Muslim cannibalism?

(Note: According to John-Paul Pagano, whose comment is below, the extremely disturbing photo in this entry is not of the lynching and savaging of the two Israeli soldiers in Ramallah, but of another event, possibly when Palestinians in Gaza were hit an by Israeli rocket and the survivors held up the entrails of the dead. I have been unable to confirm this. But if it is true, they were as ecstatic about their relatives’ and friends’ being blown to bits as they were about tearing the Israelis to bits.)

On the question whether the behavior of Li the beheader in cutting off parts of his victim’s body and eating them is conformable with Islam or at least has been practiced by Muslims, Nora Brinker from Germany wrote to me:

Cannibalism is not without precedence in Islam if you recall the pictures from Ramallah in 2000 of which I attach one. It should be opened with the nightmarish content in mind.

After looking at the very horrifying picture (which is shown and discussed below), I did a little research. The below e-mail, to John-Paul Pagano of the Socialism of Fools weblog, tells what I’ve determined so far:

To: John-Paul Pagano

People had told me about the cannibalism at Ramallah in October 2000 and in checking it out I found your article which was useful. You supported what had been my impression, namely, that everything imaginable and unimaginable was done by that crowd to the two Israeli victims, tearing apart the bodies, holding the innards aloft in triumph, and so on, but there was nothing in the reports about actual eating of the victims’ bodies.

Here’s an article, for example, which I read before I read yours, that describes the destruction of the two men’s bodies as “cannibalistic mutilations,” but that does not actually indicate that any cannibalism occurred. This led me to suspect that the word cannibalism was being used to describe an event in which literally everything short of cannibalism had happened, but not cannibalism itself. (Please see picture below which shows why people may have been disposed to believe the cannibalism charge.)

However, may I say, I almost didn’t get to the factual and useful part of your article because of your relentless ad hominem attacks on various conservative writers in the first part of your article. I barely read the liberal Web at all, because all I find there is ad hominems about conservatives, not facts and arguments. Your article stood out because it had facts as well as ad hominems.

Lawrence Auster
View from the Right

P.S. In this picture the savages (I wonder if you will consider my use of the word “savages” prejudicial and bigoted, or simply accurate) are joyously holding the victims’ innards in their hands, with joyous expressions on their faces and their mouths open, so that, even though you can’t actually make out anyone eating the body parts, the picture creates the impression that they are. The man holding entrails in his right hand, with a transported expression on his face, looks as though he’s savoring the sight and is about to eat them. People may have looked at pictures like this and felt they were seeing cannibalism, though no actual cannibalism (as far as we can tell) was occurring.


The photo can also be found online at, with this caption:

Palestinian crowd waves entrails of butchered Israeli victims. in Ramallah. The expression on their faces show they are orgasmic. This level of hate is only possible in Islam

Nora Brinker writes:

“…even though you can’t actually make out anyone eating the body parts, the picture creates the impression that they are.”

Thank you. I guess that is as far as we will get in the Ramallah lynching.

- end of initial entry -

Bill Carpenter writes:

Apparently it is easier to confirm a Chinese precedent for cannibalism than an Islamic one. See Scarlet Memorial (1998) by the Chinese journalist Yi Zheng, about numerous incidents of cannibalism in Guanxi province during the so-called Cultural Revolution, when the general savagery invited the reversion to practices of the primitive tribes of that region.

TWW writes:

As a faithful VFR reader, I have to tell you that I can’t bring myself to fully read the posts on the beheading, stopping at the headlines … just too incredibly gruesome and shocking even for my hardened sensibilities …

Robert B. writes:

It is a well documented fact that tribalistic peoples consider eating one’s enemies entrails to be a source of power—they obtain the spirit’s power by eating them.

The fact is that the only societies that actually banned it outright were Western. This ban was transferred to their colonies while they existed. I expect to see ever more of this sort of thing as time goes on and the West’s influence over the Third World (including China) wanes.

In a reply to my e-mail and to this entry, John-Paul Pagano says that the Ramallah photo is a fake, or, rather, that it’s a photo of a different event.

He writes:

Thanks for your note. I appreciate your interest in my piece, but there are a few items you might have gathered from a closer review. My blog is not called “Socialism for Fools”; it’s The Socialism of Fools, which is a reference to a famous quote by the German Social Democrat August Bebel, in which he denounced socialism based on anti-Semitism. The masada2000 web page you mention was created by the Jewish Task Force, which is a splinter group of the JDL, an openly fascist organization with a history of terrorism; I noted this and their web page in my piece. The lynch mob at Ramallah savaged, but did not dismember or disembowel the bodies of IDF reservists Nurzhitz and Avrahami. No eyewitness account or credible news source claimed this, and you can see it’s not true from easily located photos of the victims, to which I linked in my piece. While I do consider myself liberal in the political-philosophical sense, I am not part of the “liberal Web,” at least insofar as I think you mean it. My political views are, like any thoughtful person’s, hybrid, and much of the writing on my blog criticizes left-liberals alternately for embracing New Anti-Semitism, for aiding and making apologies for it, and for failing to take seriously species of Islamic totalitarianism (e.g., Baathism and al Qaeda’s ideology).

I don’t consider people like Charles Johnson and Glenn Reynolds to be “conservatives”; I consider them to be “nouveau conservatives.” By this I mean they embrace a gestural politics derived from the popular distillation of a branch of neoconservatism that became faddish after 9/11. This politics was and is morally frivolous and it’s as meretricious as the wealth of the nouveau riche. In a piece still available on my web sites about LGF and Nick Berg, whose father Johnson and his troglodytes pilloried for his Leftism shortly after his son’s decapitation video was circulated, I wrote:

“Inevitably, all organic and powerful movements produce a shallow, gestural simulacrum of themselves. The hippies of the late ’60s eventually became a smelly cotillion of kids at a Phish show.”

I go on to say Johnson and Reynolds and others, to the extent that they sincerely express political views rather than cynically seek to enrich themselves, are the “conservative” Phish phans. You slight me by implying I am merely a “liberal” who wishes to denigrate “conservatives.” What I am is an independent who is outraged by the harm nouveau conservatism and the Bush Administration have done to the anti-totalitarian enterprise. And you slight the politics you embrace by misidentifying Johnson et al as conservatives, grouping them with serious people like George Will, William F. Buckley and Peter Viereck.

Finally, after you spend enough time sifting through the compost of the Internet, you’ll learn better to identify goreporn. That picture you sent is not of the Ramallah lynching, as the real pictures from that event attest (see above—no disembowelment). It most likely depicts the aftermath of an Israeli missile strike on Palestinian terrorists, after which Palestinians have been known to comb the blast site for body parts, hold them aloft and alternately wail and promise revenge. You’re right that confusing that photo with the Ramallah lynching could bolster false reports of cannibalism.

I couldn’t care less if you call the people in that picture “savages”. In my opinion, utopian and victimological politics in Palestine and many other places inevitably lead to savagery. Does it reflect bigotry on your part? Maybe, maybe not. The great George Carlin observed: words are just words, it’s the context that matters. You’re the final authority on what you meant.


John-Paul Pagano
The Socialism of Fools
PS: You may print this reply on your web site; I might do so on mine. But if you do, please print it in whole, not in part. Thanks.

Ken Hechtman writes:

Maybe nobody is born civilized, but nobody is born that barbaric either. They have to be taught.

And this (tearing bodies apart by hand) was taught to a generation of Palestinians in the Fatah training camps in Lebanon in the 1970s. It’s not a universal Islamic thing but it’s become a specifically Palestinian thing. Fatah recruits were made to tear apart small animals with their hands and teeth to get used to the sight of blood. I remember seeing movies of it in Jewish school 25 years ago.

My point is that kind of atrocity isn’t coded in either Palestinians DNA or Islamic holy scriptures. Palestinians didn’t do this 100 years ago and the next generations aren’t irrevocably destined to do it forever and ever.

LA replies:

First, I’m surprised you accept the picture as true. John-Paul Pagano just wrote to me saying the picture is of another event, a bombing where Palestinians where killed. (But if that were the case, why would the crowd look so ecstatic? Is the man who is gazing lovingly at the entrails in his right hand mourning for a loved one perhaps?) Mr. Pagano says that the Arabs savaged the two Israelis, but did not disembowel and tear them apart.

As for the Palestinians, I did not know about their being trained in tearing bodies apart. But given that THIS IS THE WAY THEY ARE NOW, doesn’t that indicate extreme caution in dealing with them, for example, rejecting any notion of a single state solution, which I think you favor? Sure, things change over time, but we don’t have 100 years for Muslims to become moderate or for Palestinians to cease being savages. Before 100 years is out, they would destroy Israel and a lot else besides.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at August 07, 2008 06:30 AM | Send

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