My wife, who knows quite a bit about Arab culture since her dad's side of the family is from Iraq, has a post about the significance of al-Zarqawi being cast out from his tribe and family.

This. is. huge.

al-Zarqawi has been disowned by the Bani Hassan.

Let me repeat: This. is. huge.

I was astounded when I read this. For one to be disowned by their own tribe means they have shamed their ancestors and have committed the gravest of unpardonable sins. For an Arab to be disowned by his own clan and tribe means that he is only worthy of taking his own life outside of tribal boundaries, left to face Allah on his own without the help of his ancestors. (I do not believe in that mysticism, just to clear up any misconceptions).

Basically, the Bani Hassan are saying that al-Zarqawi is only worthy of a shameful death, alone in the wilderness. Back in ancient times, the only way of survival was to stay within one's tribe/clan. Socio-economic and socio-political landscapes were all determined by tribal ties and ancestry. The Arab culture truly believes the saying that "there is strength in numbers." To be alone in the desert meant a lonely death; to be within a tribe meant an honorable existence. ...

What's even more shocking is that they list al-Zarqawi by his given name, thereby stripping him of his "warrior" status. That in itself is a severe insult and public humiliation. When an Arab warrior would prove himself in battle, he would frequently receive a new name to denote honor and command respect. In this case, Al-Qaeda has taken that tradition and twisted it, using names traditionally reserved for battle feats to pander to their own pride at being terrorists. The fact that the Bani Hassan listed Zarqawi by his given name is uber embarrassing and tells society that Zarqawi is worthless and not deserving of any respect. Honor and family are everything in the Arab world (the non-terrorist part) and to be stripped of both of those publicly is a sentence worse than death.

Islamofascism can't help but eventually implode as it turns on itself, and I think it goes without saying that President Bush's flypaper strategy in Iraq has helped hasten its demise.



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