Beheading condemned by Hamas and Hizbollah
Friday 14 May 2004
Two Islamic militant groups, Hezbollah and Hamas, issued strongly worded condemnations yesterday of the videotaped beheading of American civilian Nick Berg in Iraq.
Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates became the first Arab governments to criticise the slaying and newspapers in the region, which initially gave little coverage to the gruesome video, began to excoriate the al-Qa'ida affiliated killers.
But Arab governments and Islamic militant groups, most of which have spoken out repeatedly about the abuse of the prisoners, initially kept silent. On Thursday, Lebanon's Hezbollah and the militant Palestinian group Hamas, labelled terrorist organizations by the US, said the slaying was un-Islamic.
In a statement, Hezbollah called Berg's killing an "extremely brutal and cruel" act.
"Hezbollah condemns this grisly act which has caused great harm to Islam and to Muslims by this group which falsely claims to belong to the religion of mercy, compassion and genuine human values."
Of the killers shown cutting off Berg's head, Hezbollah said: "This group belongs to the Pentagon school - the school of killings, occupation, crime, torture and immoral practices as exposed by the big scandal in the [US] occupation prisons."
Osama Hamdan, Hamas' representative in Lebanon, denounced both Berg's killers and US President Bush in the same breath. "I condemn this brutal act and sympathise with the family of the slain American man," he said.
Both Hezbollah and Hamas said the beheading hurt Arab causes, and predicted that the United States would use it to turn attention away from the prisoner-abuse scandal.
The other Palestinian militant group, Islamic Jihad, declined to comment on Berg's slaying. The group's Lebanese representative, Abu Imad Rifai, said: "I cannot comment because I am not sure of its authenticity. I didn't see the man's body."
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
£20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly reputable business is looking to rec...
£28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is a major supplier of buil...
£28000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£28000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly reputable business is looking to rec...