Monday, October 28, 2013

Who says Islam is intolerant?

Hajj Abd Al-Nabi

I think this report on Hajj Abd Al-Nabi from Memri puts the lie to the line that Islam is intolerant:
"I am the executioner of the Arab Republic of Egypt. I hold the rank of chief warrant officer in the police and the prison authority. I am Egypt's executioner, responsible for carrying out the death penalty . . . . When I was young -- about 13 or 14 years old -- the dry Ismailiya Canal in Shubra Al-Kheima still had water in it. My hobby was to catch a cat, to place a rope around its neck, to strangle it, and throw it into the water. I would get hold of any animal -- even dogs. I would strangle these animals and throw them into the water -- even dogs . . . . when I was 13 or 14 years old. Strangulation was my hobby . . . . The truth is that my heart is dead, because executing comes from the heart . . . . Only if you have a heart of stone can you be content in this line of work . . . . It's a gift . . . . A great gift. I love my job very much, and I can't give it up. Even when I retire, I will report for duty in emergencies. I will leave this job only when I am dead." ("Egypt's Executioner: Strangling Has Been My Hobby Since Childhood, I Just Love My Job," Memri, Special Dispatch No. 5496, October 25, 2013)
In an intolerant Western country, this man would be labeled a sociopath and locked up as a menace to society -- either in prison or a mental institution! An Islamic country, by contrast, offers him a respectable line of work as Allah's willing executioner.

Now, tell me which civilization is not truly tolerant . . .

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At 3:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hope I don't sound off the wall but have considered that a surgeon is driven to cut human flesh to help others. A sociopath
might enjoy it for the shear pleasure of terrorizing others. This executioner believes he is serving justice. He was born without feelings and with an enjoyment of killing for a purpose he believes he is noble? However one defines good or bad, they both believe they are right and good, and call each other evil?

I did not know philosophy was such a vast and diverse field.


At 3:46 PM, Blogger gordsellar said...

Ha, well, of course, in Western countries most sociopaths aren't locked up: they're just sort of expected to channel their destructiveness in other ways.

(Politics and business, primarily, pace Robert Hare's Snakes in Suits.)

Still, I'm leery to blame Islam society when I imagine you could find the executioners of Christendom saying similar things.

Which is to say, as I suppose your last comment suggests: Islam (as well as the nation's degree of technological development, and the general degree of social enlightenment, compassion, etc.) all conspire to constrain the specific blooms that show up in the local garden of fleurs du mal... but it's religion plus a host of other conditions, just as it was in Europe when executioners there were likely just like this.

How are you, by the way? Sorting out my feed subscriptions now, in the hope of catching up a bit. Jihyun and I are in Saigon, more or less living here for now... :)

At 4:45 PM, Anonymous erdal said...

"executing comes from the heart, not the moustache"

Quite so! I'll use this marvellous line, when an occasion arises. I wonder what that occasion will be. (Not having a moustache doesn't help)

At 6:12 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

DW, I was writing with deep irony, but if I were to speak directly, I would suggest that one clear point is that such a man who openly speaks of strangling cats and dogs as a hobby would not be allowed in the position of top executioner in Western countries that still have executions.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 6:17 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Gord, there are always multiple factors, but this guy's probably an outlier even among executioners in Muslim countries!

How am I? I haven't strangled anyone lately, but I'm happy nonetheless.

How's your writing career going?

Jeffery Hodges

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At 6:18 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Erdal, I guess I might as well shave . . .

Jeffery Hodges

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