Thinking Aloud: When Heads Roll
Aug. 23, 2014 by Darius
This week, ISIS militants beheaded an imprisoned US journalist on video. The act created a massive outcry in the West, not just for the fact that terrorists had just murdered a journalist but also because of the method itself: beheading. The words “barbaric” and “medieval” featured a lot. It seems, though, that there’s either some hypocrisy here or a generous dose of ignorance: the US’s closest ally in the Arab world, Saudi Arabia, has beheaded no fewer than 19 people so far this month alone.
In Saudi Arabia, beheading is the official method of execution. Beheadings are public. The death penalty isn’t just reserved for murders, as it typically is in the Western countries that still use the death penalty at all, but also for non-lethal crimes. Six of the 19 people executed in August were convicted of drug smuggling. One man was executed…
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