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The murdered medical workers in Northern Afghanistan were probably killed by bandits, but the Taliban have claimed responsibility.
The Taliban claimed that these doctors providing medical care for some of the poorest Afghans were ‘spying for America’. Yet when we capture individual Taliban fighters we have no option but to provide them with every possible care and attention, and protect their rights.
I have a great respect for islamic culture and traditions, their reverence for family, education, their tribal loyalties, and their care of the elderly. In some ways Muslims are more civilised than western christians.
But the Talibans' claiming of a murder they possibly did not play any part in, does show certain elements of the Islamic World in their true light. Inhume, brutal and cowardly. Sometimes, we are civilised, and they are not.
PostScript added 12/08//2010:
Some experts in the region (I bow to their superior knowledge) have now stated that it is now more likely that local bandits carried out the atrocity, (as if this would deflect any undue criticism of the Taliban.)
However, since the Taliban both initially claimed reponsibility, and allowed it to occur in their ‘territory’, it is clear that both actions show tacit agreement with shooting dead unarmed foreign medical workers, regardless who pulled the triggers.