Saddam Hussein and the Problem of Evil 12/30/06

I remember vividly Saddam Hussein’s face plastered on walls in Karachi amidst graffitti calling “Death to Israel and Down with America”. Posters that depicted the mustachioed leader stalwartly poised against American aggression or sitting on his prayer rug facing Mecca sold like hot cakes during the First Persian Gulf War. Despite widespread reporting of Saddam Hussein’s apalling crimes against Kurds and Shi’ites, the majority of the Sunni Muslim world looks upon the deposed president as a symbol of solidarity against what they deem to be American aggression. It was only a year ago last December, when while visiting Pakistan I came across a two-page spread in The Daily Jang, Pakistan’s largest and most respect Urdu daily, valorizing Hussein’s political career and commending him as a pious Muslim and dedicated family man. There was a picture of him kissing the Qur’an and one with his family which read the caption something to the effect of: Saddam Hussein was a dedicated family man (the picture also showed the sons-in law he ordered dead).

In his last letter Saddam Hussein referred to himself as a sacrifice. An obvious reference to Abraham’s sacrific of Ishmael (yes, Ishmael in Islam) which is commemorated during Eid-Al-Azha as everyone knows.

Yes he probably deserved it. He was an evil, evil, evil man. But truly, it is a momentous event for anyone who has been alive over the past twenty years or so…Saddam Hussein is dead and gone.

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