New information about the video tape revealing the murder of kidnapped reporter Daniel Pearl by Islamic extremists in Pakistan suggests that Pearl was targeted because he was Jewish.

Conflicting reports about the video claim that Pearl was made to recite his Jewish lineage immediately before he was slain. The Associated Press reported that the video showed Pearl saying, "I am a Jew, my mother is a Jew."

The New York Times reported that one of the suspects in the case told a judge in Karachi that the chief suspect in the case said two days before Pearl's disappearance that he wanted to kidnap someone who is "anti-Islam and a Jew."

The kidnappers also claimed that Pearl was an undercover agent of the CIA, or of the Mossad, Israel's intelligence agency.

Pearl, who was head of the Wall Street Journal's South Asia bureau, disappeared January 23 on his way to interview a Muslim fundamentalist leader in Pakistan. The U.S. government and Pakistani officials pled for his release, but the state department and the Wall Street Journal confirmed Thursday, February 21, that Pearl had been killed by his captors.

Beliefnet members have had strong reactions, on both the Judaism and the Islam message boards, to the news that Pearl may have been kidnapped and killed because he was Jewish. Below are some of these reactions:

A Jewish Target?

"Today on Tim Russert's Sunday show, the contents of the tape were discussed, and Pearl's last words. I missed the segment and at first, my husband refused to tell me what they were. He was in tears. I made him tell me and he said Danny Pearl said (or was forced to say): 'My mother was a Jew, my father was a Jew and I am a Jew' and then his throat was slit so violently his head was nearly taken off.

"Both my husband and I think this tape should be shown for the same reason footage of Holocaust atrocities are shown. To remind the world that Jews are still in danger just because they are Jews, and what the manifest conclusion of such hatred inevitably is."


"Danny Pearl was specifically targeted because he was an American AND because he was a Jew. That this is barely being emphasized is extremely disturbing..."


"Neither you nor I nor anyone else but the killers of Danny know THE REAL REASON he was killed, so please don't assume just because he was Jewish, that is why he was killed. I think he was killed because he was available. Remember he was trying to get an interview with that leader. So they were able to set him up easily. I also think it was because he was an American Jew. In either case it was unjustified."


"I truly feel sorry for Danny Pearl. But no one cried or made a big issue when innocent Afghanis are killed by US strikes. Many innocent people have died in the War. Well the people captured did tell that they killed Danny Pearl, beacause he was a Jew journalist and he was gathering informaion to link shoe bomber to Al-Qaeda. They did not kidnap Christian journalist but Jew."


"They are barbarians. To kidnap and kill an unarmed man in cold blood, because he was a Jew is a travesty. What a bunch of maniacs they are. They have no respect for human life.I am very sad and very angry. I hope the leaders of Pakistan hand over those criminals to the U.S., and I hope they are all executed for their crime."


Who Is to Blame?

"I am more upset by this murder than you. But I will not indict all of Islam. I just would like some Moslems to get it through their heads that such continual action will inevitably invite reprisal in kind. "Therefore it is essential that Moslems of good will seek out and eradicate those who do evil in the name of Allah or the Prophet or any of their sacred things or ideas."


"On the point of Danny Pearl...the BRUTAL AND SENSELESS MURDER of this young married man is so so tragic...How could anyone, but a disturbed person,a pathological psychopathic personality, support such a depraved action?

"BUT...Whilst I MOST CERTAINLY DO NOT support the sad, sad bloodthirsty Pakistani militants who did this,I also do not support Wall st Journal,which is always so full of Israeli propoganda,and intent stirring up anti Islamic fervour...Look, poor Danny Pearl, journalist at a fervently anti Islamic paper, stepped into the heart of a militant anti Israeli militant group,....he was investigating a story for wsj which is notoriously anti islam...what on earth did he think he was doing!!! Wasn't this a foolhardy move?"


"Here at BNet there is a memorial for Daniel Pearl. I went to leave my condolences. There were Muslims who had paid their respects as well, condemning the monsters who did this. There is no question their pain was sincere."


Visit Beliefnet's News & Society message boards to discuss the murder of Daniel Pearl and other current events.

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