The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has been lecturing Canada about what they allege are their human rights abuses since the past weekend when the Saudi government cut off all new trade and investment with Canada, as reported by Inquisitr. They then recalled some 18,000 Saudi students pursuing educational opportunities in Canada, cutting off their scholarships to drive the point home. While they have been doing that, they carried out an execution, which is not uncommon in the Kingdom, but the means that they used to carry it out, crucifixion, has many nations and human rights organizations up in arms. Then considering that they did that in the Holy City of Mecca, and the potential for international outrage exists.
Saudi Arabia regularly uses the death penalty for any number of crimes and crucifixion is used in cases such as homosexuality, or publicly speaking out against the government. In some very limited cases, it will be used to punish rapists or murderers, depending on who the victim and criminal are according to Business Insider UK. Usually, however, other means of execution are used for murderers, rapists, and general bad guys. It is still a nation where the station that a person holds does matter regarding not only justice being served, but how it is served. In this case, the man that was executed, Elias Abulkalaam Jamaleddeen, was accused of murder, theft, and attempted rape, as per Bloomberg.
Business Insider UK pointed out that the way crucifixions in Saudi Arabia generally go, is that they usually behead the corpse and nail the body to a cross, but that isn’t the way it goes down 100 percent of the time. Again, sometimes it comes back to a number of factors that don’t necessarily have to do with the actual crime or person, but more about sending a message. Why Elias Abulkalaam Jamaleddeen was crucified when that is not the norm for his crime, and the people he was found guilty of crimes against are not people regarded as being of a very high station, has some people wondering if it was more than business as usual.
Given that crucifixions are in all reality fairly rare, as per USA Today, numbering no more than a few per year usually, it has raised questions if this is some form of message to the world. The Saudi government has not been behaving as they normally do, in a diplomatic sense. Posting a picture of a plane headed toward the Toronto skyline mimicking a 9/11 style attack is highly aggressive, even if a somewhat patronizing apology was later dispatched for it. With the U.S. and U.K. failing to stand with Canada on the issue of human rights abuses in Saudi Arabia, it has been theorized that the Saudi’s feel emboldened and that they are sending messages to Canada, such as crucifying a man in Mecca, that their criticisms and words mean nothing to them and they will do as they please.