» 06/07/2012, 00.00
Fr. Samir: This too is Islam. The video of the beheading of a young Tunisian convert
Samir Khalil Samir
The horrific video was released not by anti-Islamic groups, but by an Egyptian journalist, Tawfik Oshaka, condemning the Salafis and the Muslim Brotherhood. Islamic extremism has a cruel image of Islam. But the seeds of violence are present in the Koran and the life of Muhammad. It is time for Muslims to unequivocally condemn this violence.
Beirut (AsiaNews) - In recent days, AsiaNews
received a chilling video which shows
the beheading of a young Tunisian accused of apostasy because he was a Muslim
convert to Christianity. In the video posted on Youtube, some masked people
brandish a knife ready to kill a young man lying on the ground, his face held
motionless. After the cry of some ritual prayers, and whisper a few words of
the young man held on the ground (a prayer), one of the men with their faces
hidden slits his throat while blood flows relentlessly, in a long and horrible
scene. Finally his head is presented as a trophy.
Originally the video was shown on television of "Egypt Today" (Misr
al-Yawm). "Egypt Today" is a well known and respected newspaper, even
with on-line edition in Arabic.
The person that posted and commented on this video, Tawfik 'Okasha, is a well
known and serious journalist. Currently he is subject to attacks and
condemnations from various Islamic groups (the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafi)
because he is publically critical of fanatic Islam.
The video of the beheading is preceded by a warning from Okasha, who advises
against ots viewing if people are sensitive, especially for children, girls,
Eventually, Okasha says: My brothers, you think that this is Islam? You are
giving bad publicity to our religion. This film is seen in Europe and America,
Germany, France, England and elsewhere. This is the image that we are giving of
the video authentic?
One wonders about the authenticity of the images.
The prayers that you hear in the background while the act is being carried out
are authentic, well-known formulas of insults against anyone who leaves Islam;
oaths made to God against apostates, against unbelievers, and all those who are
held to be enemies of Islam.
Tawfik Oshaka is certainly authentic and confirms his line to defend Islam
against the extremists. Precisely for this reason he is being targeted by
extremists. Okasha believes in the veracity of the video and released it.
I do not have the skills to accurately verify the authenticity. The sequence in
which the young apostate is slain and beheaded, to the point where his head is
brandished in triumph seems to have no breaks. But it is striking that man
about to be killed remains so quiet, without any reaction, whispering a few words,
is inherent to terrorism
What is surprising, however, is that a simple knife is used for the beheading
which lasts for almost a full two minutes, increasing the spectators horror.
Usually, the execution of apostates is handled by specialized executioners with
a sharp sword, in a clean blow.
The video is definitely made to terrorize anyone who wants to become a
It is important to note that the video was released not by anti-Islamic groups
and individuals, but by people who want to defend Islam, accusing the
Okasha's comment is "What you see is not Islam and is not
acceptable." His comment is thus pro-Muslim and anti-terrorist.
The savage brutality of Islamic terrorists shown in the video is not surprising:
we have sometimes seen similar executions with videos from Iraq. Even the prayers
that you hear recited by the Imam are real, which they know by heart, not a
literary or theatrical declamation.
surprise attribution to Tunisia
There are no data to accurately determine that the video is from Tunisia.
Especially since this country is one of the most liberal in terms of Islam and
the same Ennhada, the Muslim Brotherhood party now in power, wants to promote a
very tolerant image.
On the other hand, the Islamists have now become an international group capable
of infiltrating anywhere. They are also in Syria, mingled among the opposition
that has declared a "holy war" against Assad. Just as we saw them in Libya,
mixed with the opposition against Gaddafi. Islamic radicalism and terrorism
have become an international movement.
Radical and fanatical Islam has always done these things. In Algeria, in the
90s they did terrible things, killing more than 100 thousand people. They
ripped open pregnant women to kill the child!
Muslim minority that ruins the image of Islam
We decided to publish the link to the video - experiencing the cruelty of the
sequences - because these acts give the image of a Muslim minority that ruins
the whole Islamic community. The Islamophobia of which the Muslims often
complain, is caused by such things. As long as moderate Muslims fail to protest
against these acts, Islam will always be associated with violence.
Of course, there are many Muslims who reject these inhumane acts, and most
likely the majority rejects them. But words of protest are not enough! It takes
visible action to counter these spectacular and dramatic episodes. Mass, well-organized
demonstrations, are needed. Islam and authentic humanists must clearly demonstrate
to everyone that Islam has nothing to do with this gratuitous and unheard of violence!
we must also reflect on the relationship between Islam and violence
This violence does not represent the majority of Islam. Far from it! But it's
also true that violence has its seed in the Koran, and finds life of Muhammad
and his depredations ... which are sometimes very violent.
Muslims must condemn this violence, not just by saying "but this is not
Islam." Unfortunately, even that is Islam and found in the Koran. There is
actually a seed of violence within Islam and the Koran, which today is taken up
by the radical tendencies. Every radical group has its imam, issuing fatwas
authorizing such violence, fatwas based on Islamic tradition. And the terrorists
act believing that they are worshiping God!
needs, like all religions, to be rethought!
Perhaps in the seventh century, such violence was understandable, among people
who lived in the desert. But now it must be condemned and the religious center
of Islam saved.
Even the Bible has violent passages in the Old Testament. And I remember the
great biblical scholar, the current Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, had written to
denounce the violence done in the name of God and the Bible.
But none of us Christians, although we recognize the Old Testament as a
revealed text, would dream of applying what is written in some of those books to
the letter. It would be unacceptable.
If no one says anything, let alone Muslims, the seed of violence will grow. The
rejection of violence must be absolute and radical, for all those who believe
in God, for all those who believe in man, in the name of God and in the name of
Warning: The images of the video referenced above may offend your
Here is a link with video from "Egypt Today":
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Pope Francis in a video message: Dear people of Egypt ...
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The roots of violent Islamism are in Islam, the words of a Muslim
After every terrorist attack, there is the tendency to say, "This is not Islam." Yet those criminal acts are justified and inspired by texts that are the reference point for Muslims and Islamic institutions worldwide. There is an urgent need to reform Islam from within, by the Muslims themselves. Coexistence with other religions is the way to remove Islam from sclerosis and stagnation.
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