Massacres and dates

Celso Alvarez Cáccamo lxalvarz at UDC.ES
Fri Mar 12 03:39:44 UTC 2004


Dear all,

Today's Madrid massacre (11 March 2004 AD) occured on day 20 Muharram 1425 
H (after Mohammed's hegira) in the Islamic religious calendar. Muharram is 
the sacred month for Islam after Ramadan, and one where fasting is also 
purifying, am I right?  Although the Spanish government still presents ETA 
as the main suspect (why don't they call it "atheist ETA"?), a violent 
"islamic" group (apparently responsible of the recent attacks in Turkey) 
has reivindicated the Madrid attacks in a London Arab-language newspaper. 
Does any one know whether the 20 Muharram date has any special significance 
in the history of Islam, particularly against Christianity?

This made me think about September 11, 2001 AD, which corresponded to 23 
Jumaada al-Thaany 1422 H in the Islamic calendar, and about the state of 
high alert that the world lived one Christian year later, Sept. 11, 2002 
AD. Well, naively enough, this is the first time I thought that, if the 
9/11 massacre was carried out by Islamic fundamentalist suicide killers, 
they would not follow the Gregorian Christian calendar for any actions 
"celebrating" the anniversary, but the Hijri calendar. The aniversary would 
be about 11 days earlier, on Sept. 1 2002 AD, if I'm not mistaken. That is, 
by the time people where on alert, flights were cancelled, police were 
deployed everywhere, etc., the "anniversary" had already taken place. 
Didn't the US' and other western secret services know this very simple fact 
in order to deactivate the paranoid discourse around the "anniversary"? Or 
am I going too far?

The US-UK-Spain-etc. coalition invaded Iraq during a holy Muslim month. 
Going back to the Madrid attacks, a Hijri year ago (20 Muharram 1424 H) it 
was March 23, 2003, Sunday. US troops had already invaded Iraq, and they 
were 60 miles from Bagdad. Ten milion people all around the world were 
demonstrating against the war. Two years ago (20 Muharram 1423 H) the 
Foreign Ministers of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) 
approved the Kuala Lumpur Declaration on International Terrorism, where 
they emphasized their defense of Palestine's rights. Probably these are 
just coincidences, as unfortunately anything noticeable in terms of massive 
violence happens practically every day of the year. But I keep wondering.

Please correct me as much as you can. I know nothing about Islam, but 
unfortunately a lot about the current Spanish government.

Celso Alvarez Cáccamo
lxalvarz at

More information about the Critics-l mailing list