Saddam Hussein’s hanging: challenging the Middle East need for change
Since the invasion of Iraq in 2003 and the execution of Saddam Hussein in December 2006, strife and chaos have ripped Iraq apart. Hussein’s execution was an especially dangerous time because it coincided with the holiday of Eid al-Adha, the most important holiday on the Islamic calendar.
The holiday, also known as the Festival of Sacrifice, remembers how Abraham willingly sacrificed his son Ishmael as an act of obedience to God, but instead was relieved of that commitment and sacrificed a ram. Eid also marks a time to be thankful for friends, family, food, and housing. Traditionally, each family would sacrifice a domestic animal and the meat would be shared equally between friends, family, and the poor.
Thus, many saw Hussein’s execution on such a solemn day to be insulting. In Haaretz, Tajeddine El Husseini, a Moroccan international economic law professor, said Saddam's “symbolic sacrifice” on Eid would make things worse in the region. Few Middle Eastern governments wanted to go on record with comments for fear of inciting violence. All but a senior aide to Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa would say is that the execution was “a tragic end to a sad phase in Iraq's history.”
In contrast, Saad bin Tafla al-Ajmi, a former information minister of Kuwait, was uncensored with his feelings and might be responsible for violence in his country when he stated that Saddam’s hanging was a way to celebrate the holyday of Eid al-Adha. Hussein was not an innocent lamb or a favorite son, but celebrating his execution brought more instability to the Middle East. Although Kuwaitis and Iranians welcomed the execution, some Iraqis, Saudis, Jordanians, and Palestinians condemned it.
No doubt that Tafla al-Ajmi enjoyed seeing the execution of Hussein because he sees himself and his country as benefiting from the spoils. Tafla probably wanted all three parts of the sacrifice for himself.
Tags: Iraq , Saddam Hussein , Hussein , Execution , Eid Al-adha , Islam , Religion , Middle East , Amr Moussa , Saad Bin Tafla Al-Ajmi
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