Muslims Brothers and Sisters:
By. Stephan E
I am disgusted at the abuse of the Iraqi
Yet I am
dismayed at the degree of your outrage. Moderate muslims (in the
) that I had counted on as associates have become furious at all
“Americans” for being “devils.” Opinion columns and web boards
are full of people claiming that the abuse of these prisoners is a true
picture of the American attitude toward all muslims.
I believe that your current outrage at all
Americans is in fact an indictment of your disturbed mindset.
To illuminate this, we need to compare your
reaction now with your reaction to last month’s outrage near Fallujah.
Four American contractors seeking to reconstruct
were tracked, beaten, dragged, mauled and then murdered by a jubilant
mob of Iraqis. Hundreds of men, women, and children celebrated
mutilating their bodies and hanging them up. The Arabic media filmed all
of the events and then aired them without qualms.
You aired and watched those horrendous acts of
barbarity over and over and gloated at your “victory.” You made CDs
and sold them in
. When the American army called for the perpetrators to turned over, the
whole town hid them. Even the Iraqi Governing Council was silent in
In the face of this much barbarity we remained
silent. Even the forums of FFI and similar sites refrained from
condemning all Arabs. Instead, we attributed the savagery to a small
number of evil people. And we continued to relate to you on gracious
terms, despite your gloating.
Now look at the Iraqi prisoners’ abuse by a
few American soldiers. Yes what they did was inhumane and deserving of
punishment. But the degree of abuse was no where close to what the 4
American contractors and the 700 American soldiers endured at the hands
of angry Iraqis.
First, there is no evidence of torture, which is
when an extended period of physical abuse permanently traumatizes a
victim. Accusations of sodomy have been made, but the photos and reports
only prove that it was being posed for the sake of the photos. For the
most part, a group of prisoners were being paraded about naked and
occasionally made to pose in degrading positions with hoods on. No pain
was inflicted and no forced sex was involved. The six soldiers
apparently kept themselves to the rules of hazing, which involve
humiliation without the infliction of pain.
Second, you can argue that there was
psychological torture, but the case is weak. Practices almost as bad as
these are common in hazing rituals in the American Army and in
fraternities. They may be humiliating but they are not tortures.
You claim that such humiliation is worse than
death? Ask the prisoners and their families whether they would rather be
dead or endure a year of anonymous humiliation.
Third, these prisoners were being held at the
highest security prison in
. They were mostly guilty of killing Americans. Was this worse than what
Saddam used to do with his prisoners on daily basis for decades? Where
was your cry of indignation then?
The more important point I would like to make is
that the acts of 6 army police can’t be taken as a sign of American
barbarity by any rational person. Six out of 150,000 soldiers is
0.00004%. And the number of abuses was limited to one isolated cell
block. No other similar cases by Americans have turned up despite a year
of heavy media coverage.
Additionally, these six were obviously mentally
messed up. Not no sane person would take photos of those acts and then
Finally, they were amateur soldiers who felt
they didn’t need to live up to any expectations. They were National
Guardsmen who had been torn away from their lives in the
to work in a miserable country full of angry men trying to kill them.
One or two apparently felt entitled to playing sadistic practical jokes
and the others in their isolated team went along.
So my Muslim brothers and sisters, I am in
solidarity with you in condemning the acts of these few soldiers. No
sane person would approve or condone such thing.
Now Instead of
giving free rein to your hatred of
, shouldn’t you rather ponder upon the silence of the Muslims
worldwide when the news of the cold blooded murder of the Americans