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Friday, January 12, 2007

Despicable attacks on mosques and Muslim clerics

This is a headline you will never see.

Last Friday, Hamas attacked and killed a prominent Gaza imam after his sermon. Today they also attacked a mosque and its worshippers after services.

For some reason, the UN has been silent in these brazen attacks on religious institutions. Interestingly, attacks on mosques that are not known to be used in a military capacity, even when not in an international conflict, are considered "grave breaches" of international law according to the Geneva Conventions:
Acts of hostility towards places of worship in international conflicts are prohibited. Places of worship may not be used in support of the military effort, and they cannot be the objects of reprisals. (Protocol I, Art. 53)

These prohibitions also apply in non-international conflicts. (Protocol II, Art. 16)

If there is any doubt as to whether a place of worship is being used to help the military action, then it will be presumed not to be so used. (Protocol I, Art. 52, Sec. 3)

Attacks against places of worship are grave breaches against the Geneva Convention. (Protocol I, Art. 85, Sec. 4)
Evidently, international law is only important when certain people are perceived to have violated it, and not others.