ISIS has become a global terror threat. The barbaric organization of Islamic jihadists has been killing people by the thousands and causing mayhem. One of the preferred methods of killing people seems to be beheading and then brandishing the severed head. However, as far as this method of gruesome murders is concerned, Saudi Arabia, a country generally considered to be an important US ally, seems to be competing with the vicious ISIS.
This week, Private Eye reported that in the 21 months between James Foley’s capture in November 2012, and his subsequent beheading by ISIS militants on August 19, 2014, Saudi Arabia beheaded 113 people. However, it isn’t clear as to which organization, beheaded more people.
According to Amnesty International, 79 people were executed in Saudi Arabia last year and between 1 January and 18 August this year, 34 more people were executed. So a total of 113 people were officially killed by the Government of Saudi Arabia for various legal reasons which varied from smuggling drugs to peddling arms to attempted sexual abuse, and in the 21st century, even witchcraft. It is important to note that the number (113) doesn’t include any estimates for executions at the end of 2012.
How does Saudi Arabia behead people? Saudi Arabia is famous for making a public show of executions to serve as a strong reminder not to commit any crime while being within the legal jurisdiction of Saudi Arabia. Hence, most of these beheadings were carried out as public executions at the notorious ‘Chop-Chop Square’ in Riyadh.
Official records note the crimes as varied as blasphemy, drug smuggling, sedition and sorcery. But Saudi Arabia also approves ‘death by stoning’ for certain crimes such as adultery. Apparently, there are unconfirmed reports of a sudden surge in beheadings in Saudi Arabia in August, with 19 people executed in just the first half of the month.
However, it is not clear exactly how many people have actually been murdered by the ISIS, and more specifically, how many of the ISIS victims met their end by being beheaded. ISIS may have used the gruesome images to spread terror via social media by hijacking innocent looking hashtags, but its preferred methods of killing are mass executions, burning its victims alive and even publicly crucifying some, apart from beheading. There have been confirmed reports of burying innocent women and children alive, too.
ISIS has been responsible for brutally killing thousands in Syria and Iraq and reports indicate the Islamist terror army may have killed as many as 5500 in the first half of 2014 alone. Private Eye, which dug up the details of beheading of people by Saudi Arabia, appears to ask why America and Britain turn a blind-eye to such techniques when one of their supposed allies uses the same methods.
[Image Credit | Reuters]