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PostWatch: An irregular correction to the Washington Post

Brought to you by Christopher Rake


Tuesday, October 29, 2002
8:17 PM

I don't know what else the Russians were supposed to do with the Chechyen terrorists who took the theatre patrons hostage, other than negotiating endlessly and giving them more leverage to kill people. There will be grief many times over for the innocents who were killed by the mystery gas that almost certainly saved most of the hostages from a horrible death.

Meanwhile, this website,, according to the reliable, offers helpful hints to future terrorists:

A Guide to the Perplexed about the Permissibility of Killing Prisoners

In an article titled “A Guide to the Perplexed Regarding the Permissibility of Killing Prisoners,” which appeared in the column “Jihad News from the Land of the Caucasus(1)” the author suggests that the Islamic religious scholars present five different alternatives, drawn from the various interpretations of the Koran:
1) A polytheist prisoner must be killed. No amnesty may be granted to him, nor can he be ransomed.
2) All infidel polytheists and the People of the Book (i.e., Jews and Christians) are to be killed. They may not be granted amnesty, nor can they be ransomed.
3) Amnesty and ransom are the only two ways to deal with prisoners.
4) Amnesty and ransom are possible only after the killing of a large number of prisoners.
5) The Imam, or someone acting on his behalf, can choose between killing, amnesty, ransom or enslaving the prisoner.

Killing a Prisoner for the Sins of Others is Permissible

The last position is the one preferred by the author who explained that the Prophet Muhammad had dealt with the prisoners in different ways to maximize the benefits to Muslims.

He gives examples regarding the methods that the Prophet Muhammad had chosen to kill, grant amnesty, or ransom prisoners.

The author finds it necessary to present the subject in reaction to an Islamic criticism “which had torn his heart” about the execution of nine [Russian] prisoners after the Russian Government had refused to surrender “one of Russia’s biggest criminals and crooks.”

According to the author, [the Chechens] have executed the prisoners not because of their heart’s desire, but because they have seen a benefit for the Muslims in such an act.

In reaction to the arguments made by some critics that no one should be punished for the sins of others, the author maintains that Allah permits the killing of a prisoner because he is a prisoner, and all the more so if his killing for the sins of others serves an important Islamic interest, as well as a deterrent (to the enemy)...

MEMRI descibres the site as "hostile to Russians" and "probably run by Chechens"

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