From the New York Times via The Straits Times, with thanks to Nicolei, who also noted that only among Muslims is the question of whether the killing of an innocent civilian is justified or not “reduced to the banality of a debate. In all other major religions, the answer is so clear that one does not even think of it.”
In one unusual website posting, a Saudi man who said he had worked with the kidnap victim, and had even discussed Islam with him, went so far as to try to extend a kind of religiously inspired traditional tribal form of protection known as ‘ijara’ that would forbid killing Mr Johnson.
‘I hereby declare my protection and rescue for this man along with all his colleagues who work with us in the company, who ate with us and accepted our gifts of Islamic books which they promised to read,’ wrote Mr Saad Al-Moemen.
He also described visits that Mr Johnson had made to his home and said the engineer had expressed distaste for United States foreign policy. …
The fatwa was attacked by a number of readers who said all foreigners came to the kingdom with bad intentions, acting as the vanguard for the US military.
‘Whoever gives them security is an apostate,’ read one posting.
Others scoffed at the idea that an official visa somehow bestowed legitimacy on visitors.
‘Who gave them the visa? It is the infidel agent regime,’ read one posting in part.
‘So I tell the mujahideen to keep killing them until the Arabian peninsula is cleared of the filth of the crusaders.’
Others suggested that the militants try to convert Westerners to Islam rather than killing them, because that way they would be spared from going to hell, and the image of the faith around the world would not be so tainted with blood.
One religious leader, identified as Abdel Rahman bin Saleh al-Mahmoud, said Prophet Muhammad’s followers had commanded that all non-believers be expelled from the Arabian peninsula.
But it has never been clear, he wrote, whether that includes just the holy city of Mecca or some larger area. In addition, foreigners visited at the time of the Prophet, he noted, it was just the idea of permanent communities that was abhorrent.