How does Islam require POWs to be treated?

What did the PRC mean when it said that Gilad Shalit was being treated according to "Islamic standards?"

By MATTHEW WAGNER
January 9, 2007 19:52
1 minute read.
shalit, gilad, 298 ch 10

shalit, gilad, 298 ap. (photo credit: AP)

 
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What did the Palestinian Resistance Committee (PRC) mean when it stated that kidnapped soldier Cpl. Gilad Shalit, "is being treated according to Islamic standards of dealing with prisoners of war?" According to Sheikh Abdala Darvish, the spiritual head of the southern faction of the Islamic Movement in Israel and a respected Islamic authority, the Sha'aria (Islamic law) has detailed directives governing the treatment of prisoners of war. Shalit's captors were obligated, according to Sha'aria, to keep the soldier alive and healthy, said Darvish. "They must give him the food that he likes at the times he likes eating," said Darvish. Islamic law also prohibits degrading or scaring a prisoner of war. "The captors are even obligated to give their prisoner a feeling of friendship," added Darvish, who said it was legitimate to hold a prisoner of war until the hostilities were resolved. MK Ibrahim Sarsur (United Arab List-Ta'al), a leader of the Islamic Movement's more moderate southern faction, said that the basis for Islamic war ethics was the prophet Muhammad's war manual. Over the past 1,400 years, voluminous additions have been made to these religious military codes. "Regarding the treatment of prisoners of war, the basic principle is that as soon as an enemy soldier has been neutralized and taken out of the war, the Muslim army is responsible for taking care of him." However, sources familiar with the workings of the Hamas-affiliated PRC are skeptical about the extent to which these terrorist groups see themselves as obligated to normative Islamic law. Even Darvish admitted that what he called "Israeli subjugation" of Palestinians forced them to transgress Islamic law. Nevertheless, Darvish said, that in the case of Shalit, he had information that the soldier was being treated in accordance with Islamic directives.

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