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Monday, April 20, 2015

Beheadings in the 21st century: An anachronism that Defies Rational Mind


Beheading is a form of execution or killing of a human being where a sword or a similar weapon is used to strike at the nape of the neck and the head severed from the torso. It is considered a barbaric custom in the present age, but there are still countries like Saudi Arabia where beheading is a legal punishment as per the Sharia.
Till the end of the Second World War, beheading was a legal punishment in the eastern societies of Japan and China. The Japanese in particular beheaded thousands of prisoners of war and opponents without batting an eyelid. In fact there are reports that 2 Japanese army officers started a race to see who would reach 100 beheadings first. It was a barbaric act and reminded the world that the Japanese are perhaps totally immune to the finer points of human sensitivity.
Beheadings are almost outlawed now and democracies like India and the West including the USA abhor this act. But it is a tragedy of the modern world that Islam in some countries sanctifies beheadings. History records that through out early history, criminals and enemies were beheaded. It was common in all civilizations. The beheading was done by an axe or a sword and Muslims and non Muslims both practiced this form of punishment.
At the turn of the 20th century the West and India had done away with beheading as a punishment. But it exists in the Muslim world in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Yemen and Iran.
Beheadings are also conducted by militant Muslim Jihad groups like the Taliban, al-Qaida among others in Algeria, Nigeria, Kashmir, Chechnya and the Muslim-dominated southern Philippines. Iranian mullahs have cut off the heads of some political figures. Now the Islamic State carries out beheadings in a routine manner all over where they are a force like in Iraq and Libya.It should not be forgotten that the correspondent Daniel Pearl was beheaded in Pakistan and earlier in 1986 the William Buckley, CIA chief in Beirut was abducted by Hezbollah and secretly transported to Iran where he faced beheading.
The Koran has verses that sanctifies beheadings and forms the basis of the Sharia in the arch obscurantist country Saudi Arabia. To think that this country is the strategic partner of the USA. Could the Americans not find anyone better? Will beheadings go away? I don't see it happening as the so called faithful believe it is ordained by the almighty. in fact verses 5:33 and 8:12 and many more sanctify beheadings.