I felt a little sad when I first heard about Zarqawi’s death. Not because I felt any great loss or because I thought he was a hero. But because he was fighting for an 'Islamic' cause. Well, supposedly.
You see, I, like many other muslims have a soft spot for anybody claiming to be fighting for an Islamic cause - simply because most of these people are either poor, starving, going to be killed, being chased out of their own homes or being oppressed. But I quickly realised that although Zarqawi was fighting for an ‘Islamic’ cause, he was also killing a lot of innocent people. And I cannot sympathise with that because that has never been the Islam way and will never be, and also because to me, nothing justifies the killing of innocent men, women and children.
I saw a report on the BBC1 news about how the Americans recognised the area where Zarqawi recorded one of his military training sessions and rounded up people from that area for questioning. Eventually somebody relented to their (no doubt highly effective) methods of questioning and presumably choked out the address of that safehouse. So the Americans watched that house day and night for a few weeks before finally, they ‘saw’ Zarqawi arriving for a meeting. And so they launched their missiles. And that was it. Don’t you just hate these ‘air-raids’ type attack that has the American and Israeli stamp all over them? It is, in my opinion, a method without honour and a cowardly way to neutralize one's enemies. Doubt they even know what honour means anymore. Now, if you read the historical romance novels that I normally read, well, there you will find many examples of honourable men. But I digress, and anyway, that’s fiction. Unfortunately in this current world of ours, it might even be bordering into fantasy.
But obviously, Zarqawi himself was far from honourable. Indeed, his methods were despicable and he, himself apparently was not as ‘Islamic’ as he wanted to portray to the world. Tattoos on his body and his intense hatred for the Shiites were reported to be few of the reasons why even Bin Laden and the deceased did not get along well, even from when they first met.
I guess, what I’m trying to say is, many Muslims would secretly sympathise with these Islamic jihadists, however brutal their methods, which many believe is caused by desperation. But as you can see from Zarqawi, his killings and his character, one cannot help but wonder if he was indeed pushed by desperation or just by a taste for violence. Or even, a disregard for something as precious as life itself. Or simply, an affliction of the brain.
Perhaps that’s stretching it a bit. Then again, maybe not. I'm not glad he's dead. But I think the world is better off without him.