A cleric on Friday condemned the mutilation of four slain American contractors in this defiant Muslim city, but did not criticize the killings.
U.S. officials, meanwhile, promised to hunt down those responsible but said clashes could be avoided if city officials act promptly against the insurgents. No U.S. forces were seen in the city, 35 miles west of Baghdad.
Outsourcing in Iraq, too, eh, just like in Pakistan?
Sheik Fawzi Nameq spoke during weekly prayers at the Hmood al-Mahmood Mosque, a few blocks from the scene of the deadly ambush that killed the four contractors, whose charred remains were dragged through the streets.
“Islam does not condone the mutilation of the bodies of the dead,” he told some 600 worshippers. “Why do you want to bring destruction to our city? Why do you want to bring humiliation to the faithful? My brothers, wisdom is required here.”
Clerics in Fallujah strongly oppose the U.S.-led occupation and often use sermons to criticize American authority.
Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt pledged to hunt down those who carried out the killings, but said clashes could be avoided if Fallujah city officials arrest those responsible for the murders.
“If they were to deliver these people to the criminal justice system, we will come back in and start the rebuilding of Fallujah. That is their choice,” he said.
A Fallujah city council member, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the council met late Thursday and issued a statement “condemning the mutilation of the bodies in the streets because it contradicts the teachings of Islam and it is unacceptable in the religious point of view.” …
Senior Fallujah cleric Sheik Khalid Ahmed had said Muslim preachers in mosques across this city would use tell their followers that the mutilation of the bodies was wrong. He did not say whether they would condemn the killings.
“Prophet Muhammad prohibited even the mutilation of a dead, mad dog and he considered such a thing as religiously forbidden. What happened in Fallujah is a distortion of Islamic principles and it is forbidden in Islam,” he said.
Note that he, too, says nothing about the teachings of Islam condemning the murder of civilians, because Islamic law allows this when civilians are seen to be aiding the war effort. This is the justification used for suicide attacks against civilians in Israel, and by Osama bin Laden to justify the World Trade Center attacks.