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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 prisoner’s uniform. "My name is Nick Berg, my father’s name is Michael, my mother’s 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:


At times, I can't resist but to consider these all things, including torture of Iraqi prisoners as absolutely fake and staged.


1. The biggest beneficial of showing American soldiers torturing Iraqi Prisoners .... is American Army. Imagine the amount of shock it has spread among all those who want to rebel American brutality and occupation. After seeing these images, they may think twice before coming out against Americans now.

2. The timing of Berg video just neutralized the little damage which may have caused to the P.R. of American soldiers worldwide. But who the hell cares in America about it ?

3. Americans do get the opportunity to tell the world that we 'll bring all the military personnel, including the Defence secretary infront of a commission and panel of Congressmen and Senators for cross questioning. This will make America look good in the world, on how things are free and how much they believe in Democracy.

Conclusion : At the end of the day, Rumsfeld Stays in office, no senior person gets fired or have court martial in the military. Only Few junior officers and interrogators go home and America beats the drum of "Justice being done" in all over world. Imagine, how can they even think of doing Justice ??

Nothing changes, America remains the only occupying force in Iraq, they use the oil for the their benefit. They will successfuly install a puppet government in Iraq. They get a permanent base for their military and move all their staff from Saudi Arabia to Baghdad and then invade Saudia in future to repeat the same.

For me if they make Iraq like Japan, then I am happy!

S, Pakistan - 17 May, 2004

To all Americans

Nobody in their right mind would condone this or any kind of barbaric and senseless murder. No religion preaches such hatred. If we all start avenging all of each other's crimes and sins, it will never end. History proves it will never end because humankind is self destructive. The rich nations want to keep all the wealth, technology, knowledge and power for themselves and not share it at all which seems to be the sensible thing to do, except you should never underestimate the desperation of poor and under priveledged people and nations. Humankind will never learn period. Really disgusting times.

Na, Pakistan - 17 May, 2004

Chris: U called killers men of Saddam. wow u are ahead of intelligence agencies to recognize those guys!! how did u do that man, only cuz its easy to blame muslim for such an act. Every one agrees at once if u blame a muslim. How are u so sure that those were mulims who carried out the killing of Mr Berg. There are many around who took so much benifit from that killing in thier politics. People have reached the conclusion without any evidence. Mr Berg was caught by american fores, handed over to police, freed and caught and asked for exchange of prisoners and then killed. Is the story that simple!! NOT AT ALL.
Miss Sammay: Kashmir is an old issue for u. so is it alright to forget those killed and are being murdered daily just because it is an old issue. Is justified to say that kashmiris are being slaughtered for 50 yrs so they are used to it, let that happpen to them. U must be out of ur mind to suggest that. Well according to you it will take americans 4 to 5 days to wipe muslims!! how madam? I think u need to read about the uprising in Iraq the situation amercan forces are facing. And ur comments only spread hatred. rem wht happened to USSR in afghanistan.. and USA in Vaitnam.....arms don win wars.

Ali Malik, Pakistan - 18 May, 2004

we must investigate beheading.

It is hard to believe any thing US government said. please read the Newyorker magzie and you will see what Syemor Harish is writing about rhe defense department leadership. Mr Berg was under US and Iraqui custody for a while and may be,he was sacrificed for Donald Rumsfield.The rape and tortue is nothing new,the Pakistani and Afghanies have been facing this from more then one year but nobady listen to them. We are seeing killings in Gaza ,the destraktion of houses and attack on civilians, we are seeing civilians killed in Karbala and Najaf, we have seen the killings of young muslims in the Mosque while praying in Thiland by Thai army, we have seen last week dozens of Kashmirie civilians killed in Indian held Kashmir by INdian army. We have seen civilians killed daily in Iraq by US bombs, we have seen daily killings in Chehania.Then I must ask these countries, is your voice please let me know.
Raja M.Habib Jalib

Raja HabibJalib, Canada - 18 May, 2004


Thay what it was.
Berg had Alquaida sympathy
He was last in American hands- No blood spurting/Executioners were not arabs/ flown to US in military plane/parents refused access to body initially etc...
He was killed by the americans/mossad and used to counter the shock of Abu Gharaib torture

Ymac, Pakistan - 18 May, 2004

Questions of Chris

Hi Chris;
I don't blame you for these questions coming to your mind. Average American knows and thinks what his captors i.e. US Government, and govt controlled (economically, not by force) and CIA infested American media wants them to think.
My question as Muslim to you is why do you say those murderers were Muslims, when their accent is neither Iraqee, and never in the Islamic history was a prisoner like Nick slaughtered. It is prohibited. I want you to think with an open mind, not easy to do but please try.
Who trained Osama bin Laden?
Who paid him millions of dollars?
How many Muslim scholars, religious, doctors, lawyers etc., have been killed by him and his chronies? One person Syed Baqir-al Hakeem alone is equal to 10,000 university professors.
How many Muslims were killed by him in Afghanistan alone? Over a million inthat country alone.
Don't you think when these CIA trained and students of virtually CIA mutilated Isalm killed 1500 scholars each time the US president or pope denounced their actions or put the blame on actuall tyrants?
Responsibility should lie with those who shed the blood of innocent Afghans in 80s, or those who supplied them with money and weapons. I do not want to make it too long. But it is not Islamic practice, nor condoned by Islam, nor does it reflect the Iraqee mentality and prctices, except those who were trained and given power like Saddam, who became the president of Iraq in some countries' embassy in Lebnon. He was supplied and supplies replenished by some world powers to kill Kurdish Muslims with in amost inhuman methods. Kurdish community in Canada can give you the pictures of Halabche etc.

Syed Haider, Pakistan - 18 May, 2004

why so much hate

when i seen the beheading of this man. i could not sleep and all i did was cry.this worse the worse nightmare a 32 year old women could have.sure are troop did wrong.but we never ever have beheading anyone.

Debbie, United Kingdom - 18 May, 2004

May he rest in peace

I watched the beaheading of Mr. Nick Berg (god rest his soul) and I was apalled. I am a very devote Muslim, but after I viewed that particular video my beliefs have changed. I believe in Islam and its teachings but these culprits are attempting to use the Lord's name in vain. They wish us to believe that this is God's will and they are carrying out his wishes. As a Muslim I denounce those individuals. They are not Muslims. They are the scum of society. This is a classic case of cognitive distancing because they are trying to use religion to cleanse their souls when in fact God spits upon them for such barbaric acts. They do not deserve to breathe the same air we do. I thank God everyday that I am in a country like Canada where I am able to express my beliefs. Myself being Kurdish from Northern Iraq, know the problems that the Iraqis have to go through but I do not because I live in a country where people do not get beheaded in the name God. The highest clerk in Mecca has denounced the horrdendus act but that is not enough. It is up to the Muslims in the Middle East and especially the Iraqi people to denounce these vermon who commit these sort of acts. You should follow your religion and have your beliefs but, you should never be allowed to hide behind it. God help them all.

Mickey, Canada - 18 May, 2004

treat everyone the same

The beheading was wrong , a terrible act of savagery.I bieng a muslim strongly condemn it.But Amercian and european people should realise they have been doing crimes much worse than this against people who are non -white.American indians , aboriginiens in australia, indians in south america, but how do they deal with that? they say it is in the past.ok,fine logic accpeted ,lets live in the present, you can at least tell your troops not to rape, not to torture, tell your governemnts not to kill for greed.This is in the present!What is stopping you now?why does a single american killed bring so much hue and cry, and when thousands of other are bombed, medicines to them are denied, that has no feeling?And it is dismised as being collatral damage.The basic mindset has to change,espacially of the americans,like my friend says when thousands of native amricans were killed that was law.Maybe americans have gotten used to killing so many non-whites they have forgotten that others are also human beings.Now i find it laughable that the wetsren writers used to say that muslim empires used force and co-ercion to get thier means and objectives,then i fail to understand what is happening in iraq, and that too in the modern era.One single beheading is being touted as a encapsulation of a enitre religion, shame on the western media!If people with little minds want to be taken to a ride by this , sad day for them is all i can say

Imran Arain, Pakistan - 19 May, 2004

Dear Syed,
Thank you for your thought-out opinions. But I do disagree with them.
As far as being a captor of the US Govt., you are incorrect! You will find that peoples of freedom and free countries can and do question our legitimate governments. That is the ideal behind freedom, is that you are allowed to disagree and question without persecution. This is not true in many nations of the world, possibly including your own.
To answer your second question, “why do you say those murderers were Muslims” was because in the video the Barbarian murderers claim they are Muslim and are doing this sadistic act in the name of “the pride of all Muslim men and women”. Irrelevant what you claim their accent is, (I can not tell since ZI do not speak that language).
I do not believe vast majority of God-abiding Muslims think or behave this way. I truly believe, as well as the majority of American and people of the western world, that the Muslim religion is a loving and caring one..( Although my experience and history is limited of the religion, It is said in the Noble Qur'an.) And as far as I have read on the “true” Muslim religion, that type of slaughter is Prohibited. So to contradict myself, I TRULLY BELIEVE THESE MURDERERS ARE “NOT” TRUE BELEIVERS!
Thus, I conclude that these men as well as other terrorist and barbarians like them are using and exhorting the Muslim religion. They are holding true religious believers hostage in their statements and actions. This must stop. True Muslim believers must stand up and take a stand and let the world know that these type of animals are not within the realm of Islam and are not tolerated by their religion or countries!.

Chris, United Kingdom - 19 May, 2004

Berg was dead already

The movie is a most amateurish patchwork of blurred footage with dubbed over sound. It is obvious Berg was already dead. Somebody termed it appropriately "A recycling of a loose cannon Mossad asset, into a meaningful media event"

Herbert, United Kingdom - 19 May, 2004

I read all this garbage about the true essence and spirt of Islam and I just laugh. What I have seen in the past few years about Islam and the actions of Muslims leads me to believe that that religion is not a Holy one. After seeing the World Trade Centers fall, we were treated to TV pictures of Muslims cheering in the streets. Do you see mass demonstrations from the Christians in the USA doing the same? Our soldiers who abused the prisoners will be punished, will the same happen to those who killed Nick Berg? You people could care less about tracking down his killers. You Muslims are all in it together and there is not one good one of you anywhere! Just one Americans view. (But this is the images I see every day.......and I am tending to think you are all blood thirsty animals.)

Joe, United Kingdom - 19 May, 2004

Murder may be it beheading or through mombing or suicide bombing is a cruelty. The victim is neither a Pakistani nor an American. He/she is neither white or black. He is not a Muslim, a christian or a Hindu. He is not an Iraqi or a Israeli. The victim is only a human being, father of some child, child of some mother etc. As on injury of my arm it gives me pain, the same pain it gives if arm of an American is injured. Every act causing injury or death may it be bombing village marriage party in Afghanistan or tanking Palestenians is condemnable and it brings real tear in my eyes. Beheading of Nick Berg is not exempt form these feelings. How would his mother would be feeling lonely now we can only imagine.

Wheter it was revenge or it was to send any message is not my concern as I do not know politics. What I know is a civilian has been murdered for no fault of him. The murderers were neither Muslims nor Christians as such people have no religon at all. Their only religion, nationality is “their politics” and doing such acts on behest of others is their “livelihood”.

However, though impression being given is those were people of Al Qaeda, I very much doubt about it. Is there really any Al Qaeda still existing? If it is still existing, then is it as big as is being daily ordinary man in the world is being given to understand? Why can not it be the work of same people who are telling us and trying to convince us that behind every act of terror there is Al Qaeda, Taliban, Muslims, Palestenians behind it? Why cannot it be they the themselves just to create hate in eyes of people and earn favouring feelings. In politics killing own people for political gains is not a strange in political history.

Javed, Pakistan - 20 May, 2004

Does It make any difference!

Everybody condemns when an American or when a European Christian dies but no body condemns when an Asian christian dies.
Why are you people making a big fuss about this matter. If the Iraqis killed this man by beheading him, then you American and British bomb them, use heavy artillery on them, use automatic machine guns on them in such way that their brains pop out of their heads and their body parts are shattered all over the place. Haven't you seen the pictures of young iraqis including suckling infants having blown up heads by the disgusting filthy american and british troops. Don't we have a life, yes we do.

And one more thing for Sammy Jabareen, to American it is the skin that matter and not the Religion because in America as long as you are White, you are considered alright. Otherwise Blacks are called 'Niggers' in such a so-called civilized world.
And I am sure that you must have got a taste of it since you are living in Canada and you are brown.

By the way 'Brown' means turn around in western societies.

Agha-2, Pakistan - 20 May, 2004

Sad Day

I feel discusted by the acts of some of the really bad apples we have in our society. Another person could go down to this level, I am still in a total shock that this has happened. May all mighthy GOD give all of us true Hadayat (Guidence) and make us see whats wrong no matter no matter who is doing it.

Sager, United Kingdom - 20 May, 2004

Can't we all just get along...

I agree with another posting..."Murder may be it beheading or through mombing or suicide bombing is a cruelty. The victim is neither a Pakistani nor an American. He/she is neither white or black. He is not a Muslim, a Christian or a Hindu. He is not an Iraqi or a Israeli. The victim is only a human being, father of some child, child of some mother etc."

Scott, United Kingdom - 20 May, 2004

Well Chris Answer This

Chris says "You will find that peoples of freedom and free countries can and do question our legitimate governments ", but there is something more, true democracies respect international laws and rules... They don't disregard the UN or for that matter the whole world's opinion and attack other countries and then openly admitt that they were wrong and their intelligence was incapable of picking up the true image of the scenario.....
The beheading of a human being was totally unjustified and wrong in my opinion. There was no fault of him although his country (True Democracy, whose citizens have the right to question..... but of what use )totally defied the International Community, UN and committed aggression on basis of totally wrong assumptions of its own, which is TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE.
Do you got it Chirs....

Arif, Pakistan - 20 May, 2004

Kate DeMent. I suggest you change your name to Kate DeMented.

Sparcrat, United Kingdom - 21 May, 2004

What is the truth about beheading.

As the world protested about beheading,one thing is not clear ,who is behind this killing. The father of Mr Nick Berg have accused the FBI and US government for complicating the situation. We d,ont know whether these guys are local muslims or CIA agents, Now-a-days every bady blames muslims. The Abou Garieb prision brutality has caused a great dammage to US government. As soon as this news got out ,the beheading appeard on website.But who will investigate this story.I guss nobady. Muslims will be tried without enquiry.
Raja Habib Jalib

Raja Habib Jalib, Canada - 21 May, 2004

No Muslims will commit just a horrible crime.

It doesn't matter how much an Iraqi hate American invaders or Christian missionary with guns I don't think that any Muslims will commit just a horrible crime. I personally think this is Bush last attempt to link Iraq with Al-Qaida or Iraq with 9/11, Bush is a failed President, after numerous tries he wasn't able to find any link between Iraq and 9/11 and was not able to convince the world that Iraq war was for a valid cause.

In reality President Bush caused more damaged then good, after spending spends billions of dollars of American tax payer's money Iraq war he was unable to find any weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in Iraq; moreover, recent violence and Abu Ghraib Prison scandal will cause more damage and more headache for Mr. Bush.

While American conservative Media criticize Islam/Muslim & Arab, women rights in Islam & lack of democracy in Islamic countries but they have failed to tell the world they are supporting or supported dictators like Saddam Hussein, Hosni Mubarak, Gaddafi and Royal families from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE, Bahrain, Jordan. In fact non of these dictators or Royal families are not interested in Democracy or Islamic democratic government, they are only interesting in power and controlling the wealth/oil.

American Media must stop bashing Islam and any organization which support Islam & Muslim and Palestine. In order to improve relationship and understanding between Islam & Christianity/west or Muslim & Christians we first build the trust, American govt & President must stop lie & deceiving Muslim. Faith-based Bush's one-sided support for Israel should embarrass and alienate each and every American. It should also motivate each and every American to demand a change in foreign policy, regardless of who is inaugurated in January. Bush and Kerry have identical policies of one-sided support for Israel. Every America need to force their government into rational foreign policy goals, such as:

1. Neutrality in the Middle East conflict.

2. Bringing our troops home, from everywhere outside the USA.

3. Stop interfering in the affairs of the rest of the world. We wouldn't tolerate them imposing their will on us.
4. Stop supporting dictators in Middle East.

Those who are Interested in reading more about Nick Berg beheading read following articles.

Berg Video: "Someone with U.S. military cap seen in frame"

Berg Video Said Fake - Taped In Abu Ghraib Prison

Berg Video - How It Could All Be A Hoax

US Gov't disavows E-Mails, Video traced back to London, not Iraq

The Death Of Nick Berg In Iraq - A Muslim Perspective

Two More VERY Suspicious Berg Video Anomalies

Peace, Trinidad And Tobago - 22 May, 2004

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