Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Mujahideen Blood Rituals

Yesterday's news (here and here ) that the terrorist conspiracy in Canada included a plan to raid parliament, capture hostages, and either to behead or threaten to behead the Prime Minister if demands - gettting Canada out of Afghanistan - were not met, has naturally encountered a lot of incredulity in Canada. The fact that the news of the allegation was reported to the media by the lawyer for the accused would-be beheader, suggests that the lawyer wishes to highlight the fantastic nature of the alleged crime and thus raise doubts whether the conspirators really intended to carry out a dreamy plan that was surely likely to fail if attempted. (UPDATE: indeed the lawyer was playing games with the media as the police document he was commenting on only mentions that they had the idea to behead parliamentarians but abandoned it for more realistic targets.)

However, what may not be known to most Canadians is that beheading is a common form of ritual killing in the Islamic world - for example, in state executions - and it is one that appeals to many of today's youth, as the making and distribution on the internet and by al-Jazeera tv of execution videos by Jihadists demonsrates. For a committed Jihadist, beheading a western Prime Minister would perhaps be the symbolic equivalent of an ordinary Canadian youth's dream of winning the Stanley Cup by scoring the winning goal in triple overtime in game seven.

To help us better understand what we are facing today, I would like to quote from an excellent article that discusses Mujahideen Blood Rituals in detail. (It provides, among many other things, the best description I have seen of the murders of the Armanious family, the Coptic Christians killed by Jihadists in New Jersey, an incident that the authorities have consistently denied was Jihad-related.)

The author, Dawn Perlmutter, is an American scholar and investigator who has worked with police forces to solve crimes in which sacrificial blood rituals play a part, such as with Satanic cults. Because this is a relatively long academic article, I hope it will serve our readers if I quote several passages as a synopsis:
Beheadings, suicide bombings, and ritual mutilation are not just strategies of war but time-honored warrior traditions that are theologically sanctioned. To relegate these acts to mere terrorist tactics is not only strategically unwise but diminishes the true nature of the threat. Similarly, to designate enemies as religious fanatics, Islamic extremists, insurgents, or radical militants who have corrupted the peaceful religion of Islam is a politically correct fallacy that is undermining every aspect of the war on terrorism and resulting in the death of American soldiers... ritual beheadings have been prevalent throughout Islamic history and are theologically prescribed and communally sanctioned.... continuing to analyze the violence from a Western perspective, sugarcoating by the media of violent aspects of the Islamic religion, and failing to recognize that we are in the midst of a century-old Holy war will only serve to perpetuate a never-ending cycle of reciprocal violence.
the concept of mujahideen is a unifying ideal, a lifelong fraternity of soldiers, who when called upon by a charismatic religious leader such as Usama bin Laden or Abu Mus‘ab al-Zarqawi will not only fight to the death but commit suicide for their ideals. In almost every statement made by various terrorist groups, they proudly identify themselves as mujahideen. They are viewed as more than just ideal soldiers; their actions are not only respected by family, community, and country but more significantly, deemed sacred.
Because it is difficult to fully comprehend suicide bombings, beheadings, and ritual mutilations from a Western perspective, they are generally reduced to acts of barbarism and psychological warfare. In any type of ritualistic crime every aspect of the act has symbolic meaning to the perpetrator, particularly when the violence is perpetrated in the cause of a religious ideology. Ritualizing violence is what makes it sacred, hence justifiable. With the exception of suicide bombings, the most obvious and prevalent examples of religiously sanctioned Islamist murders are beheadings. The symbolism of contemporary beheading is both political and religious; the political aspects are to instill fear, the religious aspects morally sanction murder.
Mujahideen fighting the coalition forces in Iraq have revived a long tradition of blood rituals, particularly Quranic verses that beckon holy warriors to smite the necks of unbelievers. The modern version of this mujahideen blood ritual is choreographed and videotaped. These videotaped beheadings are not just a form of psychological warfare but a method of validating the ideal that they are in the same war that the prophet and the first Muslims were fighting.
Beheadings in the Al Qaeda network videos meet all the criteria to be designated ritualistic crimes... Some reporters have claimed that the beheadings are a form of human sacrifice, hence the terrorists committing these crimes are not true Muslims but have returned to pagan pre-Islamic practices that are prohibited in the Quran (editorial in USA Today, "Nothing Islamic about human sacrifice"). The practice of human sacrifice is a form of idolatry that is prohibited in all the monotheistic religions, specifically in reference to the worship of other gods; however, referring to these beheadings as human sacrifice is inaccurate. There are subtle and important distinctions between ritual murder and sacrifice. In its simplest terms, human sacrifice is ritually murdering someone as an offering to a god; ritual murder is ritually killing someone for other reasons. The mujahideen are not beheading victims as offerings to Allah; they are ritually murdering the enemies and apostates of Allah to preserve Islam as theologically proscribed in the Quran. The Mujahideen are not creating a cult of human sacrifice; they are returning to a pure form of Islam, as they consistently claim.
Interestingly, al-Zarqawi formally merged with Usama Bin Ladin’s al-Qaeda in October 2004, soon after several highly publicized beheadings. On the day that Al-Zarqawi announced his alliance, an Islamist website posted a message in which al-Zarqawi took credit for decapitating 11 Iraqi Police and National Guardsmen. Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was successfully initiated and earned his status in the Al-Qaeda network with the heads of hostages and a high body count from suicide bombings.
The very fact that these executions are ritualized and that the executioners praise Allah throughout is what distinguishes them from common acts of barbarism. There would be no honor in simply cutting off someone’s head for the sake of terrorizing your enemies; the ritual characteristics have to be present to be theologically and communally sanctioned. To situate this in the realm of the sacred as opposed to a mob killing it is ritually required that each person participate in the religious ritual, hence, the communal chanting of Allah Akbar while the victim is being beheaded. Finally, all of the participants in the beheading ritual have to be authentic true believers, who will kill and die for their religion; this is the very reason they identify themselves as soldiers of God. These beheadings are nothing less than the sacred blood rituals of the Mujahideen.
The argument against the existence of ritual murder is based on a behavioral science theoretical perspective which claims that perpetrators of these crimes are suffering from some form of psychopathology. The argument that attempts to prove that ritual murder occurs is based on a religious cultural perspective that claims that the perpetrators are making rational choices to engage in a violent ritual that is religiously required of that group. I am the leading proponent of the latter argument, and throughout my career have witnessed a pervasive denial of the existence of premeditated group sanctioned ritual murder. That denial was also prevalent when the first beheading video became public... We do not want to acknowledge that in the civilized 21st century people are ritually murdered in the name of God or Satan.
Jihadists consistently claim that they are traditionalists who restrict themselves to literal and traditional interpretations of their sacred texts. The media have perpetuated an erroneous idea that Islamic terrorists have corrupted the peaceful religion of Islam, when in fact it is moderate Muslims who have altered the religion and actually practice a Westernized, watered-down version of Islam. Acknowledging the documented history of the Islamic religion should not be viewed as an insult to Modern Muslims or deemed slanderous of contemporary Islam. Every major religion has evolved and adapted to new technologies and cultural changes. The danger occurs when revisionist history promotes a fallacy that denies the violent origins of the Islamic faith and undermines the public’s perception of the seriousness of the threat.


David Thomson said...

"..when in fact it is moderate Muslims who have altered the religion and actually practice a Westernized, watered-down version of Islam."

Moderate Muslims are similar to the Unitarian-Universalists of Western religions. They are pale imitators of the original Islamic faith. There is little doubt but that Mohammed would feel much closer to the bin Ladins of our current era.

Rick Ballard said...


I wonder how many Canadians (or Americans) realize that allowing sharia to be conducted in any manner allows the 'fantasy' executions to gain an air of legitimacy. You don't need to go up the clerical chain very far to find imams willing to issue death sentences.

Just another little danger in playing along with the blood cultists.

This is a good piece and I hope you keep it up. It's going to have to be repeated 10,000 times (and accompanied by some executions) in order to break down the PC garbage.

gumshoe said...

a bit of nit-picking perhaps( and i get that it's not the point of the author's discussion)...

"The very fact that these executions are ritualized and that the executioners praise Allah throughout is what distinguishes them from common acts of barbarism...[in their minds]". added [comment].

this article excerpt bothers me in the same way that westerners who call themselves "infidels" bothers me:

there are multiple views of life on this planet...but in distinct contrast to multi-culti,i feel there ARE some better than others.

blood murder rituals do not have a part i what i consider "superior",
and i do not feel constrained to use the terminology of the inferior to discuss events
or my perceptions of them.

Anonymous said...


. . . continuing to analyze the violence from a Western perspective, sugarcoating by the media of violent aspects of the Islamic religion, and failing to recognize that we are in the midst of a century-old Holy war will only serve to perpetuate a never-ending cycle of reciprocal violence.

Virtually no one I know, with the exception of one or two moonbats, believes any part of the view of Islam presented to us by the media . (Though I've discontinued my friendships with the true, deep-fried moonbats for the most part, so my observations may not be perfectly representative). At any rate, the responses of my friends to this primitive savagery vary, of course, from advocating wide war to a more European "run and hide, Mommy make it go away" attitude, but none would disagree with the thrust of Permutter's article regarding the nature of Islam.

With each atrocity - especially with each atrocity in unallied countries - the view that this behavior is simply a response to American-led actions becomes harder to defend. And with each revelation of terrorist's motives and individual personalities, it becomes progressively more diffcult to ascribe poverty and lack of opportunity as a driver for their behaviors.

What we need in this war is clarity. Clarity of purpose, certainly, but moral clarity as well. And it is through the terrorist's own words and actions, shouted by them at us over the obfuscations of the MSM, that such clarity of vision is increasingly found among more and more people throughout the West.

truepeers said...

Thanks to whoever fixed that USA Today link.

David, GS, Skook and Rick, yes let's keep pushing for more moral clarity; only then can we really go to the Muslims in our countries and say look, we now finally understand the situation, and here is the democratic government's policy regarding your religion. So now are you with us or against us, as we make what is entailed by this choice transparent and meaningful to all.

Sissy Willis said...

The "broad strata" politicians and opinion shapers afraid of offending the delicate religious sensibilities of "terrorists, the ones who hate the West" need to listen up:

Blood sport

Anonymous said...

I am interested to see how the public opinion swings the pendulum on this (purported) beheading of our two soldiers. I believe most families are comfortable psychologically with sending children off to war (or in my case, a parent and spouse off to war)but we are not prepared for the savagery of our loved one being beheaded.

Tammy Swofford

Unknown said...

what a great article! The realities that we as American citizens don't want to face are that Islam is rooted in blood as is Christianity. Just as we teach our children of the barbaric actions of terrorists, Muslims teach their children the historically accurate accounting of the Crusades. The better we educate ourselves of religious differences, the more we will understand that we have no business getting involved in the middle east conflicts. Keep your babies safe and don't let them enlist. If you do, they will do what all soldiers are expected to do, fight and defend to the death.