals of man today make me sick..we see it everywhere, in the movies, in the music, on T.V. Why should we be so shocked as to this latest story. Because as a human being I expect more from our society. To take away anothers dignity is about as low as one gets. I think the punishment should be harsh.


05/11/2004 05:19:56 PM

Omid Safi's article speaks for me.


05/11/2004 05:07:23 PM

Sorry the link below is wrong. I meant to post this:


05/11/2004 05:02:56 PM

Those monsters!:


05/11/2004 04:58:45 PM

NJlee, Of course, anyone who does what you have mentioned has to question their humanity. However, that isn't the point of the article, which you will see, is regarding the abuse of Iraqi prisoners in their own land by foreign occupiers. It's interesting how you shift blame and at the same time say we should be "proud". This is patriotism gone awry. Peace and guidence.


05/11/2004 04:53:15 PM

Bismillah. Unfortunately, the Jews have to keep justifying the existence of their people and their state. I don't find fault with the Jews for wanting a Jewish space in the world. But the old saying goes, "My right to swing my fist ends where my neighbor's face begins." Israelis have a moral dilema. Where does her neighbor's face begin?


05/11/2004 04:21:51 PM

Muslims who cheer the deaths of three thousand innocents on 9/ll are clearly sub humans. Muslims who send their childrend to suicidal deaths of innocents are learly sub human. Muslims who capture, incinerate Americans, and shout with joy and celebrate the deed are sub human. Decency, humanity, and justice are the hallmark of a nation that takes offense at the abuse of prisoners and brings the perpetrators to justice. That is what we are doing and we should be proud of ourselves and our government. We don't have a foreign policy centered on "dehumanizing Muslims." The radical Muslims of this world are dehumaniziang themselves.


05/11/2004 03:57:10 PM

Why doesn't Mr. Safi address the ongoing dehumanization of Jews and deligitimization of the Jewish state? It is apparently acceptable to have many Islamic states, as well as Christian ones. Unfortunately, the Jews have to keep justifying the existence of their people and their state. Now I also read an article saying that the Jews are responsible for the humiliation at Abu Ghraib as well. Is there no end to the Holocaust?


05/11/2004 02:46:21 PM

Salaams Go this following URL, and you will find a copy of the Progressive Muslim Declaration. Not all progressive Muslims agree with everything in this declaration, but most would agree with the fundamentals - including the commitment to gender justice. As Omid Safi has written, “There can be no progressive interpretation of Islam without gender justice” Wasalaam Yakoub Y.


05/11/2004 12:56:51 PM

Perhaps some of you Muslims could answer this. I know in Christianity there are liberals and there are conservatives. There seems to be somewhat of a balance. If Jerry Falwell or Pat Robertson says something stupid like AIDS is God's punishment for homosexuality there are plenty of progressive Christians who will call him out on it. My question is: Are there progressive Muslims who don't think women should be treated as second class citizens or that their religious leaders should be running the government? If so, why don't they speak up more? It seems they are mute and the only Muslims we hear from are the conservative types. I am a casual observer but this is my perception. Peace...


05/11/2004 12:21:16 PM

And now he has the arrogance to criticize the United States, whose soldiers, to my knowledge haven't killed a single Iraqi prisoner, but the Iraqis who have taken Americans prisoner, well after they have raped them, they chopped them into pieces and then hung the pieces from bridges and light poles, too bad that this sensitive and humane Arab Moslem writer doesn't see fit to condemn this beastiality by his fellow Arab Moslems.


05/11/2004 12:18:27 PM

All of the Arab Moslem nations, all of which as a rule are military dictatorships, as a matter of state policy, use murder, torture, rape, and robbery to intimidate and vanquish their opposition, especially their internal opposition. During the Iran Iraq War Iraq used chemical and biological weapons on the Iranians, killing hundreds of thousands, and not one single Moslem Arab wrote long insightful articles condemning this. The Iraqis murdered 300,000 of their own people to quell opposition, and this sensitive Arab writer never said a word condemning it. Just a few years ago, 19 Saudi Arabian Moslems highjacked four American civilian airliners and killed 4,000 civilians, this humane Arab writer never apologized for that or even condemned it.


05/11/2004 12:10:35 PM

Mr. Safi's article argues this is endemic to the western attitude regarding Muslims, which is patently false. CIA officials learned these techniques from Arab governments to focus on the best way to make an Arab cooperate. Mr. Safi's argument that this is an example of uniquely "western" treatment against muslims is specious and invidious. Americans are angry against the entire Muslim world for good reason. The USA was wantonly attacked by muslim fanatics on September 11, 2001, and many muslims from Morocco to Malaysia justify that aggression. The point is that a break down in military discipline caused this inhumanity, not an evil endemic to the nature of western civilization. Mr. Safi does not advance humane treatment of muslim prisoners by saying that these individuals were treated this way because they were muslims. They were treated this way because other Arab nations treat their prisoners this way and advised us to do likewise. That treatment is forbidden by the UCMJ.


05/11/2004 11:42:46 AM

I find people who go out of their way to torture and humiliate, simply monstrous. That's about it torture humiliation and sheer monstrosity is perpetrated against the helpless all over the world transcending humanity and decency, and good behaviour. The attitude of the perpetrator is simply "I am doing this because I can" torturers whomsoever they are are doing this to make themselves out to be superior to the victim, having been on the receiving end of torment and humiliation as a child, I know this in my heart to be true, but like another person posting on beliefnet, I too, cannot step upon a roach, I cannot hurt a spider, I scoop them up in a tissue hanky and put them outside inwardly saying "Here God will you put this somewhere"


05/11/2004 11:39:40 AM

What the US soldiers did was very bad, and will be dealt with (or already has- this first came out in January). However, there are reports that Saddam killed 1 million Iraqis (outside of the awful wars he started). Thats 1,000,000/25 = 40,000 a year, not counting those "just" tortured. What those Soldiers did was wrong, but lets have a little perspective in the grand scheme of things. It was relatively minor to the horror Saddam wrought over his years of rule.


05/11/2004 01:57:30 AM

cknuck: 1. Evidently. 2. The name of God most often expressed by President Bush, such as when he has spoken to the American people about the invasion (and subsequent occupation) of Iraq. 3. God willing, the individuals for whom I am demanding the death penalty. And now I have two questions for you, cknuck. Do you believe me (now) about those pictures? Have the latest reports left you somehow less inclined to sling mud at the victims? (Okay, three.) Or was that simply the best you could do? To reiterate, I want the perpetrators of these atrocities put to death. For whatever it might be worth, I have begun to see similar sentiments expressed by members of America's armed forces. But please, whenever demanding that justice be served, feel free to invoke the name of whatever you yourself happen to worship – I am (after all) American.


05/10/2004 10:21:05 PM

Yahyabergum said: My hope is that these monsters will soon put to death (in God's name).


05/10/2004 10:20:10 PM

Yahyabergum said: My hope is that these monsters will soon put to death (in God's name). I’ve got one question for you. Well two; 1.Are you for real? 2.What God’s name? Okay three: If you got your wish then whose worst. blessed <


05/10/2004 10:08:41 PM

These torturer's weren't acting in the name of any religion fromoz, your post doesn't make any sense, and your Scriptural quote's are entirely out of context. This is about power, absolute power corrupt's, and it's rearing it's ugly head in the evilness of these act's, as evidenced by the pictures we've seen. Peace


05/10/2004 04:28:26 PM

Doesn't the Bible call for the destruction of Iraq? Psalm 137:8 O daughter of Babylon, who art to be destroyed; happy shall he be, that rewardeth thee as thou hast served us. Psalm 137:9 Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones. Surely “Babylon” will never be destroyed until it’s under the rule of the Christian’s God - and isn’t this what the invasion of Iraq (the humiliation, torture and murder of its citizens) all about?


05/10/2004 02:26:46 PM

Tortured Iraqi’s? What else is new? The problem with today’s world is that torture and humiliation occurs everywhere. Even countries that claim to be “liberal” or “free” often practice it outside their own borders (ie: Ab Garhaib or Guantanamo Bay). Sometimes countries may outsource torture to other countries that regularly practice these methods (ie: Maher Arar). Torture is the most primal element of our human nature and has been shown that even the best of us do this under certain circumstances. In my opinion the people of both the Western and Muslim world need to wake up, and act against their governments when it comes to these issues, instead of being arrogant and pretending that it does not exist.


05/10/2004 01:12:19 PM

Henry, Omid Safi is the editor of Progressive Muslims: On Justice, Gender, and Pluralism. My point would be that the author has offered you something more than self-pitying sanctimony.


05/10/2004 06:42:15 AM

Bismillah, Henry1, I'll happily compare the track record of the Muslims against anyone else when it comes to violence, even in the 20th century when the Muslim world has fallen into chaos. It will be interesting how the historians record all this 200 years from now. As far as Israel goes, if someone came and colonized the US, you'd find a lot of Americans doing the same thing too. Peace and guidence.


05/10/2004 04:21:15 AM

Like most Americans, my heart breaks and I want to puke when I see these atrocities commited by soldiers from my Country. It's something a Third World dictator would do. I'm still waiting on apologies from Arab and Muslim leaders for atrocities of this same ilk committed against Israeli and other western civilians. But I'm not holding my breath. All we get is self pitying sanctimony from folks like Professor Omid. This tells me that Western morality and values are generally at a higher standard, though. At least we have the decency to be ashamed.


05/10/2004 12:10:40 AM

For starters, cknuck, click on Rumsfeld warns of worse prison-abuse images and find "rape" in the article. Also, the U.S. military will reportedly be prosecuting some of these monsters even in the absence of incriminating photos. Furthermore, America is my country – and after taking a look at myself (as one of the commentators has suggested) I want to see these monsters executed. My belief is that, somewhere, somehow, Pat Tillman is alive. My hope is that these monsters will soon put to death (in God's name).


05/09/2004 11:20:11 PM

does muslim killing muslim excuse Americans from acting like animals? I think not. Americans claim that they are better than that. Obviously they aren't.


05/09/2004 11:12:40 PM

I'd like to encourage anyone that is sick of Bush and his mini-me, Kerry, to check out Dennis Kucinich. He is an honest man and has a definite plan for getting the US out of Iraq and bringing our country back to the greatness it once was.


05/09/2004 11:07:26 PM

Court-martial? Whoop te doo, I am sure a lot will come of that. Yes a few will be scapegoated, but the real powers behind the throne will never come to justice.


05/09/2004 11:04:49 PM

let's remember too, that Iraq had absolutely nothing to do with 9/11. The reason Bush sent the US military to Iraq first and foremost was money, followed up by greed, power and the wish to avenge his father's defeat. It is sickening that the American people have let this moron lead them down the path of war on a people that were of little threat to anyone after the first Persian Gulf war. P.S. I don't believe the story about the news reporter being bit to death, I have never heard of this incident and I think I would have since I am such a news hound! America is a great country and most of her people are generous, caring people, but those in power right now are not, and are doing things to make the rest of the world hate America. The result will be many more years of terrorism and violence against Americans.


05/09/2004 10:59:14 PM

yawn! not again... yes yes this is disgusting... but where were you, Mr. Safi, when Saddam was gassing and raping and murdering? At least there are going to be courts-martial and an apology from the President... Why are you such a hypocrite... why is it OK for Muslims to kill 100's of thousands of other muslims, but only deplorable when "infidels" kill muslims?


05/09/2004 10:56:35 PM

why don't you believe the pictures of the rape of women and children? Rape is the oldest form of controlling and cowing the opposition during war. It happened in Viet Nam, and there is no doubt in my mind it is happening in Iraq, performed by American soldiers. One has to remember that in order to get soldiers to go to war, the other side is dehumanized, demonized. The American soldiers hate the Iraqi's and see them as the enemy, not as an oppressed people they are trying to free. As for those that feel that the Muslims of Iraq should be welcoming Americans, remember that the American military is an invading force that has killed thousands of innocent Iraqi's. I don't think that if the shoe was on the other foot, that American's would react any differently.


05/09/2004 05:35:15 PM

You may rest assured, cknuck. The worst is yet to come.


05/09/2004 12:33:55 PM

kcbkcb2, Amen! I wish the Muslims who are condemning America would take a long honest look at themselves and their countries. Is there an outcry in the Muslim world for the way Sudanese Muslims have murdered, tortured, raped, and enslaved Christians and animists in their country? Is Al Jazeera constantly broadcasting photos of such atrocities? They take the actions of some miscreant American soldiers (which, though abhorrant, were nothing compared to atrocities committed by a lot of Muslims) and act as if that makes America evil. I think the Muslim world is being extremely hypocritical about this whole episode. (Btw, yes, I condemn the abuse of the Iraqi prisoners, and hope that the soldiers and officers who committed them--or stood by and let them happen--are punished.)


05/09/2004 10:50:22 AM

kcbkcb2: One journalist while interviewing prisoners was killed by literally being bit to death. Can you imagine that death as your attackers bite you to death? blessed<


05/09/2004 10:46:58 AM

YahyaBerqum: I just flat out do not beieve your post of photos of rape of women and children. blessed<


05/09/2004 03:13:27 AM

What was done to the Iraqis was inappropriate, but it was not the abuse people are making it out to be. The Iraqi prisoners were militants who were not only trying to kill Americans, but other Iraqs purely for the sake of impowering themselves. What was done to the Iraqi prisoners pales in comparison to what the Iraqis do to Americans and to each other. How many foreign journalists ahve been killed by Iraqis? How many other Iraqis have died in car bombs and drive bys from other Iraqis. How many Iraqis have been kidnapped by other Iraqis?. To demonized the US's acts as if the Iraqis are victims in this is ridiculous. It's hypocritical. When will the islamic world ever learn to criticise itself as much as it does others.


05/09/2004 02:57:54 AM

New photos show rapes of women and children committed to coerce family members (who were listening to the attacks!) into yielding information to U.S. interrogators. Do you suppose the people of Iraq knew nothing of these atrocities? (No wonder they think we are evil!) I want to see these monsters put to death – very soon.


05/09/2004 01:46:38 AM

I am completely opposed to the War in Iraq because America is replacing one tyrant, Saddam Hussein, with millions of tyrants in the form of Shia and Sunni mullahs bent on Islamic world domination. Murder, killing, torture, mutilation and degradation are wrong no matter who it's commited by. Unfortunately many in the Muslim world don't pay a dime's worth of attention to their own transgressions. I only wish that ALL acts of torture and degradation were as condemned as the acts by Americans. Read Irshad Manji's book "Trouble with Islam"


05/08/2004 11:41:03 PM

This article has a misleading leader "Attitudes Towards Muslims". When you get to the story it is "Striped of their Humanity" With the former in mind, we recall a TV program which showed that when American women went into the Middle East they were expected to wear a veil. We do not condemn this, but ask: "Why when muslims come to America they do not dress like Americans?" We think because with muslims it is a one way street. And wasn't it painful, hurtful, and agonizing when we saw American soliders being dragged through the streets, being cut into little pieces? Mr Safi seems to have some concern for the Iraqis who are murdering, not only Americans but their own people. Why not go to Iraq Mr Safi and show them what to do instead of sitting in your comfortable American home prostylizing.


05/08/2004 09:45:20 PM

U.S. citizens convicted of the sexual abuse and torture of abducted children have on occasion received the death penalty. Remember that this was not a battlefield but a detention facility over which the U.S. military was entirely in control. Please note that it will be another seven weeks before the United States can expect to receive an official invitation, from a sovereign Iraqi government, to maintain its military presence in Iraq. Note also that the official reason, as presented to the American people, for the invasion of Iraq was clearly in error – and possibly even fraudulent. On the eve of the invasion, the U.S. military warned Iraqi soldiers not to get caught obeying illegal orders. Perhaps those soldiers may soon be glad for taking such warnings seriously.


05/08/2004 03:43:56 PM

Wow! I agree with ElGabilon. Mindblowing moment. blessed<


05/08/2004 03:41:46 PM

I'd really like to see a reversed article like this be published in Iran or even in Iraq before the occupation. We live in a great country.


05/08/2004 01:06:49 PM

Trying to mitigate these war crimes in any way will only prolong the damage done to our country and it's place in the world. Time to put our words into action to show the world that we do not condone these acts for any reason. 1. Donald Rumsfield must resign 2. The commanding officers removed from service and sanctioned. 3. The soldiers who committed these acts tried and put in prison. 4. Those who ordered illegal acts (if any) prosecuted. Justice must be served, and in the same measure that we want justice done on behalf of the contractors murdered in the streets of Iraq and as we would see it done if the situation were reversed. Justice for our people and excuses for other human beings means we don't value justice, only our selfish interests.


05/07/2004 03:17:04 PM

This article rang true, especially : It is as if there are no real people in the Middle East, no beating hearts, no mothers clutching their children, no ordinary human beings going about their everyday existence. A lady here on beliefnet once posted that Arab women do not lvoe their children as much as Western women do. If this is what the soldiers in the pictures think then no wonder the abuse occurred.


05/07/2004 10:41:31 AM

I am pleased that the Safi acknowledges the "culture of violence" which already pervaded Iraqi society, lng before the American occupation. Torture and systematic denial of human rights is all too common not only in Iraq, but in the majority of Muslim nations. Does this excuse what US troops did? Absolutely not! These were vile and despicable acts that deserve severe punishment and the strongest condemnation. I hope this disastrous scandal will lead people to consider the "collateral" damage of any war. People in such situations have the hearts hardened and their consciences deadened by the exposure to war's violence and that makes such acts possible.


05/07/2004 06:12:43 AM

The chickens are regretably coming home to roost. The cost of this form of humiliation will be the fanning of flames in the Muslim world. The acts were deeply humiliating for Muslims, and one of the root causes of the schism between Islamic culture and Western culture is a feeling of being humiliated collectively. These images are more damaging than a military defeat for the Americans. Through them millions will move further towards the extremist camp. Combine this with the perenial problem of Israel, Palestine and the U.S.'s unconditional support of Israel, and it is one great morass. I hope that after the November election, a new president can start to work to change the most misguided and harmful foreign policy in American history. As it stands these recent revelations will lead to more tragedy, and that is a terrible testament to an inept administration.


05/06/2004 11:55:20 PM

Mr. Safi's article says it all and in a very profound and eloquent way. There is nothing in Christianity that authorizes the type of behavior that is happening. What has happened to our humanity? How can we be a reflection of God when we act like this?


05/06/2004 10:27:54 PM

To the President of the United States. "Pull out of Iraq, end re-construction and use these billions to educate American children." We don't need the horsepucky.