Thursday, January 08, 2009

A Moral Dilemma

I found this USA Today article: "Remains of the Day : Nineteen hijackers died on 9/11. What should be done with what's left of them?" It seems that the NYC medical examiners have been having a difficult time identifying all of the hijackers, but in a six cases have been successful. The other medical examiners have discovered all the hijackers' remains from their crash sites. The article states
What's left of the terrorists—which, all told, likely amounts to less than 24 pounds of flesh and bone fragments—are sequestered at undisclosed locations in New York and Virginia. They are "stored as evidence in a refrigerated locker in sealed containers and test tubes," says Richard Kolko, a spokesman for the FBI.
Furthermore, only one person has directly contacted any of the medical examiners requesting the remains of their terrorist relatives, yet didn't "push" for their return when he discovered they're still being held by the federal government.

There were primarily two things of interest to me in the article. First, none of the victims' surviving relatives wanted any fragments (no matter how small) mixed with the remains of their loved ones. Second, many of those same relatives would like to see the remains burnt (because most Muslims believe they need a "Muslim burial" to get to Allah).

I tend to agree with the surviving family members about not letting them have a Muslim burial. Maybe we could mix their remains with a little pig's blood, encase them all in concrete, and drop that chunk of stone in the Mariana Trench. Yes, it's grisly, but if it became US policy it would be a major deterrent of any future attacks.

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