- All human beings must give their condolences to the family
of Nick Berg who was ignominously beheaded.
- This is a heinous and brutal crime, and anyone who would
do this is a sinner, an animal, a brute; if captured and proven guilty,
those who perpetrated this crime should be punished to the full extent
of the law.
- If it was Muslims in Iraq, or wherever, because we actually
don't know if he was beheaded in Iraq or elsewhere, we as Muslims condemn
such behaviour by whoever did it. Mr. Berg, from my understanding, was
a person who was working on communications towers for the good of the Iraqi
people; he was not a combatant or a mercenary who might have killed or
- Islam makes clear, you do not kill innocent people. The
Qur'an states, "To kill one innocent man or woman is to kill all of
humanity; to save one human is to save all of humanity."
- I say, "If it was Muslims" because there are
many other players in Iraq at this time, and we can't be sure it was Muslims
or Arabs. There are elements of the slaying that make it appear it may
not have been Muslims. When Muslims execute a person, it must be after
a proper trial, with credible witnesses, and the person who does the execution
must say a prayer for the person being killed and to ask forgiveness for
doing the killing. None of this was done. Also, a proper way of killing
in this situation is to cut the throat in one swoop, not to hack at a person's
- Muslims do not often cut off the head, but do execute
by law, but not by revenge as in this case, though some Middle Easterners
may do it by culture and tradition (that is still not allowed in Islam)
I say this because it may have been Muslims in Iraq who were taking revenge
for the torture at Abu Ghraib as was alleged in the tape, but if it was,
then they were acting as part of the culture of the middle east and not
as Muslims. There is a long tradition, practiced by the Arabs (Muslims
and Christians) and Jews of revenge for a misdeed against one's family
or people; but this is against Islamic law.
- There is another strange matter to this situation that
troubles me. Why was Mr. Berg picked up by coalition forces and imprisoned,
so much so that his family sued Donald Rumsfeld for his release and information
on him. The military says it released him, but suddenly then, he disappeared
because when people went to see him at the hotel he was allegedly registered
at, he wasn't there and no one there knew of him. Very strange point number
two is, why was Mr. Berg in an American issued orange jump suit--the kind
Americans put prisoners in, when he was photographed and killed? The Iraqis
or other Arabs would have had him in Arab clothing so as not to draw suspicion
to him of his being a prisoner--not an orange jump suit. Also, the way
the men were standing, and their size, as a person experienced in the Middle
East, most Arabs don't stand that way and most Iraqis are not that tall
- the men stand more like Westerners of some sort, or even Israelis, but
not like Arabs or Iraqis.
- As to the Arabic, there are many Americans and Israelis
who speak excellent Arabic. But, no Muslim would do that awkward "Allahu
Ahkbar" --it was strained, it was not a natural voicing of that phrase,
"God is great." I don't know who did this heinous crime, and
it could have been bad Muslims or Arabs, but I am now wondering more and
more who actually did it because of so many strange things surrounding
this heinous deed. But, it may also be that this was perpetrated by Israeli
agents, who have been operating in Iraq since the American invasion and
have been advisors and combatants for Blackwater, and for the U.S. military,
especially in interrogation techniques. I do not know if it was Israelis,
but I do remember in the early 1980s when the Mossad of Israel shot Israel's
own ambassador to London to help justify the Israeli invasion of Lebanon.
You may recall the general who led the brutal assault was none other than
Ariel Sharon; the present brutal prime minister of Israel.
- We must also ask the question intelligence agencies use,
"Who would most benefit from this act?" In this case, if not
Israel, then Bush and America to take the heat off of America for the brutality
of the torture in Iraq and Guantanamo. This terrible act also took a lot
of pressure off the U.S. Thus, it is also possible, since the killers were
hooded, and thus we can't know who they were, that it could have been American
counter-insurgency agents, CIA or mercenaries who did this heinous at a
time when the glare of anger toward the U.S. was growing in the world.
I don't know that this is true, but having worked in intelligence situations,
I know it has been done in the past.
- Remember, also that the Nazis blew up the Bundestag to
blame it on the Jews and others who they wanted to punish. America also
used the boiler explosion on the U.S.S. Maine as a pretext for the Spanish
American War by blaming it on Spain (even though it our intelligence knew
it was simply a result of the boiler blowing up).
- We pushed into Viet Nam after our false report of the
attack on one of our ships in the Bay of Tonkin. Our nation has not always
been lilly-white in matters of truth when we wanted to take an action--we
found ways to justify matters, or to lie to our advantage. We even allowed
our own navy men to be killed on the U.S.S. Liberty in order to allow the
Israelis freedom to do a sneak attack on Egypt --not allowing our own airplanes
to go to the rescue of the Liberty when Israeli planes and torpedo boats
were attacking it. To this day, the U.S. government has not allowed the
Liberty case to be opened, or the men to be compensated, even though Admirals
and others have asked for an open naval inquiry as to what happened and
why President Johnson or someone in the Pentagon called back American planes
that were going to the rescue of the Liberty.
- Israel has never been reprimanded for the attack, though
clearly the ship had American flags, gave American signals and did not
look like any Egyptian or Arab vessels. Unfortunately, our hands have been
dirty before; it is possible they have dirtied themselves again for the
sake of Bush's policies in the "war on terror"--and what better
way than to turn the spotlight on the victims and make them "terrorists"
through such an act. There are just too many questions here, to many odd
things about this savage act.
- With all these possibilities, and with the dirty politics
and lies that have been told by so many in the world, the Americans, the
Israelis, Al Qa'ida, angry Iraqis, just who did this is unclear. As I said,
as a Muslim leader, I condemn this act by whoever did it; if it was an
alleged "Muslim", then they are condemned to hell; but it may
have been others from some other country who did it in order to put blame
on the Muslims of Iraq. Remember also, many Israelis speak Arabic as well
as Arabs themselves--so we can't take the Arabic on the tape as being from
Arabs. We also know that some of the mercenaries and American military
speak Arabic. The problem is that the criminals who killed Nick Berg were
hooded, so we can't truly know who did this dirty deed.
- At this point, we don't know who did this; nor do we
know that the alleged Al Zarkawi's website is actually put forth by Al
Zarkawi or any of his colleagues. This is all very murky and none of us
will know for some time.
- Sadly, President Bush said, "We'll hunt these people
down." The problem is that he doesn't know who did it and it is my
hope that he will not punish innocent people because we don't know, and
may never know if this heinous act was perpetrated by Arabs, Muslims, Israelis
or American counter-insurgency operatives or even mercenaries who work
for Halliburton, Brown & Root or Bechtel or Blackwater Security.
- I think we have to keep an open mind on exactly who did
this; because, as I said earlier, we don't really know because there are
so many angles to this deed and the people it hurts most are the family
of Nick Berg, but America and Israel benefit from this the most because
it makes the Arabs and Muslims (if they are blamed for it) look like savages
and brutes. If these were Arabs or Muslims, then these men are brutes and
should be punished if they can be captured and proven guilty of this terrible
- We all pray to God that the killers will be found and
brought to justice and proper punishment for this inhuman, murderous deed.
- Prof. Sam Hamod is the former Director of The Islamic
Centre of Washington, DC; editor of 3rd World News (DC); he was born and
raised in Gary, Indiana; he may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org