Muslim cleric justifies mutilation of enemies
Mufti says practice permissible when considered as retaliation
Posted: April 5, 2004
1:00 a.m. Eastern
© 2004 WorldNetDaily.com
A popular Islamic online site, quoting a European sheikh, justifies the mutilation of the bodies of enemies when it is part of retaliation, reports Joseph Farah's G2 Bulletin.
The subject arose this week on IslamOnline's interactive feature on fatwas following the murders of four U.S. civilians in Falluja, Iraq. The Americans, who were providing security for food deliveries in the violent Sunni triangle, were killed by militants, their bodies dismembered, burned and hanged on display.
Sheikh Faysal Mawlawi
Responding to a specific question about Islam's view of mutliating bodies of enemies in wartime, Sheikh Faysal Mawlawi, deputy chairman of the European Council for Fatwa and Research, wrote "it is permissible to mutliate the dead only in case of retaliation."
"If any one cuts the ear of another, his ear is to be cut in return," wrote the sheikh. "If he inflicts any physical damage on anyone, he should be retaliated against in the same manner. In case of war, Muslims are allowed to take vengeance for their mutliated dead strugglers in the same way it was done to them."
The sheikh cited the Quranic verse: "If ye punish, then punish with the like of that wherewith ye were inflicted. But if ye endure patiently, verily it is better for the patient."
"This verse was revealed when the polytheists mutilated the corpse of Hamzah ibn Abd el-Muttalib (may Allah be pleased with him)," the sheikh continued. "The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) swore to mutilate seventy corpses of the polytheists in retaliation for what they had done with Hamzah's dead body."
Other sheikhs offered dissenting opinions on whether mutilation is ever warranted or justified.
The four American employees of a private U.S. security firm who were killed and mutilated in Iraq last week were identified as highly trained former American military troops.
Blackwater Security Consulting, a firm that provides paramilitary training for private and government needs, confirmed that the four men were employees. Blackwater declined to release their identities, but sources close to the families said three of the men were former U.S. Special Operations troops:
Jerry Zovko, 32, an Army veteran from Willoughby, Ohio.
Mike Teague, 38, an Army veteran from Clarksville, Tennessee.
Scott Helvenston, 38, a veteran of the Navy. His hometown was not known.
Other sources said the fourth man had also previously served in the military, but his identity was not immediately made public.
Blackwater Security Consulting, based in Moyock, North Carolina, recruits security specialists for contract work from elite U.S. and other special operations units worldwide. It also trains police and other government employees.
Television pictures broadcast outside the United States showed the incinerated body of one of the four contractors being kicked and stamped on by people in a jubilant crowd in Falluja, while another body was dragged down the road by its feet. Two bodies were also temporarily hung from a bridge.