December 04, 2008

Were They Tortured In Mumbai

Solomonia has a story from the JTA that suggests that the Chabad victims may not have been tortured. One of the commenters links to a New York Times story and a blog post that contradict the JTA.

One could argue that the experience of gunmen storming in your home could be qualified as torture. As a parent it seems easy to imagine that the fear of what could happen to your child and spouse would be torture. It is not just the physical pain, but the mental anguish that accompanies it.

A couple of excerpts from the Times and the blog post.

Gruesome new evidence also emerged Thursday suggesting that some of the six people killed at the Jewish center in Mumbai had been treated savagely. Some of the bodies appeared to have strangulation marks and wounds on their bodies did not come from gunshots or grenades, the police said.

However, a report carried by The Times of India the following day, quoting an Israeli official who flew out to Mumbai, was more equivocal:
The forensic team arrived in Mumbai late Sunday aboard a chartered flight and were using DNA testing and dental records to identify bodies so mutilated they could “not be identified from their faces”.

“Many of the killed have been badly mutilated before or during the operation (to end the hostage crisis). The condition was bad before but it is worse now.
“It might have been because of torture, I cannot say, but when there is shooting and grenades being exploded by terrorists, people do get mutilated,” he said.
Daled Amos links to David Aaronovitch of The Times who says that it is unlikely that the terrorists had ever met a Jew.

Poverty is bad. You can see the reasons for warfare in Kashmir, for riots in Hyderabad and for Maoist uprisings in the deep rural areas of India. But why kill the rabbi? Why invade the small headquarters of a small outreach sect of a small religion, which far from being even a big symbol of anything, you would almost certainly need a detailed map and inside knowledge even to find?From what has been learnt from the one surviving attacker, the baby-faced and variously pre-named Mr Kasab, his group came largely from the rural southern Punjab in Pakistan. It is therefore unlikely that any of them had even encountered a Jew, or knew anyone else who had.
In the end many will develop their opinion/theories about why this took place. As for myself I can sum it up this way. I don't think that any one race is superior to another. People are people and the death of the innocent is tragic no matter who they are.

But we can make a distinction based upon ideologies because some are morally inferior to others. In this case the reality is that only one group was specifically sought out, attacked and murdered in cold blood.

The question in my mind is what are we going to do about this. Today it might be Jews/Israelis who are the focal point of the hatred, but in the end the murderous spotlight is going to fall upon all who oppose the hatred espoused by the terrorists and their supporters.

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