Change She WroteIn memory of Nicholas Berg [Archives:2004/739/Culture]

May 20 2004

By Sadaf Shah
[email protected]
For the Yeamen Times

In my article last week, I condemned the prison abuse scandal and called for the demolition of Abu Ghraib prison.
This week, my humanity compels me to write about the horrifying death of an ordinary American who lost his life only for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. I did not know Nicholas Berg at all. In fact, the first time I saw him was on the news right before his beheading.
I am appalled that those crazy terrorists justified his murder in the name of Islam. I mourn for all those innocent people, no matter what their race or religion is, who are caught in the middle of this stupefying 'war on terror'.
And yet, somehow, the main players of this war do not seem to care. They do not care who gets killed, as long as it is not they. Apologies are thrown across the board and then, everything is forgotten.
Why should we forget Nick Berg and all those 'other' people who lost their meaningful lives? Why should we not hold our 'responsible' government officials accountable for the loss of such an extraordinary high number of lives? Just like Saddam Hussein, George Bush, Donald Rumsfeld and all of his top military officials should be charged with crimes against humanity.
Throw in Putin for his role in Chechnya and Sharon for his merciless killing spree in Palestine. All of these high-ranking government officials held accountable in the same manner as Osama bin Laden and all those other terrorist organizations that willingly attack a civilian population based on their color, creed, or religion. The world should be shown 'live' that to commit crimes against humanity is unacceptable and will be dealt with most harshly.
Building monuments and engraving the victims' names on a wall are not enough. We need to lobby our governments to look into this matter seriously and consider all of humanity as one.
Citizens of the world are dying and I refuse to stand by and watch. I am truly sorry for the gruesome killing of Nicholas Berg. I am sorry that his murder was committed in the name of Islam, for Islam has never sanctioned the killing of non-combatants.
It is my passionate belief that no religion in the world can sanction such crimes; no matter how passionately Bush, Sharon, or bin Laden believes in themselves and their cause.

The example of the Holy Prophet
Muhammad, the Holy Prophet of Islam fought some wars during his lifetime and never, ever were any civilians targeted or killed. After a battle, prisoners of war were either ransomed or exchanged for prisoners of war of either side. Never were any civilian homes destroyed or infrastructure even targeted. There were strict rules of battle that were adhered to at all times. It is surprising now that Muslims have resorted to terrorism, which is considered worse than killing in Islam. These Muslims are misguided and misled into believing in their cause. They are used as pawns; just like neo-conservative Christians use their version of Christianity to further their cause. Jesus preached to offer the other cheek in response to a slap on the face. However, we see that Bush and Rumsfeld drop bombs in response to terror. That is the way to go! Kill more civilians! For their only crime is to supposedly live in a region where terrorists are suspected of hiding! The response of the terrorists is no less horrifying. They forget that the religion of peace, in whose name they apparently commit murder, amazingly lays a powerful emphasis on love for mankind and on the vital importance of showing mercy and sympathy towards all creatures of God Almighty. For indeed, love and true sympathy are the very antidote of terrorism. By committing acts of terrorism, these people place themselves further away from the God they believe they are pleasing. Offering the blood of His creation cannot please God!