Quote of the Day - January 12, 2012
by FSM: QUOTE OF THE DAY
January 12, 2012
“In the early centuries of the Islamic era, from about the 8th century onwards, religious murder becomes a recurring theme, and we find the curious phenomenon of religious sects which practice murder as a religious obligation. There are several distinctive features about these, for example, the specialization on a single way of committing murder. This has a ritual, an almost sacramental significance. One group of murderers only strangled their victims – an obvious resemblance, perhaps a connection, with the Indian Thugs. Another group clubbed them to death, believing that only in the Day of Judgment would they be allowed to use steel. The most famous of the assassins, those from whom the name is derived, only used daggers. It is striking that they avoided poison, missile weapons and other relatively safe methods of dispatching an opponent. The close personal contact between killer and victim was important, as was the element of self-sacrifice.”
- Bernard Lewis, in an article entitled “Religion and Murder in the Middle East,” originally published in 1998 in Hebrew, subsequently revised and published in his book “From Babel to Dragomans: Interpreting the Middle East,” with this quote taken from pages 125 – 126.
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