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May 12, 2004

Who’s the Bigger Enemy?

I thought I knew the answer to this question. Recent events in Iraq, notably the Abu Gharib scandal and now the beheading of Nick Berg, have led me to not have a definitive answer to this question: Who’s the bigger enemy of Islam, the western war mongerers (read: those who are waging this bogus “war on terror”) or these al-Qaeda types (crap, i used that word on my website, now it’s gonna be cia monitored) that are destroying the global image of Islam.

Seriously, this killing that they did had to be the dumbest thing ever. Global sympathy and anger had been evoked in the wake of the horrifying Abu Gharib images and reports last week. Pro-war Americans were sickened by what they saw and heard, and many were calling for accountability from the president and resignation from others. Finally, people felt deep empathy for the situation in Iraq; in Britain, for example, thousands of protestors took to the streets, some even donning the garb of the Abu Gharib prisoners and standing on boxes with electrodes on them. I wish I could find a good picture of this (the protestors), but nonetheless, it was a very powerful statement made by British citizens. Even in America, anti-war sentiment was at an all time high as nearly 60% (according to a cnn poll today) of Americans believe that the president has lost control of the war.

How dumb is al-Qaeda? This perhaps is the most striking thing about the whole incident: al-qaeda’s perversion of islam is only superceded by their gross adherence to a pathologically collective group stupidity.  That hooded coward on the video who not only shrieked nonsense, but insulted God by mentioning His name at such an act sends the following message to the world: 1. these are disgusting people, 2. they may have hijacked a plane on 9/11 but they continue to hijack Islam to this day and 3. they’re a bunch of idiots. Did they think they would terrify Americans and the world and prompt a withdrawal of American forces by this: murdering an unarmed civilian? Instead, what they have done is a service to American war-mongerers–it justifies to people that this “war on terror” is a good thing, because it’s meant to remove people such as these idiots. What it does is shorten the period of national guilt and humiliation that the American public felt in these past few days for the horror of Abu Gharib. It’s almost as they said: “stop feeling bad, here’s something you can be angry at us about.” Hmm.. it’s almost as if this was the perfect thing the war-mongerers could ask for to stop all the criticism they had been receiving…

But now, as if exactly on cue, as if there was an agreement between these purveyors of war and these perverters of Islam…. these al-qaeda idiots have to publicly murder a non-combatant… as if there’s a contest between the two sides to see who can be the most depraved, barbaric, and satanic. Of course, the losers in all this, as always, are the rest of the Muslim nation and the image of Islam itself. Thus the dilemma: who’s the worse enemy for Islam?

Anyway, this Abu Gharib tragedy really depressed me for a while. It took me a few days to step back and detach myself from the situation and think about it. While thinking about it, I began to think about the significance of these events: the timing, the barbarousness, etc… I then thought about the meaning of the name itself, “Abu Gharib”, because there are times when even the literal meaning of the words involved in events have meanings for us. This is only my opinion, but if you look at the name of the prison, “Abu Gharib”, it’s a pretty interesting name.

“Gharib” is derived from the Arabic verb “gha-ra-ba/yagh-ru-bu”, which literally means “to disappear, to set (as in the sun or a star setting”; “al-ghuroob” means the setting of the sun, and “al-gharbiyyu” means “the western”. “al-maghrib” is the “place of the setting sun”. “Gharib” means strange, odd, queer, whereas “ghuraab” is “a raven” and “gharaabeeb” is “extremely black”.  Now add the “Abu” part, which means “father” and you have “father of something that is extremely strange/odd”. add to that all the different flavors of meanings that are related to “gharib” and its amazing that the meaning of the word(s) represents the situation quite well: what happened is a deep black stain on the west in the eyes of the rest of the world; it’s horrific, similar to the raven picking on the flesh of carrion, it represents america picking on the flesh of a dead Iraq; and perhaps, it just might be a harbinger for the setting of the sun (world power) in the west and a disappearance of the injustice perpetrated by western governments with dreams of Machiavellian global hegemony. 


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  1. ya i agree… this was sick… I saw the video and it sickened me so much that I cried… one thing did come to my mind: no human would do such a thing… see the way i see it, this whole beheading thing is America’s fault… it shows the anger that these Muslims have in their hearts… there has to be something that made them to do such an insane act and what it is? It is every single event leading up to this day… conquest of Iraq, the whole saddam hussein capture drama, the prison pictures… I hold Washington responsible for Nicholas Berg’s death…

  2. The killing of civilians is terrible and totally contrary to Islam. I feel sorrow for the victims among the Iraqis, the Americans, and their respective families. I don’t know if actions like the beheading of Mr. Berg are the work of Al-Qaeda, of other groups, or of misguided people working alone. Also, what is the wisdom in spreading pictures of decapitation and prisoner abuse? Does spreading these pictures facilitate the search for justice or does it only increase the humiliation of the victims and the outrage of the world?

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