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five days as an Iraqi hostage
September 21, 2004 10:50 AM   Subscribe

Five Days in Hell - what's it like to be an Iraqi hostage? Canadian war journalist Scott Taylor provides a harrowing account of his recent 5-day ordeal as a hostage of notorious Islamic mujahedin groups. Christopher Delisso has an interview with Taylor, and blogger Zeyad of Healing Iraq offers informed local commentary on kidnappings in his post, "On clerics, fatwas and terrorism."
posted by madamjujujive (14 comments total)

 
Great links, thank you.
posted by semmi at 11:49 AM on September 21, 2004


For instance, when asked, “Have you ever visited the State of Israel?” I answered, “No, I have never been to the occupied State of Palestine”.

Now that's a guy who can think on his feet. Amazing story.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 11:57 AM on September 21, 2004


Amazing story indeed... I can't even imagine how I would have comported myself in that situation.
posted by GriffX at 12:04 PM on September 21, 2004


wow. civil, that comment also struck me as quite impressive. amazing story.
posted by lazaruslong at 12:18 PM on September 21, 2004


Most chilling quote for me was, while his captors were under fire:
"On several occasions, the mujahedeen fighters all across the city would scream out "Allah akbar! Allah akbar!" (God is great!) I had first thought that these cries were in response to them downing a helicopter, but our young guard explained that they were cheering the deaths of their own, newly created martyrs."

Whole article is chilling. Great find. Sad world.
posted by kokogiak at 12:39 PM on September 21, 2004


Wow, that guy is lucky to be alive.
posted by a3matrix at 12:43 PM on September 21, 2004


Quick question. What is their fascination with cutting peoples heads off? Is there some symbolism to being decapitated or is it just for gruesome affect?
posted by a3matrix at 12:46 PM on September 21, 2004


When your Lord revealed to the angels: I am with you, therefore make firm those who believe. I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them.
posted by gwint at 12:49 PM on September 21, 2004


What struck me was the arbitrariness of the situation. In the many situations in which he was to be executed, he seemed to get saved by trivial stuff. One captor has a brother who's also Canadian... another captor got in an argument with another man and had an untimely end... his stalling by saying he wanted to convert to Islam, giving enough time for the cleric to return announcing his freedom... all kinds of random events like that.

It's strange to think that such insignificant events all add up to sparing a man his life.
posted by udeups at 12:57 PM on September 21, 2004


Thanks for that link qwint. Religion at its best, again.
posted by a3matrix at 1:00 PM on September 21, 2004


a3matrix: There is some justification in shari'a (viz. decapitation as a form of capital punishment in strict Islamic states), but for the most part it's intended to make the militants appear savage and implacable. It wasn't used in the many hostage-takings in Lebanon's Civil War (largely between Sunni Arabs and Maronite Christians), for instance.
posted by dhartung at 7:08 PM on September 21, 2004


very enlightening, and chilling. and I had just finished reading this account of an Iraqi woman's incarceration at Abu Ghraib too. (the current crop of beheaders are using women imprisoned as their thing.)
posted by amberglow at 7:42 PM on September 21, 2004


Very compelling read. Thanks madam.
posted by Devils Slide at 7:54 AM on September 22, 2004


This will probably get missed, but I wouldn't want to double post... NPR had a good interview with Scott this morning. I find it interesting that no one has commented on the fact that he was essentially saved by Google.
posted by togdon at 8:16 AM on September 28, 2004


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