Wednesday, October 06, 2004

In The Name Of God: Serial Killers

I've spent a lot of time on this blog looking at the cause and creation of "the enemy". I've looked at Islam, Saudi Arabia education programs, social structure, culture, you name it. I haven't posted half of what I've found out because I would have to quit my job and do this full time. Sadly, as interesting as this project has been, it doesn't pay the bills.

In doing so, I've come to know a lot about myself and other people. I've learned many things about the Middle East, global politics, economics, internal politics, so many things, it's hard to list them here. One thing I have learned, the Middle East is full of paradoxes and there are people in the United States and around the world that are the same. Everyone has there "logical" thinkers that try to put rational arguments together. Everyone has the "conspiracy theorists" walking around spouting all sorts of nonsense. Every country, every nationality has it's common folks that just try to work hard, take care of their families and live a good life. And every country, every group and, yes, every religion, has their crazies and cultists that like to highjack a perfectly good thing and turn it into evil.

And here we are, the normal people, trying hard to figure out what motivates them and how best to combat them.

While doing some research on terrorism, I came across some information and thought, "doesn't that beat all. There really are some crazy bastards who claim to be working for God." They are Christians. No, I'm talking about Jerry Falwell or Jim Baker or Jimmy Swaggert. While I don't agree with these folks and their behavior, at least I haven't heard them exhorting their followers to go out and murder people. Interestingly, I have heard people equate them to the Taliban or the terrorist. Even some that claim the President is a fanatical Christian. Frankly, I don't think the people claiming that are in touch with reality, but there you go.

On the other hand, how many of my readers have heard of the Lord's Resistance Army? They're Christian and they are bad. Want to read some more about acts "In The Name Of God"? Then go....

Let's face it folks, there are some evil bastard's in this world. We don't have to look far to see somebody killing somebody else, raping, child abuse, serial killers and pedophiles. They are in your face, twenty four hours a day, if you watch or read the news. To some, that might be a reason to curl up and stay home. Stop socializing with others. But we know that's not a viable choice and we know it doesn't make us any safer.

But there has to be something peculiarly evil about people that claim they know God's plans and work for him, all the while committing evil deeds like sawing off somebody's head, blowing up children, raping women, massacring whole villages. Maybe you don't do the whole "God" thing, but I'll tell you how I see it, "evil" is the best word to describe these acts. And unfortunately, if you're a Christian, you know we have our own whack jobs to deal with. If it's not the Aryan Brotherhood claiming that the bible exhorts us to be separate in our races or other white power groups claiming God wants us to own slaves and black men come from monkeys or whatever their newest crazy speak is, it's some bastards that are running around the African country side, claiming that they are doing the lord's work and cleansing Africa of it's version of the infidel, slaughtering villages, kidnapping children, selling them into slavery or using them as sex slaves.

It's a sick freaking world out there, you better believe it.

But, for those of us who have faith, whether you are Muslim or Christian, we don't like to claim these folks and for a good reason. They highjacked our religion in the name of power.

That's right, whatever we think about Islam and the Middle East (and believe me, they have some ass backward, full time conspiracy theorists running around) or Christianity, the reality is, in every group, you have some people that are hungry for power. Don't let their little diatribes about just being messengers or poor fighters from God or Allah fool you. They want power and the best way they can figure to get a following and make their sick little dreams come true is to claim a higher calling and get people to believe they are part of them: a good Muslim or Christian and God has called them to lead the lost out of the wilderness.

Of course, they want to lead them out of the wilderness and right to the steps of some country's capitol or palace where they hope their followers will install them as the one and only for a long, long time. And hey, if they don't reach that dream, they've still fulfilled their sick, power tripping fantasies because they have people that listen to them and take every word as gospel, do the unspeakable things they ask and they have power over people they consider as "weaker" because they can ride into town, commit horrible acts and terrorize a whole nation. Even if their names get spoken like they were the bogeyman, it still fulfills their twisted egos because, at last, they have recognition.

Recently, I heard Prince Turki Faisal, ambassador to Britain from Saudi Arabia, make a statement about Al Qaida being a cult and nothing more. At first, I took this to be some sort of attempt to minimize Al Qaida and the Saudi duplicity in this groups development. Lately, I've been thinking that he might not be far off in his assessment and it wasn't an attempt to minimize the urgency of getting this group.

In reality, the leaders of these groups, like Zarqawi, are just like the criminals we know about and we should read and understand that mind set. The criminals I am talking about are serial killers, serial rapists, pedophiles and that ilk. People like Ted Bundy and John Wayne Gayce and Charlie Manson. They all had something in common. They felt powerless so they took their power by overpowering their victims, tied them up, raped, tortured, mutilated and then, ultimately, killed them.

Pedophiles have the same modis operandi, although it doesn't always end in death. But their purpose is just the same, they choose the weak and the helpless to victimize because it makes them feel powerful.

And don't think for one minute I am excusing any terrorists. This is about knowing the enemy. And the enemy wants power and is willing to kill for it. They make video tapes of their killings. People have put this out as a technique meant to inspire terror in other's hearts and it does. Other's have claimed that they use the videos as recruiting tools and they do. But the other, hidden purpose is not really so hidden. In the words of a Hollywood producer, "I'll make you famous."

And that is what this is about. Not God. Not piety. Not nationalistic endeavors. Not revenge. This is about power and fame.

The leaders of these groups are charismatic and seen as strong, but the reality is that they are weak. They have convinced their followers that they know what God wants. They convince their followers to commit atrocious acts, to commit suicide. All the while, they stand back and watch, like the evil puppeteer, never participating in the suicide bombing themselves. Oh, no. That wouldn't do. SOMEBODY must stay back and lead the rest of the lost. All the while, not only do they feel the kick of adrenaline for having perpetrated the death of many, they really get a sick sort of glee, down in the darkest parts of their hearts, that they were able to convince another young man or woman to commit such a deed. Then they look around and say, "who's next?" because, like all serial killers, the first death is not enough. Like an addict, they must continue on to the next most horrific deed because just sawing off the head of one man no longer gives them the thrill that they seek. Now they need two. Now they need a dozen.

The last bomb only killed 15. Let's see if we can go for 30. Double or nothing. They shoot for 10k and had to settle for 3000.

And all the better that their victims pray and beg for mercy because it gives them that much more sense of power.

And we've seen their kind before, cloaked in the robes of faith and the name of God dripping from their lips. Who can forget the Rev. Jim Jones that convinced 913 of his followers, including women and children, to drink kool aid and commit suicide? And hey, it's not just the Middle East and the United States that can produce these kookoo's for coco puffs. Ever heard about Aum Shinri Kyo (the supreme truth)? They use parts of Hindu, Buddhist and Christian religion to entice their followers. Their leader, Shoko Asahara, was very charismatic and claimed that the apocalypse was near. They wanted to hasten the coming so they put Sarin gas in a train in Tokyo.

All of this in the name of God.

And again, what were they looking for? Power.

The only difference between some of these people were the size of their aspirations. That includes our current batch of serial killers. One thing you've got to admit, these guys dream big. They want to destroy the US and create the "New Caliphate". A bigger and better version of the Ottoman empire. They are Hitler. They are Stalin. The cult of personality that allows them to perpetrate their serial killing on a mass scale, using their latest of version of Goebbels, Himmler and Mengele.

Many people argue about the origins of our current batch of serial killers in the name of God. Some claim it is social injustice, depressed economy and social structures. Others claim that the leaders and many participating in these cults of serial killing terrorists are well educated and come from wealthy families. And still others that it is Islam itself that created them. Certainly, Osama bin Laden did not come from a dirt house in Jeddah and Aiyman al Zawahiri was educated as a doctor. Who is right? The reality is that both suppositions are correct.

The leaders of these groups are often well educated. In the case of bin Laden, everyone knows that his father was wealthy, he inherited a fortune. He was also child number 7 out of 54. He is described often as shy and retiring and non-confrontational and the authors of the listed article said there was nothing in his background to give notifies as his future life of head terrorist and enemy #1. In just a few words, we have described just about every known serial killers background and personality.

You don't get much attention when you are child #7 out of 54 and particularly if your father is already a little on the older side. And "shy, retiring and non-confrontational" has been used to describe serial killers all the way from Ted Bundy to Jeffrey Dahmer.

Of course, this would be too simple an explanation for his existence and he certainly has political motivations, but they all culminate in the basic theme: power. If you look at his time in Afghanistan, he spent a number of years working with others inside the group and not placing himself in a position of leadership. Eventually, he set up his own camps, his own followers and his own battle plans. The first step to cultivating his power. And, as many might claim that he is not motivated by the desire for power, his every action and declaration of war against the United States, suggests otherwise. It is obviously a move to get additional followers and he cloaks it in his religious propaganda.

Some might say that the very act of attacking the United States does not point to a desire to attack someone "weaker" as is the habit of serial killers. The size and strength of the United States would seem to counter this claim. But there are two realities here. The first, he did not attack the United States military which he would have no ability to defeat; he attacked average citizens with airplanes which is very clearly an attack against a "weaker" enemy. The second is delusions of grandeur. By attacking the weakest part of the United States, it's civilians, and claiming a war against a much larger and stronger adversary, he has puffed himself up as a mythical leader and made himself important once again after the end of the Afghanistan war with the USSR. Releasing video and audio of himself speaking and seeing it played on television, both in the middle east and in the west, must surely give him a feeling of importance.

And the media plays into his ego-manical desires.

And the cult of fundamental Islam made it easy to recruit his followers. As much as the State of Saudi Arabia and moderate Muslims wish to decry their duplicity, they have supplied him with an endless number of recruits as they exalt martyrdom. And his name is spoken in reverent tones in many places. Some even claiming that he is not a mass murderer and it is a lie made up by people wishing to denigrate Islam and the Middle East. They have no experience with serial killers and their psychology, not because they don't exist in Arab or Muslim world, but because they are very adept at hiding the truth from themselves. If it is out of site, it doesn't happen. In the Middle East, you will not find many programs or books about Arab serial killers. The police do not categorize them and they are not reported in such a manner. If a killing occurs, the usual suspects are rounded up and somebody pays for the crime, although it isn't often the real killer on these occasions.

In the culture of shame, no one is going to admit that an adherent of Islam is a serial killer. It just can't be. And that is why you hear one of two comments coming out of the mouths of the representatives of Arab and Muslim culture: 1) they are not true adherents of Islam; 2) Islam allows such actions in the defense of Muslims. Either a straight denial or an apologist/rationalists. Googling "serial killers middle east", I found one article about Serial Child Killers in Iran. I then Googled "serial killer Saudi Arabia" and came up with one story about a rumor of a serial killer in the eastern province, praying on students at an Indian school. The comment from the police:

The Saudi authorities have denied the existence of a serial killer in the Eastern Province, saying that all such reports are nothing but rumors. They also appealed to residents to refrain from engaging in such empty talk. The Egyptian Internet police recently caught Andy Ibrahim Shoukri, a 19-year-old student, spreading warnings via e-mail about a serial killer in Cairo. Police said the rumors were false. Shoukri was sentenced to a month in prison by an Emergency State Security court in April for spreading false information.

The story goes on to talk about an incident in Yemen where a "Sudanese" morgue worker allegedly targeted young students at the Yemen University, raping 16 victims and purportedly mutilating corpses in the morgue. He was arrested and eventually confessed according to the article. As a matter of fact, he confessed to having committed these crimes in countries as far flung as Chad, Sudan, Lebanon and Kuwait. Knowing something about the methods of the Saudis and Yemenis for extracting "confessions", the fact that the man was a foreign national (conveniently) and committed confessional "overkill" in admitting to so many crimes, you can surmise that there was probably no DNA sample tested and the man was probably not the real serial rapist. God forbid that someone in Yemeni or Saudi Arabia would be accused of such crimes. It must be somebody else.

And that is the reality here. It is a culture of denial. Rational people know and understand that serial killers are not unique phenomenon to the western world. They exist in Russia (even though the USSR tried to deny it for many years), China, France, Britain, Malaysia, Taiwan, you name it there's a serial killer loose. Serial killing is not predicated on a culture, but on the mind of the individual and all his experiences or delusions.

Zarqawi is even more representative of the classic serial killer syndrome. He comes from a poor and extended family. He had little financial opportunities. He is not as well educated as leaders like bin Laden or Zawahiri, whom he eventually parted from to begin his own cultist, serial killer group. He has all the earmarks of a disenfranchised man looking for his own power over those he felt were responsible for his oppression. As a Palestinian born in Jordan, his natural enemy was Israel and the west, particularly the US. And just like serial killers that target a specific victim because it reminds them of some rejection or insult or humiliation, Zarqawi has made it big time as one of the most prolific serial killers of the middle east with the number of victims he has personally cut the heads from.

And like all good serial killers, they have done the "copy cat" procedure and now every Arab and Muslim serial killer seeks to emulate their idols, starting with the beheading of Daniel Perle, to the death of Paul Johnson at the hands of Al Moqrin and now al-Zarqawi. And each serial killer springs up new with a more horrific act in order to assure his own ascendance in the glaring spotlight of fame and history.

And each of these serial killers have something in common: they all scream allahu akbar (God is great) as they commit their despicable acts.

It is serial killing in the name of God.


Anonymous said...

this happens with ALL religions ESPECIALLY CHRISTIANITY

Anonymous said...

I hope that every terrorist and serial killer whether they were Christians or Muslims, I hope they burn in hell for using the name of God or Allah to do such crimes. God is love God is peace. It should have never been this way...