Monday, September 06, 2004

Kidnapping Fatwa

According to the “crawl” on the Fox News Channel last night, which I was watching to get an update on Tropical Storm Frances, a group of terrorists (oh, sorry: the L.A. Daily News calls them a “militant group”; which identifies as the “Black Banners Brigade of the Secret Islamic Army”) has asked for a fatwa (a ruling on a point of Islamic law issued by an Islamic scholar) as to whether the kidnapping of foreign hostages assisting the American forces in Iraq is permitted. A spokesman for the Association of Muslim Scholars is reported to have said that its clerics will consider issuing a fatwa, saying the issue was "not easy" and needs "profound study."

Disobeying a fatwa, the highest form of decree in Islamic law, can result in execution (and how appropriate if that were to be by being beheaded, as that’s what has been happening to many of those taken hostage) and damnation. At least 102 foreigners have been abducted since April; twenty-eight have been executed. Now, apparently, a fatwa against kidnapping is going to be issued, according to a report in the News-Telegraph.

Well, duh. Here’s what the “prophet” Jesus said. (For Muslims, our Lord Jesus, who was not the divine Son of God, is one of the most important prophets, second only to Mohammed.) “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you. If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do unto others as you would have them do to you. (But maybe these words of his didn’t make it into the Koran?)

What about the revelation of the nature of God given to Moses, who is also great among the prophets acknowledged by the Muslims? As Moses was permitted to behold God, he heard God say of Himself, “The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children's children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.” Does anyone really need to ask for an official decree as to whether a deity who declares himself to be “merciful and gracious” or “longsuffering” or “abundant in goodness and truth” would allow the kidnapping of someone? (Much less the execution of a hostage…)

I hope that the reports that the leading clerics will issue a fatwa against such kidnappings and executions are correct. I’m not encouraged by one report which suggests that the fatwa will be issued so as to remove the “pretext” for military action by U.S. and Iraqi forces against those who have taken refuge in mosques in Latifiya and Fallujah while fighting against the Iraqi government.