Surreal Slaughter in London
Some disturbing news has just come from London where a British soldier was hacked to pieces and killed by two alleged Islamic fundamentalists in broad daylight.
And it was so shocking—and so surreal—that even I couldn’t believe it at first.
The attack happened on Thursday near the Royal Artillery Barracks in Woolwich, a working-class and multicultural area in the southern part of the city. The victim—whose family has asked that he not be identified—was apparently a soldier returning from duty in central London when he was suddenly struck by a car on a busy Woolwich street.
Two men armed with knives, cleavers and a gun leapt from the car, approached the injured solider and did the unthinkable before pedestrians even knew what was happening: they started stabbing, cutting and slashing him to bits. One witness said it seemed as if they were trying to remove the man’s organs.
“These two guys were crazed,” the witness known only as James explained. “They were just not there. They were just animals.”
What happened next, though, was even more bizarre.
With the bloody corpse of the dead solider still lying in the street—and with dozens of witnesses struggling to make sense of the gruesome scene—the men did not flee or even attempt to leave. Instead, one of them approached a bus and started asking people to take his picture and to film him.
An unidentified man on his way to a job interview stumbled across the scene, whipped out his phone and started filming. Before he could react, he was approached by one of the killers, who still held the cleaver and knife and was covered in blood. Of course, to say this freaked the cameraman out would be an understatement, but the killer did his best to put him at ease.
“No, no, no. It’s cool,” the killer told him. “I just want to talk to you.”
At this point, the blood-soaked murderer went off on a tirade that went something like this: “You people will never be safe. Remove your government. They don’t care about you. You think David Cameron is going to get caught in the street when we start busting our guns? Get rid of them. Tell them to bring our troops back so we can all live in peace… We swear by almighty Allah we will never stop fighting you until you leave us alone… The only reasons we killed this man is because Muslims are dying daily.”
Easy for him to say after slaughtering an innocent person in the street, but there’s more. The killer noticed some women walking by and apologized to them for having to witness such carnage. He also said, “But in our lands, our women have to see the same.”
You can view coverage from the scene by going HERE, but I warn you. The images are kind of graphic.
Police received the first call regarding this terrible crime around 2:15 p.m. and it took them nearly half an hour to respond. Once they arrived, though, the killers apparently rushed them and both men were shot and injured. They now reside in local hospitals where they are being kept under armed guard.
Authorities are investigating this horrific attack and searched an address in Lincolnshire in connection with the killing, but few details have been shared with the public. A clear motive also has not been established, but based on some of the killers’ comments, it seems they object to British interference and “warmongering” in Muslim countries and felt an extreme act like this was the only way to bring attention to this issue.
Yet another case of Islamic fundamentalism, I suppose, but one that members of the Muslim community themselves have condemned. A prominent and radical leader in the British Muslim community—Anjem Choudary—had this to say of the attack: “This was not just an attack on Britain and on the British way of life; it was also a betrayal of Islam and of the Muslim communities who give so much to our country. There is nothing in Islam that justifies this truly dreadful act. The fault lies solely with the sickening individuals who carried out this attack.”
And if nothing else, this is the thing we must all remember: Islam wasn’t responsible for this slaughter; two crazy Muslims were. It’s like that old saying that “one bad apple can spoil the whole bunch.” From an American perspective, this is what seems to be happening in terms of our perception of Islam, but this certainly should not be the case. There are crazy people everywhere, in every country and in every religion. And it’s them we should blame when their actions harm others, not the religion they blindly follow or twist to their evil purposes.
After all, Americans like Reverend Jim Jones and David Koresh were Christians, and we know what happened to them. Jones led hundreds of his congregation members to South America and convinced them to participate in a mass suicide that claimed 908 lives. And Koresh persuaded his fellow Branch Davidians to participate in a siege against agents from the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, one that ended in the deaths of the cult leader, 54 adults and 28 children.
It’s the PEOPLE who bring evil into this world, not their RELIGIONS. At least that’s not what their religions intend to happen. Unfortunately, no one can control how people will act, even when those acts claim to have some basis—albeit a misguided one—in religious doctrines.
Have we learned nothing from the Crusades?
Believe me. As an American—one who experienced the horror of attacks like the ones on September 11th (and had friends deeply affected by the losses of loved ones they suffered on that fateful day)—it would be all-too-easy for me to blame Islam and to label every Muslim as a potential terrorist. However, doing so would not be fair and certainly would not be accurate.
I have Muslim friends now who would never do something so terrible, especially something that would cost innocent lives. And you know why? Because they are good, decent people and because at its heart, Islam is not a religion of evil; it’s a religion of love.
In this context—and having heard nothing new in the London case (at least not yet)—I leave you with a quote from a song that may not seem to apply, but whose message is undeniably applicable to our species at large. It comes from the late, great pop superstar Michael Jackson and his duet with Paul McCartney in 1982—the hit single “Ebony and Ivory.”
There is good and bad in everyone. We learn to live, we learn to give each other what we need to survive, together alive.
It’s about time we started doing just that, don’t you think?
Posted on May 23, 2013, in Perspectives and tagged commentary, Crime and Justice, current-events, David Koresh, Islam, London, Michael Jackson, murder, Muslim, news, perspectives, religion, Woolwich. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.