Mutilation of victims and Muslim law
June 13, 2004 9:27 AM   Subscribe

Mutilation of victims and Muslim law The ruling by Sheik Omar Abdullah Hassan al-Shehabi specifies two circumstances in which the desecration of an infidel -- a non-Muslim -- is permitted. One is retaliation "when the enemy is disfiguring Muslim corpses or when it otherwise serves the Islamic nation." The other is when mutilation will "terrorize the enemy" or "gladden the heart of a Muslim warrior."
posted by swerdloff (45 comments total)
Comments about the propriety of this in the face of the Geneva Convention? Metatalk comments as to whether this is an appropriate thread, and if not, why is this one?
posted by swerdloff at 9:28 AM on June 13, 2004

Neither thread is appropriate, you enormous fool. Posting to make a point about another thread is just silly.
posted by reklaw at 9:36 AM on June 13, 2004

They were both fairly senseless posts. But at least you're not alone in your bad taste, so it's really ok.
posted by Zurishaddai at 9:37 AM on June 13, 2004

David Dark, is that you?
posted by mr.marx at 9:38 AM on June 13, 2004

I think someone needs to make

I could do with an easy reference when I see things like this, mainly to give some idea if its an already uber radical cleric giving an average sermon, or if its a more moderate member of clericdom swinging right.
posted by Flat Feet Pete at 9:40 AM on June 13, 2004

these muslim types sound pretty bad. can we not take over their country or something?
posted by mcsweetie at 9:40 AM on June 13, 2004

Did I mention that WKKT-FM radio talk-show host Jay Severin (reaching a population of several million in the Boston Metro area) has called for the destruction of Fallujah - and everyone in it - by nuclear weapons ?

He's like a really, really radical Muslim cleric, with a very, very tall minaret, who doesn't even make those sorts of discriminations. He just wants to kill everybody.

Carry on.
posted by troutfishing at 9:55 AM on June 13, 2004

I guess it's an Old Testament thing.
posted by troutfishing at 9:56 AM on June 13, 2004

Just because most muslims are not murderers, doesn't mean that 1% of 1 billion can't inflict a lot of damage.

Just because they're language is Arabic, doesn't mean they're preaching the Religion of Peace.

Just because I'm a western liberal doesn't mean they're not out to get me.

Just because there are nutty shockjocks in America doesn't mean they're not out to get yanks.

Just because swerdloff gets his retaliation in first, doesn't mean his point is invalid.

Just because Mohammed says that the infidel must be slaughtered wherever he is found, religious maniacs will commit atrocities. Just because.
posted by dash_slot- at 10:08 AM on June 13, 2004

Did you miss the bitching about that thread? Were you just trying to get some bitching of your very own?
posted by LittleMissCranky at 10:18 AM on June 13, 2004

I'd like to see a reference for that fatwa, but I have to say, it wouldn't suprise me given the clerics in that region (who follow the non-traditionalist interpretation of Islam).

The first part is old testament style eye for an eye, Old Testament styles (known as Qisas punishment) - however, that really does mean an eye for an eye, not lots of eyes for an eye, so the opposing force would have to mutilate and break the Geneva convention first..

The second part is stupid as this does not fit with the juristic method of durara (super-extenuating circumstances) to override the respect that is due to any dead body (breaking the bone of a corpse can elicit the same punishment as breaking the bone of a live person).

It is expressly prohibited to torture anyone save when executing a qisas punishment - ie if they do something nasty and deliberately inflict damage upon another, they are open to the family of the victim demanding either that exact same punishment, or alternatively blood money as recompense - you cannot torture for information for example, mental or physical.

Still, you get all sorts..
posted by Mossy at 10:21 AM on June 13, 2004

i can't wait for Ethereal Bligh to breeze on in!
posted by quonsar at 10:25 AM on June 13, 2004

What, no desecration of an infidel in return for a gmail account?

These extremist muslims; it's like they're living in a different century.
posted by Blue Stone at 10:40 AM on June 13, 2004

I don't see anything wrong with this post, swerdloff, other than that as a single link to an opinion piece it's a bit weak and could use some bolstering contextual supplementary links, but your first comment in the thread (and the intent behind posting the link that it reveals) is pretty obnoxious and out-of-place.
posted by rushmc at 11:05 AM on June 13, 2004

I would like to announce the opening of the Depends for Conservative MeFites Foundation. As victims like swerdloff and David Dark show, recent events have led to unstable conditions in which bitchy right-leaning posters feel suddenly become incapable of controlling their ability to urinate all over the front page of MetaFilter. With proper undergarments, we can control this.

Please, send a donation. For just pennies a day, you can help. I'm Sally Struthers. Goodnight.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 11:08 AM on June 13, 2004

Don't worry, you still have them beat, ten-fold... always have.
posted by Witty at 11:41 AM on June 13, 2004

bitchy right-leaning posters feel suddenly become incapable of controlling their ability to urinate all over the front page of MetaFilter.

And as we all know, that sort of indiscriminate urination & axe-grinding is strictly limited to "right-leaning" posters and certainly never occurs ON A DAILY BASIS by anyone else.

posted by dhoyt at 11:59 AM on June 13, 2004

I wish people would shit on their own blog's front page, instead that on this community's blog, but whatever.
it must be nice to be 12 years old all over again.

it is very annoying, but on the other hand, it's a very useful IQ test for members, too.
posted by matteo at 12:04 PM on June 13, 2004

Just give up the damn politics and go back to the "great stuff on the web" that made me love this spot in the first place.
posted by swerdloff at 11:09 AM EST on June 12

Like this? I don't know what you're hoping to prove by this, but on the off chance that this ridiculous thread survives the Smiting of the Matt: any Muslim cleric can issue rulings, which will influence anyone who wants to be influenced by them, and no one else. Islam is not a centralized religion, and it is just as full (and no fuller) of crackpots and extremists as any other religion. This has exactly as much to do with "Islam" as the ravings of some TV evangelist have to do with "Christianity." If the implication is that this particular bit of looniness somehow justifies any of our criminal behavior in Iraq or elsewhere, that's pretty dumb.

And personally, I care a lot more about what gets done to living people than dead bodies, but that's just me.
posted by languagehat at 12:04 PM on June 13, 2004

And this from the guy who all but accused me of being a klan member once, because I quoted some rednecks using the "N" word.
I figured as much.
posted by 2sheets at 1:05 PM on June 13, 2004

it must be nice to be 12 years old all over again.

How true.
posted by dhoyt at 1:06 PM on June 13, 2004

I heard one of those Christians said a really awful thing once about the Muslims. Well, maybe it was even more than one Christian and more than once.

"Just because they're language is Arabic, doesn't mean they're preaching the Religion of Peace.

Just because I'm a western liberal doesn't mean they're not out to get me." - dash_slot, do you mean the whole Islamic World ? Or just Islamic terrorists ?
posted by troutfishing at 1:25 PM on June 13, 2004

Everyone has their wackjobs. How about an FPP about the Israeli settler rabbi Dov Lior, who says killing innocent non-Jews is no problem: "during warfare, killing non-Jewish civilians is permitted if it saves Jewish lives" and "a thousand non-Jewish lives are not worth a Jew's fingernail".

Then no one feels left out.
posted by lathrop at 1:32 PM on June 13, 2004


Stick a fork in this thread, it's done.
posted by Ptrin at 1:43 PM on June 13, 2004

Anthony Swofford described the desecration of Iraqi corpses during the first Gulf war in Jarhead. Evidently, the precedent was there.
posted by y2karl at 1:56 PM on June 13, 2004

Another Vasser education wasted...
posted by i_cola at 2:35 PM on June 13, 2004

Sorry trout, I thought it was clear from: Just because most muslims are not murderers, doesn't mean that 1% of 1 billion can't inflict a lot of damage.

I don't think most americans are torturers, but a few can do a great deal of damage.

A plague on both your houses, would be an understandable response. Except I don't want any innocents to be infected.
posted by dash_slot- at 3:20 PM on June 13, 2004

Too late.
posted by FormlessOne at 3:51 PM on June 13, 2004

Well, John the Baptist after torturing a thief looks up at his great hero the Commander-in-Chief saying, "Tell me great hero, but please make it brief, is there a hole for me to get sick in?"
posted by Satapher at 5:32 PM on June 13, 2004

Interrogation abuses were 'approved at highest levels'

New evidence that the physical abuse of detainees in Iraq and at Guantanamo Bay was authorised at the top of the Bush administration will emerge in Washington this week, adding further to pressure on the White House.

The Telegraph understands that four confidential Red Cross documents implicating senior Pentagon civilians in the Abu Ghraib scandal have been passed to an American television network, which is preparing to make them public shortly.

According to lawyers familiar with the Red Cross reports, they will contradict previous testimony by senior Pentagon officials who have claimed that the abuse in the Abu Ghraib prison was an isolated incident.

"There are some extremely damaging documents around, which link senior figures to the abuses," said Scott Horton, the former chairman of the New York Bar Association, who has been advising Pentagon lawyers unhappy at the administration's approach. "The biggest bombs in this case have yet to be dropped."

posted by y2karl at 6:19 PM on June 13, 2004


When some folks' parents were asking them, back at the most elementary stages of the development of their childhood reasoning ability, 'if Johnny jumped off a bridge, would you do it too?' it is clear that they weren't really paying close attention.

The question is not whether if or because anyone else chooses to act, as individuals, as a nation, or as subscribers to a system of belief it is right to commit crimes against humanity, the question is merely : is it right?

The answer is no, and the facts that America tells itself and the world that it is a beacon of freedom, liberty, human rights and the apotheosis of what is best in human nature while committing such acts, that America has fallen so low that its defenders stoop to 'well, everyone else is doing it' whining is just ironic icing on the cake.

posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:31 PM on June 13, 2004

Or : they're all killer apes, but the ones claiming to be angels while sinking their hands elbow-deep into the warm guts are no better than the rest.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:33 PM on June 13, 2004

Damn it. That should read ' if it is right to commit crimes against humanity...'
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:37 PM on June 13, 2004

"America tells itself..."

Just who are you talking about, dimwit?
posted by shoos at 8:32 PM on June 13, 2004

dash_slot - you're right : your rhetoric distracted me. Let me put it in into a more familiar vernacular -

"Just because most Christians are not murderers, doesn't mean that 1% of 1 billion can't inflict a lot of damage.

Just because their language is English, doesn't mean they're preaching the Religion of Peace.

Just because I'm tolerant doesn't mean they're not out to get me....."

Also, was that an American billion or an English billion ?
posted by troutfishing at 9:07 PM on June 13, 2004

Just who are you talking about, dimwit?

About you, poopy-pants!
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:43 PM on June 13, 2004

hmm, seems to be a lot of bitterness about this post. I take it a thread discussing the US's willingness to torture prisoners (ie 'the memo', etc) has been equated with this imam's rambling somehow.

Even Osama bin Laden is against the mutilation of infidels.
posted by delmoi at 12:09 AM on June 14, 2004

I can't recall the last time the Archbishop of Canterbury made a sermon calling another ethnicity or faith 'pigs and monkeys' and calling for their extermination. Nor has that postholder ever equivocated about suicide bombers,

I know that that is partly a feature of the centralisation of administrative hierarchies in the anglican religion. However, the decentralised faiths - baptists? methodists? I don't know this bit too well - tend not to make such calls either.

Those bloodthirsty parts of the old religion have been reformed away by the mainstream christian brands, I'm glad to say. Credibility is lost when OT(T) justice is invoked nowadays.

But not on the fringes of the Islamic world. If the moderates do not take charge, what happens to the next generation?
posted by dash_slot- at 1:04 AM on June 14, 2004

This guy, who doesn't have a MeFi account (and who I guess is either a Muslim himself or knowledgable about Muslims) emailed me to say:
When I saw the thread today on metafilter about torture and it's place in Islam I was rather shocked... Not all Muslims follow the same Sheikhs. Even if you're a Sunni (which I assume this fellow was) you don't even necessarily take guidance from outside of the Madhab you subscribe to. If that were the case, we'd be living in an even crazier world where a single Sheikh could hijack the entire Muslim population of the world and command them.

There is very little in the way of any sort of official or leadership structure in Islam, if you head out into the poorer regions of Arabia and speak convincingly enough you can get just enough followers to cause trouble.
..which I think is a good point. We really need to re-open user registrations.
posted by reklaw at 2:19 AM on June 14, 2004

Uhhh.. You've never heard extremist Christian preachers spouting invective against muslims? There are a number of creative words for Arabs too..

The Archbishop of Canterbury's equivalent would be the leading/most widely respected scholars in the Islamic world, as opposed to the type who spout invective as extremists are wont to do.

However, even these extreme preachers do not generally make racial slurs from what I have been unfortunate enough to have seen - ideological slurs, perhaps..

"Moderates" cannot force people to follow their ideology/interpretation of the religion. That goes against one of the base principles of no compulsion. I would say the socio-political situation in the middle east has given rise to a form of hybrid moderation - the most popular scholars there such as Qaradawi (as can be found on islamonline), or preachers such as Amr Khaled don't generally go around calling people pigs or monkeys.

With reference to the West, figures such as Shaykh Hamza Yusuf or Tariq Ramadan have had an increasing amount of the spotlight focused on them as they deal with the issues pertinent to the Islamic youth here - for example how to reconcile democracy with Islam etc.

Here is an issue of Q-News magazine (which generally provides a wide variety of views) pertinent to the issue of who exactly speaks for muslims..
posted by Mossy at 2:29 AM on June 14, 2004

reklaw, I too think we need to have more varied membership here, but I feel compelled to point out that your correspondent is restating what I said in my earlier comment (but with nice crunchy vocabulary like "Madhab").

stav: "Remember, it's not important that we did torture these people. What's important is that we are not the kind of people who would torture these people."
posted by languagehat at 8:03 AM on June 14, 2004

Over at Brad Delong's site, Rick Pearlstein reports on hearing Sy Hersh at a recent talk :

"He said that after he broke Abu Ghraib people are coming out of the woodwork to tell him this stuff. He said he had seen all the Abu Ghraib pictures. He said, "You haven't begun to see evil..." then trailed off. He said, "horrible things done to children of women prisoners, as the cameras run."

He looked frightened."

posted by troutfishing at 9:12 AM on June 14, 2004

Trout: Thanks for reading and reposting that link for us...
posted by dash_slot- at 1:27 PM on June 14, 2004

dash_slot - oops. It must be monolingualism-driven age related mental decline.
posted by troutfishing at 8:05 AM on June 15, 2004

« Older Next - A patch for stupidity ?   |   a whack with the cluestick Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments