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Beheading of an American

12 May, 2004

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A video posted on a militant website appeared to show a group, affiliated with al-Qaeda, beheading an American civilian in Iraq, saying that the death was revenge for the treatment of Iraqi prisoners by US soldiers.

The video showed five men wearing headscarves and black ski masks, standing over a bound man in an orange jumpsuit, similar to a prisonerís uniform. "My name is Nick Berg, my fatherís name is Michael, my motherís name is Suzanne," the man said on the video. "I have a brother and sister, David and Sarah. I live in ... Philadelphia."

After reading a statement, the men were seen pulling the man to his side and putting a large knife to his neck. A scream sounded as the men cut his head off, shouting "Allahu Akbar". They then held the head out before the camera.

Berg, 26, of Philadelphia suburb West Chester, owned a communications equipment company, and went to Iraq to find work rebuilding antennas, his mother, Suzanne Berg, said on Tuesday. She said that Berg had been missing since April 9. "He had this idea that he could help rebuild the infrastructure," she said.

1. Is this reaction of revenge justified ?

2. Do you think Muslim scholars should give a clear verdict against such acts being carried out by few extremist minorities in muslim world?

Reader Comments:


This is really disgusting and unacceptable behavior. I think whoever has beheaded this American does not know the even ABC of Islam. No muslim could even think of doing such barbaric acts, and those muslims who support such actions of these extremists, should also take a basic course of Islam 101. I am really worried about these fanatics who are killing everyone whom they consider infidel.

As a muslim, I request you to please stop doing it and do not let your reaction exceed the limits of barbarism.

I know the pictures of American soldiers treating Iraqi Prisoners are inhumane, but not every American supports such actions neither we as Muslims should react in an inhumane manner. This utter non-sense has to stop somewhere and we must accept the fact that we need to study Islam carefuly to understand the true essence and spirit of Islam which is based on Peace and humanity. Wasalaam and peace to everyone!

Syed Ali Agha, Pakistan - 12 May, 2004

Who should be responsible?

I reiterate the previoois question posed for an earlier posting in different context.

1. Do you think such pictures would help "Muslims" to win the hearts of Iraqis ?

2. Do these pictures somehow reflect the overall morale of "Muslims" in Iraq ?

3. Who should be responsible for such inhumane acts of "Muslims" in Iraq ?

Chris, United Kingdom - 12 May, 2004

Law of Newton!

For every action, there is an opposite and equal reaction, what goes in Iraq comes back from Iraq also. Its not justified to kill innoncent people but when depression, hopelessness takes over peoples mind, this is the result...

Hashim, Pakistan - 12 May, 2004

politics concerning Irac

I am a mother of a national guardsman..An a Vietnam Veterans wife...I feel that this beheading and other atrosities..Are not the fault of our president or military..These peaople are so full of hate and they will not stop until we are all destroyed..Sadam is gone but we have so much more to do..I say stay the course and fight..semper fidelis..And they would not stop no matter what we do..Gooooo BUSH!!!

Katie DeMent, - 12 May, 2004

Enough is enough

When I see pictures of the beheading of Nick Berg and Daniel Peral, it makes me sick to my stomach. The same thing can be said of the pictures of Iraqi men and women being mistreated in our jails. I could care less what nationality these people are, what makes me disappointed beyond belief is the fact that these men and women were brothers and sisters to someone else out there. It brings me to tears to see how we treat one another because of our differences. The killing and mistreating of innocent people needs to stop. How can we take a human life and claim that it is for God? How can people sit and watch others being humiliated/violated without shedding a tear themselves? To all those people whose hearts are filled with anger and rage, please think about those who truly care what happens to others. There are so many americans out there who are outraged for what has happened to the Iraqi men and women in our custody. Not everyone supports this war going on right now. We tend to label a race without seeing things from their point of view, or hearing their side of the story. Regardless of nationality or religion, there is a mother out there mourning the loss of her son. There is a mother out there in tears for what has happened to her daughter. There is a family out there who no longer have a brother. There is a family out there who prays every day for the safe return of their child/sibling. Why can't we understand that a human life is the most precious thing out there, and that the only One justified for taking it, is the one who gave it in the first place.. God. Tonight I'll go home, hold my beautiful little girl in my arms, and tell her I love her. Can you imagine how the families of those murdered must feel? I agree with you Syed Ali Agha, peace to everyone.. love to all.

Hope, United Kingdom - 12 May, 2004


the religeon of Islam has become a hated and dispised faith if islamic peaple support this action then the world will have to stomp islam into nothing! as for me I have made up my mind we should begin the 9th and final CRUSADE and finally rid the world by any means nessisary all islamic,muslim and affiliated religeons

, United Kingdom - 12 May, 2004

Itis just another killing. A lot of people die in cross fire and we ignore because we are used to it. We know that people are beheaded in Saudi Arabia the same way but no cry for them. This death may be better than those killed in USA and Saddam's torture cells. The point is how can we stop this cycle of violence? The root problem lies in Israeli atrocities against Palestanians and Palestanian suicide against Israelis. Muslims expect the USA to play a fair role that is not happening. Instead the USA blindly follows Israel's right wing politics. Progressive people aroung the world need to form an Anti-Imperialist Front and wage a struggle against all kind of atrocities. Whoever slaughtered a prisnoner is a executioner. The USA, UK, Al Qaeda etc. all fall in the same category. This is an infight among capitalist thugs. They do not have any social agenda or program to mobilize people and the world is moving everyday into a more chaotic place.

Nanga Pir

Nanga Pir, Malaysia - 12 May, 2004

I particularly enjoyed the comments made by Syed Ali Agha of Pakistan. What beauty and majesty of feeling! I felt a great surge of love for my muslim brothers and sisters as I read it.
As an American, I am sickened by the actions of the guards toward their Iraqi prisoners. Although I supported the removal of Saddam, I would have never thought any of my countrymen could behave so dispicably. Man's inhumanity to his brother is an abomination before God. However, Syed's words give me hope. I will pray for peace and strive to have actions that will match my prayers. Christians, Jews, and Muslims must insist on sane behavior in the face of fanaticism. God's blessing on you.

Brigitte Tidwell, United Kingdom - 12 May, 2004

We should all start praying....

To our own gods. The ancient Cental American Mayan Civilization's calendar predicted that the world will end on December 20, 2012, At the rate we are going I question if the earth will make until then. Perhaps, prayers to your own god(s) will give our next generation a future they will look foward to living in and imnproving the lives of those less fortunate.

Joe, United Kingdom - 12 May, 2004


I dont think any muslim will condone such a barbaric act against anyone in any circumstances. People who carried out this act must be condemned by every walk of Islamic society. We must not let Islam hijacked by few lunatics who are bent on promoting their own agenda.

A.N. Baloch, Pakistan - 12 May, 2004

This news/video of beheading an American only come in the media to nuteralize the damage of priosoner's abuse. Someone is doing a good job for USA.

Sunny, Pakistan - 12 May, 2004

In The eyes of AnyOnes God

History has always taught us very vauable lessons and people today do not tend to heed to them. We tend to let religion and skin color taint our feelings and judgements , but all religions preach against this! I am an american and want to see all people flourish and be free. But freedom is not something that I think should be crammed down someones throut and forced. We as responsible americans should of learned this in the 1980's when russia decided that communism was the ideal goverment to invade and cramm this down the countries like poland ,yugoslavia , etc. I believe in god ,yes , of course! Is it your god ? I don't know. But I will tell you this, he is up there and afganistan was where russia had crossed the line as a superpower and showed the world that a superpower of the world can only go so far. Our god under different religious beliefs showed them that! America leaders should of learned that in Vietnam for that was supposed to be our superpower lesson. We apparently didn't learn this, or at least our leaders! Mr. bush , rumsfeld and coherts like cheney and henchmen. I don't always believe people can live in peace, but can't we as people of the huiman race see our simarlarities instead of always our differences whether it be religion , politics or goverment institutions of beliefs.

bruce, United Kingdom - 13 May, 2004

I think all religious leaders should stay out of the conflict for that is what osama bin laden wants. He is of the most devient and slippery kind that wants to have both islam and christianity pitted against each other and kill each other. He has taken the very lowest road by killing innocent people and wants to instigate horror as hitler did in world war 2. Have we not learned lessons of the past? President Bush is playing right into his hand and I feel is a bubbling idiot. I just hope and pray that most people of different religions can see these transparent people for who they are and act responsibly.

bruce, United Kingdom - 13 May, 2004

I do agree with sunny and we must try to look at this killing from another prespective as well. As far as "," is concerned, start the crusade and then u will know wht real jihad is. can u imagine each and every muslim in the world fighting with a desire to shaheed. I am against war but it is necessary to answer ppl like "," who just spread hatred with thier un controlled tounge.

Ali Malik, Pakistan - 13 May, 2004

In case anyone needed to be reminded why America and its allies are at war, all you need to do is watch the barbaric video of Nicholas Berg's beheading (the unedited version is easily available on The Net - if you dare).

Allow me to be a little nostalgic and say that I used to be a "Love and Peace" kind of guy...but, that was before 9/11.

It amazes me to see how quickly people have forgotten what kind of inhuman creatures we are dealing with. Berg's execution video brought the horror of 9-11 back to me and has reinforced my belief that the war on terrorism can only be won with unflinching, brute force.

I believe it's time that America and the rest of the world crank up the volume on this war. I believe more troops should be sent to Iraq and wherever else these cowards are hiding to eradicate this disease once and for all from the face of the earth. Half-measures and hand-wringing will only fuel the terrorists and those countries who want to destroy our way of life.

This is not something that will just go away by turning off the six o'clock news. Emboldened and encouraged by our lack of resolve and the bleeding-heart, self-righteous indignation over what happened at Abu Ghraib prison, it is very conceivable that the terrorists could strike in our own backyards. Perhaps a terrorist bomb on a quiet suburan street in Canada would make us understand what needs to be done and quickly.

Vince Simone, Canada - 13 May, 2004

For some life is more important and for some thier self respect has more value. I think sexual torture in Iraq is a much bigger issue then the killing of Mr. Berg. That torture was done to many many ppl and on the other hand its just one killing. Have ppl started believing that american blood is superior to the rest? India is killing muslims in the very same manner in kashmir for two decades and no one pays any attention to that, although UNO gave Kashmiris the right of self determination by a resolution more then 50 yrs ago. Aren't these double standards. If saddam lashed a few ppl, USA came running to free Iraq, even without UNO mandate and on the other hand 1000s of muslims are being killed and raped in kashmir for 2 decades and thats perfectly okay with the world freedom preachers despite the presence of UNO resolution. Why is that so.. why UNO resolutions have different implementation on various issues.

Ali Malik, Pakistan - 13 May, 2004

The first casualty of war is the truth and this one has been no exception. La Voz de Aztlan obtained a copy of the video showing the beheading of American Nick Berg of Philadelphia and immediately something very odd was readily apparent. Not only were the purported screams of Nick Berg not in synchrony with the decapitation but their was also a total lack of blood spurting out as his jugular and other veins and arteries were being cut.

We forwarded the video to Doctor Raul Castro Guevara, a surgeon and forensic expert in Mexico City for his expert opinion. He wrote back and commented, "No hay manera que el individuo en el video estaba vivo y su corazon funcionando cuando le estaban cortando la cabeza. En estos casos, el corazon impela sangre con gran presion, y se corta las arterias del pescuezo, hay una gran cantidad de sangre que salpica por todos lados. En mi opinion el video es un fraude."

Doctor Raul Castro Guevara is saying that there is no way that the individual in the video was alive and his heart pumping while his neck was being cut. The doctor adds that in these cases, while the heart is pumping, cutting a person's artery in the neck, would cause copious amounts of blood to spurt all over the immediate environment. He says that in his opinion the video is a fraud.

We hope that our readers view the video and see for themselves. We will provide a copy to any of our subscribers that have been supportive of our publication. Send a request to La Voz de Aztlan at Fake_Video@Aztlan.Net

If you are able to view the video, please pay close attention to the five so called Al queda terrorists making the political statement. Look at their height, weight, skin color and their mannerisms. Do you think these people are Arabs or Iraqis?

K, Pakistan - 13 May, 2004

Beheading is wrog so is the sexual assult on the prisioners.

I d,ont accept the revenge killing of civilians as some thing good in war zone and the people who do this arenot helping the true and super human religion of Islam which gives more to humanity then any religion of the World.But we must see that when Muslims are treated like cattles then the reaction will be bad too. we must respact the other human being to gain the respact. What happen to Muslims in Abu Garieb prison was such a shameful that even American are crying. When you drop 500,pound bomb on civilians and the relatives are unable to find their body parts then you can expect any thing frem these people. The blood of whites.brown and black is the same. When the World power will learn to respact all human being as equal then these brutalities will vanish. until that we will be seeing this kind of carnige in the World. We are seeing the killing tn Thiland, Afghnistan,Philistine and Kashmir. please try to see Muslims as human being so that trouble can be stpped early.
Raja Muhammad Habi Jalib

Raja .Muhammad habib Jalib, Canada - 13 May, 2004

Murder, killings, and B-52's

Maybe if the Americans had stayed home where they belong in the first place, and hadn't set out to control all the world's oil so their already filthy rich oil barons could become even filthier and richer than they already are, all this wouldn't be happening in the first place! Did anyone ever think of that?

And perhaps if the Yanks hadn't been blundering about like ninnies in the Middle East for the last fifty years supporting such monsters as the Shah of Iran with his SAVAK secret police, and the dispicable cowards who rule Kuwait, all so they could worship at the clay feet of the Great God Oil, and if they hadn't tried to commit Genodice against Iraq's babies and children via the barbaric so-called "Embargo", and if they hadn't bombed and rocketed whomever they wanted any old time they wanted, then maybe 9/11 wouldn't have happened either!

The Sons of the Prophet are now striking back! So they aren't being too civilized about it. Well, what's so civilized about dropping cluster bombs from B-52's onto the heads of innocent people, be they Muslims in the ME, or North Koreans in their savage attack on North Korea during the Korean War!

Those who live by the sword die by the sword.

I fully agree with the sentiments of the fine American lady above named "Hope". Is there "hope" for America? Not as long as she is ruled by the present Neo-Fascist Regime there isn't!

And as far as the racist comments by the coward who refused to sign his article are concerned, I have this to say. You want to take on and destroy all 1.2 billion Muslims in this world? Give your head a shake! You have half the American Army in Iraq right now, and they are losing to a handful of Iraqi Freedom Fighters! Even America's Torture Chambers aren't working in the bid to subjugating the freedom loving people of Ancient Mesopotamia! Maybe Adolph Bush should think about Gas Chambers! Good luck taking on the whole world of Islam!

Viva l'Iraq Libre!

Jim Delaplante

Jim Delaplante, Bulgaria - 13 May, 2004

My Replies to you All:

1. Mr. Ali Malik, same old rhetoric. Kashmir and Indian obssession. Sadaam didnt lashed few people, he killed people and gassed the kurds. Ali Malik you are product of true hatred. Even your typed words are rotten. For your information if US starts Crusade, it will take 4 or 5 bombs to wipe all islamic world. Dont you agree? Americans are tolerant people, tell me how many muslims were killed in USA after 9-11? How many mosques were attacked in USA after 9-11? Let me answer that: NONE. After 9-11 Christians were killed and churches were attacked in Pakistan? Are Pakistani Christians US citizens :)
Behave like a reasonable human being and let crazies play with your mind.
2. Vince Simone, Canada: Dont forget Wall Street Journal's reporter Danny Perl was beheaded before Iraqi war prisoner scandal. If there was no scandal these animals would make another excuse.
3. Bruce, buddy you forgot genocide in Sudan. Where Sudanese islamic government has killed more than 2 million Christians during last 20 years. Hey, you also forgot to mention 9-11 and forgot who flew those plains into those towers.
4. Nanga Pir, Thank you maybe US should use atomic bombs to wipe out arabs. It would be just another killing. You are bigger moron than Bush :)
5. Agh Sahib, I agree with you partially, but my naive friend Al Qaeeda people are more islamic than you are. According to Osama Bin Laden, during Taliban era Afghanistan was just like living in 7 century Arabia and he encouraged muslims to migrate to Afghanistan. Guess you missed that boat.

Sammy Jabareen, Canada - 13 May, 2004

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