Saturday, September 15, 2007
Contract for slaughter
In an Internet communique entitled "They plotted yet God too was plotting," al-Qaeda in Iraq has posted bounties on the heads of Lars Vilks, the artist whose sketches of "Muhammad as a traffic-circle dog" have roiled the Swedish art scene, and Ulf Johansson, editor of Nerikes Allehanda, a Swedish newspaper that printed one of the drawings to illustrate an editorial criticizing "unacceptable self-censorship" on the part of art exhibitors that refused to show them. The reward for a successful hit on Vilks is $100,000, with a $50,000 bonus if he is "slaughtered like a lamb," and $50,000 for one on Johansson.
Al-Qaeda’s desire that Lars Vilks be "slaughtered like a lamb" and its offer of extra bounty for the same are actually an exhortation to jihadists to slit his throat while speaking the name of Allah, as sheep are slaughtered for Eid al-Adha, the "Festival of Sacrifice" with which Ramadan concludes. There is ample precedence for human sacrifice of this sort: it was also carried out during the massacre of Armenians in Urfa in 1895, as Lord Kinross noted in "The Ottoman Centuries" (New York: Morrow Quill Paperbacks, 1977, p.560):
"When a large group of Armenians were brought before a sheikh, he had them thrown down on their backs and held by their hands and feet. Then, in the words of an observer, he recited verses of the Koran and ‘cut their throats after the Mecca rite of sacrificing sheep.’"
With Ramadan now under way, Eid al-Adha isn’t far off. Lars Vilks would do well to arm himself, lest his person supply the jihad enemy the medium for an artwork in the style of Jackson Pollock.
Nota bene: As Robert Spencer at Jihad Watch has observed, the title of al-Qaeda’s communique is straight from the Qur’an – to wit, Verse 3:54:
"And (the unbelievers) plotted and planned, and God too planned, and the best of planners is God." (Abdullah Yusif Ali translation.)
Update: Gruesome photos from last year's Eid slaughter. Warning: these are not for the faint of heart.