Change we can believe in

Here we go, now this is some pleasantly surprising change for you guys. Via Lawdog, it seems that the local Muslim graveyards are refusing the bodies of the Mumbai terrorists. A spokesman for the Trust running the graveyards said of the terrorists, “People who committed this heinous crime cannot be called Muslim. Islam does not permit this sort of barbaric crime.” The Australian also reports that the Indian Muslim Council has said they should not be buried anywhere on Indian soil.

This is exactly the kind of thing the world has been looking for from Islamic authorities in reaction to these events. While a lot of people may see this as an extreme response there are two things to consider here: first off, the Muslim traditions surrounding burial are much more elaborate than most western traditions. In addition to the importance of the ritual method of preparing the body for burial, and the manner in which they are buried, Muslims believe that the deceased is questioned by angels at their burial about their life and their faith in Allah, which is why their family will stand and pray for them to answer correctly. To be denied this sort of end is a grave insult (no pun intended) and if this becomes a more commonplace threat to potential terrorists, it may give them pause.

Second, they are denying that the attacks are even the actions of faithful Muslims. This is a big one for the rest of the world. We need more of this. People hear from news outlets and blogs and other third parties that it is a minority of Muslims who believe in the jihad, who would participate in these sort of atrocities. And while most people agree that it is true that it is a minority executing these attacks, the fact that we have a huge number of these attacks being committed all over the world with little to no outcry from prominent Muslim leaders tells a story that most Muslims don’t want told: that Islam is a religion that condones, if not supports, this sort of terror. The silence is deafening. As Edward Burke was famously quoted, “all that is required for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing.” When these leaders speak up against terrorist actions in the name of Islam, it gives credibility to the idea that the jihad is a war being waged by a few extremists, which in turn gives credibility back to the religion and followers of Islam as a whole. When these leaders speak up, they are fighting these terrorists on a different platform than we ever can, and we need to give our support to those who do, because the other side will not tolerate it.

Dodging lions

Prester Scott brings up an interesting point in the light of the Mumbai attacks about the nonsense being propagated by the TSA et al:

Buying insurance against very specific, very rare, but catastrophic threats is not necessarily a bad idea in itself, but when it costs a lot of money and time and effort that could be better spent elsewhere, it becomes a bad idea. No one wants to be attacked by a lion. I might be able to convince you to buy some lion repellent. But (unless you’re an individual who walks around in the veldt in sub-saharan Africa every day) you’d have to be pretty dumb to spend a large portion of your income on it.

He has a point. It seems much more likely that we’d end up dealing with a Mumbai or Beslan-style attack than that someone might sneak onto an airplane with a ziploc full of anthrax – but which have you heard about more? And where do the funds go?

More from Mumbai, with an extra serving of bias

It has now come to light that the hostages killed by the terrorists in Mumbai were brutally tortured before they died – and that the Jewish hostages recieved the worst treatment. While I can’t say I’m entirely shocked by the barbarism displayed here by these animals, it’s notable that they were so forthright with their special treatment of these hostages. Combine that with the AP labeling the Chabad house the “headquarters of an ultra-Orthodox Jewish group,” and we have a winner. It’s obvious that the terrorists hated the Jews and wanted to brutalize them – but why must our own media try to sugarcoat that by making it sound like they somehow deserved it?

Here’s a brief explanation of why the labeling of Chabad is so inaccurate, from a commenter over at Ace’s:

First, the rabbi you will find at a Chabad house is a Lubavitcher (named after a town in Russia), which means he is someone who is dressed traditionally, but has an extremely modern outlook. Lubavichers are, generally, very cool, worldly people. They aren’t typical traditional Jews who, e.g., are very suspicious of the Internet and all things modern. Also, as this is AOSHQ, a Lubavitcher rabbi’s wife is allowed to look beautiful (if modest) in her dress. These are very cool, very warm, very with it people; they aren’t quite modern orthodox a la Senator Lieberman, but nor are they “ultra orthodox.” as in detached from the modern world, etc. Check out These folk were some of the first to use the Internet in a powerful way.

Second, whether it be in Mumbai, or Knoxville, TN, most of the people you’ll find at a Chabad House will not be Lubavitchers, or even the Orthodox; they’ll be just ordinary Jews looking for some Jewish culture, spirituality or kosher food off the beaten path.

Additionally, big-O “Orthodox” is a proper name for this group of Jews. Saying this Jewish center is “ultra-Orthodox” is analogous to calling St. James’ Church “ultra-Catholic.” It’s inaccurate and superfluous, and serves only to conjur up the image of radical religion that has been associated in the pop culture with the word “orthodox.”

Just another case of media bias trying to portray a slaughtered family as somehow “deserving” of the tragedy being passed off as journalistic integrity. Sickening.

Mumbai Review

So the attacks are over, 56 hours later. Latest count is 183 dead, and more than 300 injured, but according to Indian officials, it was stopped before the worst could happen – they had apparently planned to kill thousands of people by bombing the Taj building.  Averting that, at least, is a small bright spot in this chaos. Five hostages were killed at the Chabad House, one of the first places targeted, a fact scarcely covered by western news media – perhaps because the hostages were Jewish and Israeli.

The captured terrorist is Pakistani and has suspected ties to the Pakistani ISI, which has caused no small amount of tension to flare up in an already-tense region. Though Pakistan has denied involvement and sworn to help, and has sent its chief spymaster to aid in the investigation, it has also indicated it will move 100,000 military personnel to the border if “tensions continue to rise.” If that does happen, this could end up being the tipping point of a much larger, and scarier, conflict. Let’s hope it doesn’t get that far.

Bill Roggio has an excellent, more in-depth analysis of the execution and ramifications of the attack.

h/t to Ace for several of these links.

Update on Mumbai Hostages

Via an email from reader Dan F: Somewhere between 10 and 20 Jewish hostages are being held at the Chabad Lubavitch Jewish Center in Mumbai, in addition to the others being held in the hotels. The ones targeted in hotels are mostly American, British, and Israeli, though there are also reports of Australian, Japanese, and Singaporean hostages and victims as well. Latest updates have one of the hotels being recaptured and eight hostages freed, but another hotel and the Jewish Center are still held by the terrorists.

As we head into our Thanksgiving merriment today, keep these people in mind in your prayers.