Stalinsky: Dealing in Death [Part 1]

Whilst researching Islamic culture I came across an article by Steven Stalinsky titled “Dealing in Death”, from May 14, 2004 for National Review Online, published just after the death of Nicholas Berg. It is quite a shocking–but excellent–overview of the Islamic jihadist culture of death. In his article Stalinsky unlocks the “secret” of why Islam is so consumed with violence and death: because, Stalinsky rightfully asserts, non-Muslims love life. It is life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness that the Islamists see as the weakness of the Jews, the Americans, the Christians, the West…indeed the entire non-Muslim world. It’s an an enlightening read. Although it isn’t very long I will post it in 3 parts because it’s easier to absorb that way. I have only bolded some parts for emphasis.

In the war on terrorism, major battles from early Islamic history serve as inspiration for those fighting against the West. As al Qaeda associate Abu Musab al-Zarqawi beheaded American Nicholas Berg in Iraq last week, he asked, “Is it not time for you [Muslims] to take the path of jihad and carry the sword of the Prophet of prophets?… The Prophet, the most merciful, ordered [his army] to strike the necks of some prisoners in [the battle of] Badr and to kill them… And he set a good example for us. As for you, Bush, dog of the Christians, anticipate what will harm you… And you will only get shroud after shroud and coffin after coffin slaughtered in this manner.”

Another chapter from early Islamic history — serving as a lesson for today’s Muslims at war against the West — is the concept of the love of death. This originated at the Battle of Qadisiyya in the year 636, when the commander of the Muslim forces, Khalid ibn Al-Walid, sent an emissary with a message from Caliph Abu Bakr to the Persian commander, Khosru. The message stated: “You [Khosru and his people] should convert to Islam, and then you will be safe, for if you don’t, you should know that I have come to you with an army of men that love death, as you love life.” This account is recited in today’s Muslim sermons, newspapers, and textbooks.

In his speech of March 19, 2004, President Bush referred to this concept: “On a tape claiming responsibility for the atrocities in Madrid, a man is heard to say, ‘We choose death, while you choose life.’… It is a mindset that rejoices in suicide, incites murder, and celebrates every death we mourn. And we who stand on the other side of the line must be equally clear and certain of our convictions. We do love life…. We believe in the values that uphold the dignity of life, tolerance, and freedom, and the right of conscience. And we know that this way of life is worth defending. There is no neutral ground — no neutral ground — in the fight between civilization and terror, because there is no neutral ground between good and evil, freedom and slavery, and life and death.”

 To be continued…

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