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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:

Tragic

This beheading is one more barbaric act committed by criminals with no sense of human decency. However, Iraq is occupied and the US/Coalition forces have caused a lot of misery and tragedy on the Iraq people. The rapes of men and women by US forces is making the situation in Iraq very instable. I hope we can change this situation by ending the occupation and bringing the UNO back into business in the Middle East. Love from Berlin!

Attila Khan, Georgia - 13 May, 2004

Muslims must speak out

I am heartened to read the comments of those Muslims who speak out against this fanatical act of barbarism. I believe that peace can only be achieved when right thinking Muslims speak out publicly against the terrorists who claim to be religious, but who are actually an organized group of psychopaths whose true goal is to create complete chaos in civilized societies.

lisa, United Kingdom - 13 May, 2004

Beheading prooves Terrorist are BARBARIC!

If I hear one more word about those damn prisoner photographs, I am going to get sick. Just because Muslim men can't handle woman, expecially western woman looking at them naked you have to cut someone's head off with a dull knife. COWARD's. The only jihad you will ever know is the one we have only just started to unleash on you in Iraq. You want jihad...you got it!

Margaret, USA, Pakistan - 13 May, 2004

To "Ali Malik, Pakistan ".. you are so ignorant and have your head buried so far in the sand. To say "sexual torture in Iraq is a much bigger issue then the killing of Mr. Berg." you have to be one of the berbaric terroist yourself! Those prisoners (and believe me I do not codone prisoner abuse) were murderers , torcherers, and Sadam Henchmen, in kother words VERY bad MEN!! Mr. Berg was an innocent young man, with a loving heart, whom had gone to Iraq to help rebuild the country! Explain tyour comments to the family of Nick Berg, or david Pearl, or the thousands that perisished on 9/11. THERE IS NO COMPARISION!

To "Sunny, Pakistan", you also are ignorant. This act of barabrism is not a result of the prison abuse but is an ideology for the MONSTERISTIC extrimist. To think that this act was a media coverup, you must be the MOST stupidist person on the pace of this earth (besides thaoe barbaric terrorrist)! THIS IS REAL LIFE. GET REAL!

There will be many more terrorist acts in the upcoming months to influence the USA elections and we MUST maintain our integrity! This war is a fight against Good vs. Evil. Civilization vs. barbarism! THEY (the terrorist and radical religious freaks) ARE WORSE THAN ANIMALS WHO do not even have the courage to reveal their faces when butchering an "innocent" human being! WHAT COWARDS and devils!!

Below is an except from an article:

"May. 12, 2004 12:00 AM

It did not take long for events to put the ghastly photos of prisoner abuse in Abu Ghraib prison into some perspective.

Can we expect, any time soon, the leaders of al-Qaida organizing investigations into the horrible murder of American businessman Nick Berg? The answer is so self-evident as to render the question absurd.

Conscienceless barbarians do not give a second thought to murder.

Do not count on many howls of outrage from the terrorist-sympathizing Arab media over the videotaped beheading of Berg.

And as there is no such thing as an opposition group among killers, do not expect any calls for their leaders to step down as a result. Only free societies act to correct their missteps.

If we needed further evidence of the depravity of the terrorists who have flooded into Iraq since the ouster of Saddam Hussein - and we did not - the ghoulish murder of Berg in Baghdad should settle the issue.

No one fears the success of the U.S.-led mission to establish a free Iraq more than does al-Qaida. Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the top henchman of Osama bin Laden, who may have been Berg's murderer, is in Iraq for a reason. No country, no organization, no community fears the freedoms of representative democracy like the terrorists.

The crimes of terrorists escalate in proportion to their dread that their descent into nihilism might fail. And, despite the serious setbacks of recent days and weeks, there remains much for them to fear.

The abuses perpetrated by American military police and others at Abu Ghraib prison will continue on course through investigation and prosecution.

Opportunists like radical cleric Muqtada al-Sadr will be neutralized. Saddam and his Baathists like Ali Hassan al-Majid - the infamous "Chemical Ali," who used Saddam's cache of poisons to kill Kurdish Iraqis in the 1980s - will be tried for their crimes by Iraqis. And the process toward Iraqi sovereignty will continue as scheduled.

On Capitol Hill and elsewhere, Americans will continue to look into the reasons behind the discouraging, cruel abuses perpetrated against Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib.

The terrorists who perpetrated the mass murders of Sept. 11, 2001, are fools to pretend their horrid butchery of Nick Berg was committed on behalf of the humiliated prisoners of Abu Ghraib.

They kill because murder and mayhem are the only responses they have to the prospect of the freedoms they so abhor.
"

Chris, United Kingdom - 13 May, 2004

God help all mankind! Death, Torture and abuse of any kind by anyone is totally wrong.War is wrong, so has other evil deeds like racism,discrimination, aparthied,colonialism, invasion,slavery,not to mention the huge gap between the rich and the poor in this one world we all possess and owns.Extreme hunger,aids claiming millions lives everyday, exreeme poverty and the rest! But hatred breeds violence, and the just course of the war in iraq will loose its meaning. Mankind stand up and reason right!We all stand to loose if we mismanage our world and the great gift humanity possesses. What goes around comes around, it is about bloody time sanity prevails in this world ........!

alex, Aruba - 13 May, 2004

This war tears at my heart. Before 9/11 I admired Islamic people and their commitment to their faith and way of life. I know and have known quite a few muslims in my short life and can honestly say that they are some of the best people I have met. But what strikes me is that even among those I would consider my friends, people living here in the United States admittedly making a better living here than in their own countries, they still have sympathy for the Jihadis. If we as humans want to survive we must stop these idiotic modes of behavior. I know that there are good hearted, moderate muslims in the world and I call upon them as fellow men and women to challenge extremism in every quarter because to let this ruin your societies and consequentially the world with pain and death
has nothing to do with Islam(peace). To my fellow Americans and westerners in general I believe we should support islamic organizations that stand against Jihadi extremism. Just because someone is of your group doesn't mean they are on your side.

Peace to all

joe, United Kingdom - 13 May, 2004

Shame but not surprising

I condemn the murder of Mr.Nick Berg in the strongest possible terms. This horrific and unjustified act carried out by Wahabbi Extremists is no surprise at all. They did slaughter the entire family of Imam Hussein (AS) including a six month old baby in Karbala 1400 years ago. Imam Hussein(AS) was the loveliest grandson of Prophet Mohamed whose saying always praised him to the extent of calling him HE IS TO ME AND I FROM TO HIM. The barbaric slaughter of Mr.Nick Berg which has pained me severely reminds me the nature of these Extremist Wahabbis (Al-Qaeda group)and their Saudi sponsored ideology which knows no humanity or freedom only hatred of other faiths and human beings.

Mohamed Taki, Taiwan, Province Of China - 14 May, 2004

Beheading of an American

I have seen and heard much about all this killing, hatred for the US and coalition force. But is this act justified, and being liberal from the act of saddan hussin, you should be happy, of course the present goverment in iraq is not right in all the policy all the times, but it take time to create a formula that can suits all.

I can't said that all the muslims are bad, there are bound to have some bad eggs within the community. All countries are alike, It take trust and believe, mutual understanding to build up a nations between different religions and races.

I believe that the scandals at the prison abuse has highlighted some of the problems of the adminstation, but have u spared a though that there are similar problems all over the places, irregardless of where you are in.

Interm government personnel are being killed or assinated, branded as traitors and agents of the aggressors in Iraq. But these are the one that has the will and determination to tranforms the country, what all these extremist are killing are the hope of the modern iraq.

Religious leader has a part to play too, cause they are the one that teach the future gernerations, if they preach hatred, their followers will follow then. We have to control these factors as well, let the generation understand that hatred will created more hatred for the society, wehas seen so many deads, after the liberations of Iraqs. This has to stop somewhere. It started with you and me now.

Adminstrative controls should take noticed of the implmenting policy in the countries concern and make sure that policies will benefits the nations as a whole.

Right now, for the current period, the immediate taste is to set up the Army, Police and Secret services to penerate the bad elements and takes them out before they destroy the nations furthers. Some action has to be taken to prevent the roots from growing further.

Some may deem it as a violation of human rights, to spy on other, arrest and detensions. But on the other hands, look at the good of such policy, u can cut down violence from growing and create a stability government.

Not all are bad, and Killing of innocents is not justified, neither does islam preach that killing of innocents of infidals will make you a better person.

All those who do evils and misdeed will be punished at a later stage in lifes, just like the hunts for the Nazis criminal who killed and butchered the millions of people. They be brough to justics, it a matter of time.

I hope that we can have a clear though now on how we can create a better places to lived in. I believe that the adminstrative powers will be handled ove in due course, but with the present fightings, it will prolong the handovers. Ask yourselfs can you all build all the infrastructured yrself without helps? Do you have the knowhows?.

These people are here to help and make the place a better place to lived in and these who called them self freedom fighter destroy the hopes of the ordinary civillians by destroying infrastructures, piping lines.

What they have done is not logical, here they preach that they wanted a good place to lived in, security, jobs, stability, while on the other hand, thay destroy what they can lay their hands on.

It this justify?. We will let the people out there answer this question.

Wilsonicolas, United Arab Emirates - 14 May, 2004

America is paying for unjut killings of Millions and millions of poor people worldwide

This revenge is classified as unlawful and Unislamic in Islamic law. In islam killing of civilians is forbidden. But i think we should more be focusing on America and Britains atrocities in Iraq. This man-slaughtering will only end if they get the hell out of Muslim world. and leave us Muslims alone. I mean they bomb our countries, kill our people without any regard to human rights showing no remorse whatsoever, then they expect us the victims of this unlawful terrorism to welcome them with open arms. They should learn that an end will only come if they learn that Muslims are humans too. I find this video a propaganda and unauthentic, just the way they view photos of Iraqi people being abused by British and American troops as unauthentic and ungenuine. Muslim scholars need to come out and give proper islamic guidance to Msulims being tortured by Americans in Muslim countries... and Maybe give a lesson or two of mortality and how to act in civilised and human manner to Americans and brits.... They have created this mess and they'll pay for spreading and promoting terrorism in third world countries... They are evil and sick freaks

saahd Rehman, United Arab Emirates - 14 May, 2004

blah blah blah

i think the USA needs to close the door to all formsa of life and stop taking in so many when the ones that lived here can barley make a wage. you have people here from other countrys working tax free. I dont know ,but it sounds like B.S.. i say shut down all the weapons incenerators and pack all that stuff on planes and drop it on the whole country and see how long it glows. there all grouping up over here and i fell its going to be a full fledge war here in the states,,,,and what a war it will be......a treat the prisoners like murders thats what they would be if not there all murders. and how many gods and religions do we need this is become a made house world there is a higher power and a lower power if it was god he would already do something so no one knows...do the

kakodamon, United Kingdom - 14 May, 2004

Beheading of an American

This is absolutely disgusting period.

kk, Canada - 14 May, 2004

I have not watched the video you guys are discussing here. Still, Whomever did this are can not be even considered as humans. Religions are only for humans. So, no question of what they have done. No religion in this world say, one has right to kill others. But one group uses Religion Muslim as a cover. One uses Christianity as cover. I donot see any difference between the killing being discussed here as well the abuse in the prision. I live USA and to my experience 99.9% Americans(politicians are not included) are really good. They are very innocent and their whole world is USA only. They have no clude about what the rest of the world is facing. That is a drawback. When UN is opposing the war, why the hell these politicians are making the decision to go for war at the first place. Even now, if Bush wins again, certainly there will be one more country. Hope Americans will start reading world news apart from the regualr CNN ABC etc. Let us hope Peace will be there one day in this world.

Ram, Hungary - 15 May, 2004

Sammy from canada.... where are all of the canadians stopping all of the carnage in the world, when was it ever the role of the untied states to stop all the suffering in the world . I as an american taxpayer gives money through my tax dollars to these suffering countrys. I don't vote to do this we as a country just do this out our giving nature. But with that we are the biggest arm dealer in the world and we create our own monstersin different rogue countries. But sammy from canada, next time your giving out history lessons maybe you ought to look at your own countries contributions and your own. It is real easy to sit on the sidelines and critisze while you do nothing. America has been known through history to help out so many countries to have them turn around and turn on them. I don't agree with us invadeing iraq under false circumstances and to this day will never! I agree with the invasion of afganistan because of lowlife people like alquada teaching children the evil seed of hatred and killing. This is what the nazis and the emperor of japan did in world war two. And I'm sure that is probably what is happening in your worrisome country of sudan. And so should america also send our soldiers over there too? While you sit there with your bullhorn and no risk. People do die , freedom is not free, and if you do not know that study some american history in the reveloutionary war, and yes if it wasn't for france we might not of won our freedom. When you don't put yourself forth you don'r risk anything! We should't be in Iraq, but now that the idiot bush and cronies got us there we must try to help them or pull out. I hope the country ends up better than it was before. But i feel we are breeding more religious fanatics than anything. now going to africa and quelling the problems in africa.... well we are already there training soldiers dummy what the hell is canada doing ? offering them medicanal pot to smoke maybe huh my friend.

bruce, United Kingdom - 15 May, 2004

Analysis of VDO

I have seen that video and as a media professional analyzed it very thoroughly ...

The cameraman seems to be professional as he maintained "object in center" and just go bazzark at the right moment ... blurred the image ... secondly .. It is very much against the way we muslims do slaughter ... theirdly .. it is forbidden to say Allah hu Akbar when cutting a Haram - Mushrik (not leagly to slaughter) living being.
and at last ... the Arabic accent is not of ANY native Arab ...

Also it is in news that this guy was under detention of Iraqi police and ... FBI interrogated him 3 times .. (its on every western TV channel) ... later this guy was handed over and assasinated by Mossad agents who are fluent in Arabic .. but are not the native speakers

Hope it will help clarifying many minds.

As for the questions

1. Is this reaction of revenge justified ?
..... It is NOT a revenge ... it is an "act of war" .. just like the carpet bombing and killings of several innocent muslims in Iraq, Afghanistan & Palestine.

2. Do you think Muslim scholars should give a clear verdict against such acts being carried out by few extremist minorities in muslim world?
.... There is NO evidence that this act was done by any muslim ... secondly Islam clarifies when and how to vow revenge act ...


Hasan Zuberi, Pakistan - 15 May, 2004

Beheading and Arab customs od death penalty.

There is another point to beheading in Arab world. As a Lawyer, i would like to tell you that in most of the Arab countries , the beheading means death penalty. So when they kill some bady then they kill them by beheading instead of shooting. The Saudi Arabia used same method ,when the court sentence the person to death penalty. They are usually beheaded. So beheading is same as the US and westrencountries shoot some bady. The killing is wrong whether it is done by beheading, bombing or using inhuman metheds to kill the prisoners as Abu Garieb prison.I d,ont see much difference by beheading or shooting a person, both lose there life.When the life ends,it is always a painful for the person being killed and some time it is more painful bleading.The killings now-a-days are just a joke for some nations. We have seen 500 pounds bombs dropped in the public places in Falluja and other ares, where the parents and family members were not able to find evev a piece of flush of a body of their relatives. What will you tell them. There are thousands of people killed and every day are getting killed daily in Afganistan and other areas. Did any bady talk about their misery, no , because those are Muslims and are not considered human being. Why they did not consider the Geneva conventions for hundred of Pakistanis,Arab,
and Afghans. The reason is simple, they are not considerd human being. When you treat others like human being then they will treat you the same. Try to listen the voices of Kashmirie,Afgan, Iraqi,Phalistin,muslims.may be one day the situation will change and the human being treat others like their own family members.Please d,ont think that I am favouring the beheading, it is crime same as the US killings,same as Indian killings in Kashmir.

Raja"Muhammad Habib Jalib

Raja Muhammad Habib Jalib, Canada - 15 May, 2004

Our aim in life is to live in accordance to the ways of our prophet Muhammed (SAW). Our nabi would never do something like this.Never would he harm the innocent,never would he harm the improsined so much so that the prisoners ate first then they capturs. People have atrayed from the the sunnah. For evey evil Rasoolullah (Saw) has given an answer so if in doubt jist turn to the sunnah and u will find an answer

, Slovenia - 16 May, 2004

Political Scapegoat !!

After listening to various comments from the media about
late Nick's detention by the
authorities and abduction by
militants,eventually the news
and video of his beheading.It
makes me strongly wonder if
he was made a Scapegoat by the very people responsible for the present ills of Iraq.

Khalid Rahim, Canada - 16 May, 2004

dear God how do we stop those monsters

I saw the video and I can not tell you how horrified I was at what I saw, I cried at how could these animals call their act justified, my heart goes out to the family and what Mr. Berg was going through at that time. I myself are a moderate moslem I strongly believe in god and I do not know why god did not turn them into stone is beyond me. I feel so much pain and shame as to how those animals could trash god's name in the way they do. No god or prophet would accept such a brutality, how can you slaughter a human being how and why don't decent moslems protest such a barbaric act because if they dont protest and publicly condemn this crime than how can I tell my children that I'am, we are muslims how I am ashmed. Taken pictures of naked man is totally different than beheading one besides those naked men are a few of the animals we saw beheading a human being. I'm sorry but I can not call those people, human beings. By the way have you noticed that the harshest methods of punishments are used by muslim nations. Chopping hands for stealing, stoning to death, beheading, and the list goes on and on. I'm glad I do not live in one of those nations. THANK GOD

dana, Canada - 16 May, 2004

shock and outrage

Islam means peace, and anyone who is educated enough and who has studied the Islamic history knows better that beheading anyone is forbidon therefore, those hooded cowards are no followers of Islam they might use Islam to commit horrofic crimes and punishments but the are not accepted by any true muslim. While I am aware of the war in Iraq and of people's misery, this act in no way justifies what those bastards are doing. We must speak out against such a barbaric acts in the name of muslims, after all it is our name and religion they are draging through the mud. Let us think of our children remember not all of us live in the east. Let our children grow up with pride of being true believers of Islam. If you are saying well the Americans are killing the Iraqis so it is okay it is revenge than in that case you are no better than they are. My heart breaks for such a young life to have ended with such a brutality it makes me sick to my stomach. May he rest in peace and my those cowards burn in hell and in this world. If those men are so brave why are they covering their faces like the cowards they are. Any decent muslim should speak out and say do not commit murder in our name we are ashamed of you this act is not accepted by god nor should it be accepted by you muslims out there. It is up to you how you want Islam to be portrayed.RIP Nick Berg you are in a better place than we are.

diane, Canada - 16 May, 2004

Be-heading

I think the beheading of the person was not in good islamic spirit,rather illegal and cowardly, just like scalping the native americans did to white settlers.However,what i fail to understand is ,when the person was captured and his release was in return for the prisoners in abu gharaib prison camp,why did the officials refuse?Did they think that the terrorists were bluffing?espacially at this point.It is a simple case of "they killed our boy", and all this hue and cry.Typical Amercian thinking, just like when the white amercian fore fathers were killing, raping, maiming the native amrican people and one cowboy got killed it was a tragedy.But the killing of thousands was "law".Dont blame this on a few soilders and think USA can be absolved from blame, this is systamatic american policy, if they were only a few soilders who did this , then how come there are complaints of human rights coming from afganistan, guantanamo as well?I read about a young man who has got back from guantanmo recently , now he cannot even speak!I used to wonder what could have happened, now after seeing the pictures of the american prison camp i realise.the be-heading was wrong , he should have been given the same treatment that the prisoners in the abu ghairaab were subjected to........In my eyes at least it is only fair

Ali qaiser, Pakistan - 17 May, 2004

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