Ishaan Tharoor for the Washington Post reports that Saudi Arabia, key to Obama’s strategy, beheaded at least 8 people last month
The active cooperation of Saudi Arabia, with its vast oil wealth, its well-equipped military and its broader influence among the Middle East’s Sunni states, is key to any extended U.S. war effort in Iraq and Syria, as The Post’s Anne Gearan reports from Jiddah. Though long an incubator of the Salafist ideology that now inflames the Islamic State and militant groups of its ilk, the kingdom has grown increasingly concerned with the destabilizing chaos the Islamic State has wrought in the region.
But that doesn’t mean its state ideology is necessarily changing. The country is notorious for its draconian laws, which are derived from a strict Wahhabist interpretation of Islamic doctrine. In the space of two weeks last month, according to the rights group Amnesty International, Saudi Arabia executed as many as 22 people. At least eight of those executed were beheaded, U.N. observers say.
It appears that the majority of those executed in August were guilty of nonlethal crimes, including drug trafficking, adultery, apostasy and “sorcery.” Four members of one family, Amnesty reports, were beheaded for “receiving drugs.”
Saudi Arabia is conspicuous in being the sole country to regularly carry out beheadings; last year, a reported shortage of trained swordsmen led to some hope that the practice could wane, but recent evidence suggests otherwise. It’s an uncomfortable irony given that the United States’ current military mobilization was triggered after the Islamic State beheaded two American journalists.
Saudi Arabia has been beheading people, chopping off hands, etc., for years. From the BBC article published in 2003, Saudi Executioner tells all
It doesn’t matter to me: two, four, 10 – as long as I’m doing God’s will, it doesn’t matter how many people I execute”.
Under the Gulf kingdom’s strict Islamic Sharia laws, the death penalty can be imposed for murder, rape, apostasy, armed robbery, drug trafficking and repeated drug use.
The Saudi authorities report public executions regularly – and are condemned by Western human rights groups…
…Training focuses on how to hold the sword and where to bring the blade down.
Sometimes he also has to carry out amputations of hands or legs.
“I use a special sharp knife, not a sword. When I cut off a hand I cut it from the joint. If it is a leg the authorities specify where it is to be taken off, so I follow that.”
Our government has known about this all along. So has the media. So, why are they so shocked, shocked to find out that there are executions going on in this establishment?