Saturday, December 30, 2006

Saddam, Eid, Sacrifices and Symbolism : Another Eid Message ?

Now what has Saddam got to do with Eid al-Adha apart from being executed on it ?
Here is my 2 dirham's worth. I was not going to post about any topic except fans and such until next year, but waking up to hear Saddam has been executed does deserve a mention.

Oh there is no denying that Saddam Hussein deserves a zillion deaths for all his crimes, and I am very happy the man got his punishment. However, why should that have to ruin my holiday ? or the collective holiday in Arab countries and burden them with associating the Eid forever with Saddam's death ?

As a conspiracy theory ( which abound in my part of the world) it counts as a master stroke, and hence the mixed feelings with which the news have been greeted in the Arab world and the blogosphere. We have been denied the right to rejoice his death. It came too late, the wrong timing AND for the wrong reasons.

Most people I spoke with think it has 'Made in USA' stamped all over it (no offense , see above reference to conspiracies); especially because of the time and date. We kept hearing how the Iraqi government headed by Maliki is sovereign and so made the choice. However, when you read the following tidbits , you wonder ever so slightly who the real sovereign is in Iraq?

**Example :my comments in blue , and emphasis in bold mine :

'"We wanted him to be executed on a special day," National Security adviser Mouwafak al-Rubaie told state-run al-Iraqiya television. ' [ref] - yes Eid is very special , but why ?

"Iraqi National Security Adviser Mowaffaq al-Rubaie witnessed the execution and said the procedure followed Islamic ritual and international standards "to the letter". [..] He said the former leader arrived "handcuffed and holding the Koran to his chest", as Iraqi officials took custody of him from the US-led coalition. [ref] -could be interpreted as yep his fate is sealed give him to his people now to kill him , we don't want the headache or the backlash from the Arab world.

"Najib Naimi, a former Qatar justice minister, said: "The Americans called the defence team to pick up his personal belongings. All these indications show he will probably be executed tomorrow." [..] The official dismissed a comment by a senior US official that Saddam could hang as early as tomorrow, saying it was "none of the Americans' business" to decide when the former dictator would die. [ref] - we are told and shown Maliki and the 'sovereign' Iraqi government signed Saddam's execution papers , but it looks like it was more predetermined in advance .

So if the Iraqi government was sovereign, I'm sure they would have chosen another day after the Eid and most probably not in the sanctified months, what's the hurry ? Saddam was going nowhere, and they were discussions re. executing him at a later date following the rejection of his appeal. So what happened ?

Moreover, in the Muslim calendar consisting of 12 lunar months, there are four sanctified month الاشهر الحرام : three of them are in sequence; Zul-qidah(11th), Zul-hijjah(12th), Muharram(1st), and Rajab(7th). During these sacred months specific acts are considered forbidden/restricted ( haram); prominently war fare/the shedding of blood. A terrorist can disregard that for sure, but not a head of state, the representative of a government. Especially since this person or body has the power in theory to declare war.
So the fact this special date was picked could indicate it was dictated by someone who knows the power of the symbolism of the 'special day'. A conspiracy theorist would say it is an unveiled message : ''dear Arab Muslims, just as you are slaughtering your sheep, we are slaughtering one of your presidents - and you are impotent. We can prop and remove any of you at will ! ' . This is not anti-West, these are the ideas floating around and which I thought worthy of being shown to you in order to hear there are no basis for these claims.

A sample of people's reaction here on the BBC site . Bold is mine , which emphasizes the above theory even though it may sound ridiculous to many ears.


Saddam was murdered for standing up for his country. His death in itself is a crime which has been committed by supposedly, decent and democratic cohorts. The whole thing smirks of hypocrisy. His murder should serve as a lesson to all the present allies of the United States that should they decide to challenge the hegemony of the United States, the same fate shall befall them. Saddam's death was premeditated!
ayo awoyele, peterborough, United Kingdom

He was "out of control", that's the only reason America invaded, captured, tried and executed him. He was no more a 'criminal' than those who equipped him to commit those crimes, rather, they are no less a criminal. He wouldn't do as he was told, so he had to go. Welcome to the modern world. I wonder who would be found guilty of 9/11 if they were tried in the same way? This was no trial, it was 12 months of finger pointing in the vain and arrogant hope it would justify an absolute mess.
N Kenworthy, Crewe


While the following is the reaction at the Iraqi blogosphere (hattip Salam Adil from Global Voices) , among a collective sigh at his death there are a bunch of other ideas.


Today was a 'special day' the first day of the Eid al- Adha or the Eid al Kabir , a happy occasion to meet friends and family, a culmination of the Hajj and a commemoration of the time Prophet Abraham intended to sacrifice his only son Ismael upon God's request and how God in his mercy gave him the sheep instead and so set a precedent that human sacrifice to God was no longer acceptable as in paganism. Check here for significance of this story.

Moneyshot:

"This momentous event also teaches us, through Ibrahim, that human life,
Ismail's, Ibrahim's, everyone's, acquires its meaning and value from God -- The
Source of Creation -- and not from nature. It signifies that the good things in
life, represented by Ismail, derive their value not from the mere fact that they
exist and can be valued, enjoyed and delighted in, but from God, The Source of
Creation Himself. Ibrahim was, in some sense, giving back Ismail to receive him
again on the proper basis.[...] The Ismail of Ibrahim was his son. But you, who
is your Ismail ? what is it ? Your degree? Your reputation? Your position? Your
money? Your home? Your car? Your beloved? Your family? Your knowledge? Your
title? Your dress? Your fame? Your soul? Your spirituality? Your Beauty? Your
strength? Your career?" ."


The Eid spirit has been irrevocably destroyed , leaving a bitter taste. As much as I was anticipating watching Saddam die, I did not want to see that today and not under these circumstances. Could you imagine attending an execution on Christmas :( ?

This BBC commenter has encapsulated the feelings of many in one single sentence:

" I feel saddened by the death of Saddam, not because he deserved to live
but because it is taking place under US occupation of Iraq ".



Further reading :
(1) Juan Cole ( hattip you know who you are - so if you want me to aknowledge you send me an email ) .




13 comments:

Curt from Houston said...

"A conspiracy theorist would say it is an unveiled message: ''dear Arab Muslims, just as you are slaughtering your sheep, we are slaughtering one of your presidents - and you are impotent. We can prop and remove any of you at will! ' . This is not anti-West, these are the ideas floating around and which I thought worthy of being shown to you in order to hear there are no basis for these claims.

I thought I would feel a sense of gratification at the demise of this monster. It really didn't work out that way. I spent the day reading various depictions of his life and his crimes against his fellow countrymen on the Internet and ended up being completely depressed about how anyone could commit these senseless acts of barbarism against there fellow human being. Trust me in this Highlander. The timing of this execution was all Iraqi. No one in the West would have timed it to embarrassed or humiliate the Muslim world. I think that the Iraqi government did want to send a message to the rest of the Middle Eastern dictators however.

red_enclave: From Behind Closed Doors said...

I'd have to agree with you, H. No matter how cruel the man is he shouldn't have been treated in such a way & should not be executed on this auspicious day.
We are to sacrifice animals not human. What has been done has caused more hatred towards one another. Sunnis & Shiites are not that different. We are Muslims after all, we believe in Allah. So, why rejoice in the death of Saddam. Don't you think he will be punished by God, after all? He may have been heartless towards the Shiites @ Kurds but must we act the same way towards him! If such hatred continues between the different sects, there will no longer be a Muslim community in this world. Look all around us, Hamas vs Fatah, Shiite vs Sunni in Iraq, Taliban vs Afghan govt, Somalia vs Ethiopia. We should open our eyes, we are destroying ourselves, killing one another instead of helping each other!

Curt from Houston said...

"He was "out of control", that's the only reason America invaded, captured, tried and executed him. He was no more a 'criminal' than those who equipped him to commit those crimes, rather, they are no less a criminal. He wouldn't do as he was told, so he had to go. Welcome to the modern world. I wonder who would be found guilty of 9/11 if they were tried in the same way? This was no trial, it was 12 months of finger pointing in the vain and arrogant hope it would justify an absolute mess.
N Kenworthy, Crewe"


Seems to me that the last time any Western leader murdered more than a million poeple we managed to take care of our own buisness. How about you Easterners?

Libyan Warrior( The King Of Al-Andalaus) said...

So if the Iraqi government was sovereign, I'm sure they would have chosen another day after the Eid and most probably not in the sanctified months, what's the hurry ? Saddam was going nowhere, and they were discussions re. executing him at a later date following the rejection of his appeal. So what happened ?

DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES

The reason why the Americans where in such a rush to kill Saddam was because he had information that could destroy their political leaders.

Especially Rumsfeld and other high rankers, which is exactlt why Rumsfeild resigned when he did, it was a precaution just in case Saddam decided to expose him and the rest of the neo-conservative criminals.

The US encouraged Saddam to go to war with Iran, the funded it, they gave him the Chemical Weapons so he could take care of his kurdish "problem".

In anycase I agree with the last commenter I am not sad that Saddam is dead, I am sad it happened under US occupation. Saddam was a bad man, who killed many people but for someone like George Bush to claim the moral high ground is absolutly disgusting, its a mockery of Justice.

Its a spit in the face of all those who have lost someone in Iraq, all in all, this was nothing more then a Ganster on Ganster hit. Saddam worked for the American Mafia, and he was wacked, plain and simple, odd man out, they had no use for him, they had another paln for the imaginary nation-state the british lords carved out known as "Iraq", he was no longer of use, but he had damaging info, so the only way out of the mafia is death.

* Sorry about all the Mafia refrences I have been addicted to The Sopranos as of late, cant get enough of it.

In anycase, dont let this ruin your Eid. Ignore all of this rubish, their is nothing anything the common man or women can do, we just have to live our lives, not to worry so much about things we can not control. Be happy, just forget about this duchbag, you will save yourself from alot of stress, and agravation.

Anonymous said...

The issues is not even worth discussing, who died or killed when and how.
Who is Saddam any ways, thousands die in Iraq and else where every month, no one sheds crocodile tears on them. He paid his share of dancing with the black widow, the same fate will follow the rest in the Arab world.
He died the minute he committed all the crimes against his own people.
Then comes the ones who are very sad that things like that should not be carried out in a holly month, hello…. Americans are not Muslim therefore they do not attend to your holly months shenanigans, else, who says things have to be carried the way the area people want it too, their cries should be carried out towards their own folks who sit on top of their hearts for ever, like the despot did.

Happy happiness

Curt from Houston said...

""He was "out of control", that's the only reason America invaded, captured, tried and executed him. He was no more a 'criminal' than those who equipped him to commit those crimes, rather, they are no less a criminal. He wouldn't do as he was told, so he had to go."

Libyan Warrior, please stop posting things under my handle. It's really getting tiresome.

Lebeeya said...

Nicely put Highlander. You and Libyan Warrior said it all.

I don't think anyone was in the spirit of Eid yesterday but It's over now. Lets see whats gonna happen next. Lets just hope things in Iraq will get better? (I doubt it).

smokey spice said...

I'm not shedding a tear for this dude, but the opaqueness of the process is annoying as was the cancellation of the other scheduled trials.

If there is such thing as a scale of ugliness, he definitely had some more in every pocket of every single suit that covered his miserable flesh. It would have been pretty ugly, but I think it's Iraqis' right to know.

At this point, it's him and his deeds.

Libyan Warrior( The King Of Al-Andalaus) said...

Libyan Warrior, please stop posting things under my handle. It's really getting tiresome.

What r U talking About!!!!!!

Dude u r seriosly Dilusional. I have never posted anything under your handel, I would suggest getting a blogger acount if you are having a case of mistaken Identity.

Anonymous said...

"Oh there is no denying that Saddam Hussein deserves a zillion deaths for all his crimes, and I am very happy the man got his punishment. However, why should that have to ruin my holiday ?"

Why do you cry that this ruins your holiday? Did the 90+ Iraqi's killed by carbombs on Saturday EID ruin it? No didnt ruin yours nor any other Muslim I see crying about their "ruined holiday" due to Saddam...or as many say its Americas fault. 90 Muslims are killed by carbombs 1st day of EID and you dont mention it or care....your holiday is ruind by the death of one man who acted by less Islamic principles than some christians I know.

Libyan Warrior:

If Saddam has so much information the US is scared of...why not just pop him in his hole when they found him? Why risk keeping him alive 3 years and put him in front of a world audience broadcast on TV for 1 year of that during his trial?

Highlander said...

Thanks Curt , Lebeeya , LW, anon, & Smokey

I think I'm going to post an update on this topic :) Seems I still have a lot to say. But your and everybody elses comments are still welcome as they may be incorporated in the next post on Saddam .


Also LW & Curt as you noticed I have stopped allowing anonymous comments so that no-one takes the identity of someone else - theoretically at least :)

Libyan Warrior( The King Of Al-Andalaus) said...

This momentous event also teaches us, through Ibrahim, that human life,Ismail's, Ibrahim's, everyone's, acquires its meaning and value from God

Wallah, I couldnt agree more. To save one life is as if one saves all of mankind, and to take one life (unjustly) is to take all mankinds, its sad and unfortunate, that no one views human life in this regard anymore, every time you turn on the news, people are murdered senslessly over nothing more then a few dollars, or in Iraq for example it seems that 70-80 dead per incident,per day has
become a natural occurance, human life has no value anymore, our humanity is dead,we no longer are affected or shocked by the killings,we except them, as normal, human life has become nothing more then a statistic. One would think that after the Human Casualities of World War 2 we would no better.

Highlander said...

JD Thank you for your comment.Either you are new or are one of the anomymous who have recently acquired a blogger ID.So welcome to my blog.

Maybe I should clarify.The daily murder of Iraqis and other people all around the world has become so routine that we are sadly jaded against it. We simply ask God to bless them and let them enter paradise. Saddam's death on its own did not 'ruin' my vacation. If you read the link you may have understood what I was referring too. However, Saddam's execution and the way it was handled did ruin many Arabs Eid yes because now it is all about Saddam and the theories surrounding his death instead of beautiful things about the Eid and it's meaning to Muslims. The Eid conversation in families here in Libya did 90% of the time revolve about him and the conspiracy theories and that my dear JD does ruin a holiday . Holiday as in HOLY DAY which Eid obviously was. This is in addition to the feeling that none of the mindless horror taking place in Iraq would have happened without the US invasion. Like it or not Saddam's execution did carry a lot of symbolism and that could ruin the holiday when you are trying to forget ME woes at least for a few days !