Syrian rebels believed to be affiliated with Al Qaeda killed a teenage boy in Aleppo this weekend for insulting the name of the Prophet Mohammed.
Fourteen-year-old Mohammed Qatta worked as a street coffee vendor. He reportedly had a disagreement with a customer and refused to serve him. As the dispute carried on, a passing black car carrying militant extremists overheard Qatta remark that he wouldn’t serve the customer, “even if [Prophet] Mohammed comes back to earth.”
Outraged at the utterance of the name, the Syrian rebels stopped the vehicle and kidnapped Qatta off the street.
Later Sunday evening the militants returned to the coffee stall with Qatta, his head covered and his body revealing deep marks from repeated whipping.
A small crowd began to gather as one of the rebels addressed the looker-ons:
“Generous citizens of Aleppo, disbelieving in God is polytheism and curing the prophet is polytheism. Whoever curses even once will be punished like this.”
The teenager’s parents were among those in the crowd and were reported to have plead with the militants. Ignoring them, the Syrian rebels proceeded to execute Qatta with two gunshots to the head. This was confirmed in a graphic photograph released later in the day.
Consumed in grief and horror from having witnessed the execution of their young son, Qatta’s father appeared stunned into silence, while his mother, wailing and grief stricken, asked, “Why did they kill my son? We are not for or against anybody in this conflict, may God take revenge on them.”
This report comes as US and European powers are actively deliberating possible solutions to ending the Syrian conflict, now in its third year.
Syrian rebels recently received US Senator John McCain who entered the country to assess the possibility of throwing US military support behind the opposition forces.
[Image via Syrian Observatory for Human Rights]