Ten years ago this week, Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl was kidnapped by Islamic terrorists in Pakistan, after he had been lured into what he thought was an interview with Sheikh Mubarak Ali Gilani about the links between al Qaeda and the “shoe bomber” Richard Reid. The shadowy Pakistani group that kidnapped Pearl accused him of being a spy for the CIA, and made several demands, including the release of Pakistani detainees from Guantanamo. Nine days later, Pearl was murdered and beheaded, and on February 21, a video was released called “The Slaughter of the Spy-Journalist, the Jew Daniel Pearl.” The footage showed Pearl’s “confession” and brutal decapitation, interspersed with images of dead Muslims, George Bush shaking hands with Ariel Sharon, and Palestinians allegedly killed by Israeli Defense Forces, including 12-year-old Muhammad al-Dura, whose death was later exposed as a Palestinian fabrication. Later, captured 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed would brag to interrogators that he personally had beheaded Pearl. As for his abductor, Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, though tried and condemned to death, still lives in a Pakistani jail cell, from which according to some reports he has planned other terrorist attacks.
The killing of Pearl concentrated much of what Andrew McCarthy calls the “willful blindness” of many in the West to the Islamic roots of the perpetrators’ violence. At the time, most of the media mainly decried Pearl’s death because he was a reporter. Worse yet were the comments that scolded the terrorists for not understanding that American journalists are neutral observers whose impartiality could help them get their story out. As a New York Times editorial put it,
“The terrible irony of Mr. Pearl’s murder is that he and other independent journalists have been trying to present a detailed and informed portrait of the mindset, motives and grievances of the Islamic fundamentalists in the wake of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11 and the war in Afghanistan. That work will continue despite the killing, but the kidnappers have only undermined their cause by their acts.”
The professional corruption of the mainstream-media was revealed in this statement, with its claims that journalists are objective (mostly false) and have no loyalties to their own country and people (mostly true), and that the murderers had a legitimate “cause” and “grievances” (moral idiocy and cowardice).
Most commentary also ignored the Koranic-inspired anti-Semitism of the words Pearl was forced to say in the execution video: “My name is Daniel Pearl. I am a Jewish American from Encino, California U.S.A. I come from, uh, on my father’s side the family is Zionist. My father’s Jewish, my mother’s Jewish, I’m Jewish. My family follows Judaism. We’ve made numerous family visits to Israel. Back in the town of Bnei Brak there is a street named after my great grandfather Chaim Pearl who is one of the founders of the town.”
The claim that Pearl was a C.I.A. agent was obviously a pretext; his real offense was being a Jew, a race the Koran calls “laden with Allah’s anger,” destined to suffer forever “abasement and poverty” and eventually to be transformed into “apes and swine.” In emphasizing Pearl’s Jewish ancestry and Zionist connections, the terrorists were conforming to the genocidal ambitions of many Muslims, from Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has vowed to “wipe Israel from the map,” to the Muslim Brother affiliate Hamas, whose charter quotes the hadith proclaiming, “The Day of Judgment will not come about until Muslims fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say ‘O Muslims, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.’” As for the beheading, that too has its justification in Koran 8.12: “I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads.”
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