Why? If Islam so unequivocally forbids beheading, why do Muslims keep beheading? It is a shame that few seem to notice the growing cognitive dissonance between the statements of Muslim leaders in the West and the actions of Muslims around the world. No doubt even fewer are aware that the Qur’an tells Muslims to “strike the necks” of unbelievers (Sura 47:4).
And of course, this story is also about beheadings by non-Muslims — although the name “Operation Baghdad” that the Haitians used indicates where they got their inspiration.
From AP, with thanks to Peter Rockas and Anthony:
ANKARA, Turkey – It was called “Operation Baghdad” and, to be sure, the headless bodies of the three police officers recalled the violence in that city. But these attacks happened in Haiti, not in Iraq.
The brutal beheadings in Iraq appear to have inspired militants in other parts of the world who are drawn to the shock value of the horrifying attacks and the intense publicity they attract.
Thailand and the Netherlands are two other countries where suspected extremists recently beheaded or slit the throats of their victims in what appear to be copycat attacks.
Rime Allaf, associate fellow at the Royal Institute of International Affairs, said beheadings are spreading because the practice “has so horrified us in the West.”
“It achieves results and it makes the headlines,” Allaf added. “People are talking about groups that we’ve never heard about before.”…
In Thailand this week, a Buddhist village leader was beheaded after being shot in the chest. A note was left on his body saying his slaying was to avenge the killing of Muslim rioters by government forces.
And in Amsterdam, a suspected Islamic extremist shot and killed Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh, then slit his throat. A note was left impaled by a knife on his body quoting from the Quran and threatening more killings.
“It’s an ideal terrorist tool,” said Jonathan Stevenson, senior fellow for counterterrorism at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in Washington. “It is a horrifying image and I would say it is disproportionately frightening.”
The first beheading by Islamic militants in Iraq was the slaying in May of American civilian Nicholas Berg. The killers posted a video on the Internet showing them pushing a bound Berg to his side, putting a large knife to his neck and cutting off his head as a scream sounded and the killers shouted “Allahu akbar!” “” “God is great!”
A month later, an al-Qaida-linked Saudi group beheaded an American engineer in Saudi Arabia. The group did not mention Iraq but the executioners called themselves the “Fallujah Brigade” after the city in Iraq that U.S. forces had been besieging.
Since then, at least 12 foreigners, including three other Americans, have been beheaded in Iraq as part of a wave of kidnappings. Videos and the Internet were used to distribute the horrifying images across the world, compounding the shock value.
“I think the initial reason for the beheadings was true shock and awe,” Allaf said. “These people are extremely media savvy.”
The first beheading of a foreigner touted by Islamic militants was that of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, slain in Pakistan in 2002.
Decapitations had previously occurred in Algeria, Kashmir, Chechnya and the Muslim-dominated southern Philippines but had rarely been used in past militant attacks in the Middle East.
Algeria, Kashmir, Chechnya, and the southern Philippines: all arenas of jihad.