Falluja’s Religious Leaders Condemn Mutilation, but Not Killing, of Americans
Religious leaders in this violent, edgy city issued a religious edict on Friday condemning the mutilation of the bodies of four American civilians killed this week, but they stayed silent about the attack itself.
At Friday Prayers, which attracted thousands of people to Falluja’s mosques, the imams said it was “haram,” the Arabic word for forbidden, for people to tear apart corpses as they had after the four American security consultants were ambushed here on Wednesday.
“All of you know the human body is very sacred in Islam,” said Sheik Saddoun, one of the leading imams in the city. “So what those people did when they mutilated the bodies is haram then haram then haram.”
Another cleric called the incident a “bestial act” and “a grave mistake that destroys the reputation of Islam and Muslims.”
The imams’ message, blasted from the minarets of blue-domed mosques, was well received by townspeople, many of whom expressed satisfaction and even pride in the deadly ambush but shame in its aftermath. After masked gunmen killed the four Americans, who worked for a North Carolina security firm, a mob of men and boys set their two vehicles on fire and then dragged the charred corpses through the streets to a bridge over the Euphrates River, where at least two bodies were hung. Desecrating a body is one of the gravest sins in Islam.
But of course. It is, after all, a religion of peace.