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Saudi Arabia Ramps Up Beheadings As US Condemns ISIS For Beheadings

In the two months since the US and gulf state allies have begun attacking ISIS in Iraq and Syria the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has had a wave of executions. Like ISIS, the Saudis use the method of beheading for execution. The US has condemned ISIS’ use of the practice but remained silent on whether the Saudis use of beheading as a method is inappropriate or not.

Saudi Arabia has already beheaded 59 people this year of those who have committed crimes under Saudi law. Among the crimes some have been beheaded for in Saudi Arabia is sorcery. Beyond the supernatural crimes that one can be beheaded for are apostasy and adultery. Yes, have a romantic relationship outside your marriage or question the extremist Wahhabisim of Saudi Islamic doctrine and you get your head chopped off.

Is there any real difference between Saudi Arabia and the Islamic State besides oil agreements with US corporations? Saudi Arabia looks an awful lot like an Islamic state.

Of the 59 people executed by Oct. 16, 22 had been convicted for smuggling drugs, according to figures compiled by Human Rights Watch from Saudi media reports. One Saudi man, Mohammed Bakr al-Alaawi, was put to death for sorcery so far this year, the third such case since 2011. Although such cases are even rarer, judges can also demand execution for adulterers or Muslims who abandon their faith.

In Saudi Islamic law, charges of violent crimes like murder are usually brought under the system of “qisas”: retaliation on the principle of an eye for an eye. While a murderer would normally be sentenced to death, the victim’s family is permitted to accept “diyya”, or blood money, instead of execution. The lives of women are worth half those of men, and non-Muslims a fraction of the value of Muslims.

What an enlightened kingdom Saudi Arabia is. Clearly Saudi Arabia is nothing like ISIS. Though both the Saudi and ISIS military use US weapons, only the Saudis actually paid for them.

And, of course, unlike ISIS the Saudis have spawned numerous terrorists that have actually attacked America. Osama Bin Laden and his fellow Saudis not only bank rolled 9/11 and other terrorist attacks on US interests and persons, but the majority of the 9/11 hijackers were Saudi nationals. But for some reason ISIS is the real threat and Saudi Arabia is one of America’s most important allies.

CommunityThe Bullpen

Saudi Arabia Ramps Up Beheadings As US Condemns ISIS For Beheadings

In the two months since the US and gulf state allies have begun attacking ISIS in Iraq and Syria the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has had a wave of executions. Like ISIS, the Saudis use the method of beheading for execution. The US has condemned ISIS’ use of the practice yet has remained silent on whether the Saudis’ use of beheading as a method for execution is inappropriate or not.

Saudi Arabia has already beheaded 59 people this year of those who have committed crimes under Saudi law. Among the crimes some have been beheaded for in Saudi Arabia is sorcery. Beyond the supernatural crimes that one can be beheaded for are apostasy and adultery. Yes, have a romantic relationship outside your marriage or question the extremist Wahhabisim of Saudi Islamic doctrine and you get your head chopped off.

Is there any real difference between Saudi Arabia and the Islamic State/ISIS besides oil agreements with US corporations? Saudi Arabia looks an awful lot like an Islamic state.

Of the 59 people executed by Oct. 16, 22 had been convicted for smuggling drugs, according to figures compiled by Human Rights Watch from Saudi media reports. One Saudi man, Mohammed Bakr al-Alaawi, was put to death for sorcery so far this year, the third such case since 2011. Although such cases are even rarer, judges can also demand execution for adulterers or Muslims who abandon their faith.

In Saudi Islamic law, charges of violent crimes like murder are usually brought under the system of “qisas”: retaliation on the principle of an eye for an eye. While a murderer would normally be sentenced to death, the victim’s family is permitted to accept “diyya”, or blood money, instead of execution. The lives of women are worth half those of men, and non-Muslims a fraction of the value of Muslims.

What an enlightened kingdom Saudi Arabia is. Clearly Saudi Arabia is nothing like ISIS. Though both the Saudi and ISIS military use US weapons, only the Saudis actually paid for them.

And, of course, unlike ISIS the Saudis have spawned numerous terrorists that have actually attacked America. Osama Bin Laden and his fellow Saudis not only bank rolled 9/11 and other terrorist attacks on US interests and persons, but the majority of the 9/11 hijackers were Saudi nationals. But for some reason ISIS is the real threat and Saudi Arabia is one of America’s most important allies.

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Jane Hamsher

Jane Hamsher

Jane is the founder of Firedoglake.com. Her work has also appeared on the Huffington Post, Alternet and The American Prospect. She’s the author of the best selling book Killer Instinct and has produced such films Natural Born Killers and Permanent Midnight. She lives in Washington DC.
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