"The bodies of eight of the nine slain alleged 26/11 terrorists have started to decompose, necessitating their early disposal. ... [T]he bodies ha[ve] begun showing symptoms of fast decomposition, as they were not made to be kept for long preservation."
(From "8 terrorists' bodies need quick disposal", Hindustan Times, June 20 2009.)
Question: whose bodies are "made to be kept for long preservation" anyway?
But more seriously. From the same report: "The bodies, sources said, would be consigned to the elements at some government land, as Muslim bodies had refused to allow the burials in their cemeteries."
(The two uses of the word "bodies" in that sentence, you understand, refer to different things).
You will remember that some months ago, this particular refusal stimulated a fair amount of commentary in various quarters. For just one random example, on ScienceBlogs, Ed Brayton confessed that it "kind of warms my little black heart a bit." One of his commenters speaks of his "hope that at least some Muslims are willing to emphatically reject the extremists."
So let me understand this: It takes a refusal to bury mass-murderers for this man to find such hope? If he had not heard of this refusal he would have continued in his belief that most Muslims, what, embrace the extremists?
To me, the way to consider this is what another commenter there writes: "a criminal is a criminal regardless of religion or politics. If someone viciously murders 100 people, it doesn't matter if they are Christian or Mulsim, Republican or Democrat, white or black. The proper definition for such a person is 'criminal' and it applies across the board."
Look at it like that, and this much is clear: Muslim organizations and cemeteries have no greater connection to the dead bodies of these criminals than the rest of us do.
If the government chose to ask Muslim organizations if they wanted to deal with the bodies, it should have asked every other section of society the same question. Since it did not do that latter, it had no business asking the question of Muslim organizations either.
In other words, the authorities should, with minimum fuss, have incinerated the bodies as soon as possible after the November attacks.
Among other things, that would have sidestepped today's headache: bodies not made to be preserved now decomposing in the morgue.