This Associated Press photo showing five of the seven headless corpses loaded into a dump truck in Jolo shows the utter savagery of the Abu Sayyaf bandits. Six of the victims were road project workers and one was a dried fish factory worker, just ordinary people actually.
We don’t know what went into the minds of the bandits. But what they did after the beheading showed how far into the depths they have fallen. Imagine them distributing the severed heads to two Army detachments in Jolo. They seemed to have lost respect for the dignity of human beings.
Of course, this is not the first time that this terrorist group acted this way. They did this years ago and I remembered hearing some justifications to the act. Muslims supposedly believes that beheading a person will ensure he or she won’t go to heaven. I really can’t say if that is true.
What I am certain is that by doing what they did, the Abu Sayyaf only alienated themselves further from the greater mass of decent Filipinos who abhor such barbaric acts. I am sure even their fellow Muslims are even now distancing themselves from the group.
What is unfortunate here is that the act will tend to strengthen some people’s misconceptions about the Filipino Muslim. Surely, this is a step backward in the effort to show that Filipino Muslims are humane and civilized. Well-meaning believers of Islam should therefore condemn what the Abu Sayyaf did.
—Candido O. Wenceslao, April 23, 2007