*WARNING – GRAPHIC IMAGES*
The death penalty. What a contentious issue.
Before I begin, I wish to make something quite clear. I am in favour of the death penalty for a number of crimes.
I would do so, without hesitation and without guilt.
The use (and abuse) of the death penalty around the world worries me. Especially the sheer cruelty of some of the methods employed.
Before I get into it, allow me to give you a little background information.
Below you can see a map of the world. Give it a quick scan to check out all the countries that still apply the death sentence.:
As you can see, only one country in Europe (Belarus) still has the death penalty. and it is reserved for murder.
The United States still has the death penalty in the majority of states, which are highlighted in red. And again, mainly for murderers.
In 2014, the US Government executed 35 people, all of whom spent from 8 to 30 years on Death Row.
Also, all of the executions were by lethal injection. This method is seen as a humane option, because the convict is given a cocktail of drugs to sedate and relax them before the final deadly drug is introduced into their system. Normally a combination of the following:
- Midazolam Hydrochloride
They are then paralysed with Pancuronium Bromide, before Potassium Chloride is administered to stop their heart.
However, several states also reserve the right to apply the death penalty where loss of life has not taken place, in particular, child rape/sodomy where the victim is aged 14 years or less. Those states are:
- South Carolina
- U.S. Military
Since 1995, two people have been sentenced to death for this offence, but both are still on Death Row awaiting execution.
In addition to the above, Florida enacted the death penalty for this type of offence, but it is currently being reviewed as unconstitutional.
Now, whilst I disagree that the rape/sodomy of a child warrants the death penalty as no loss of life occurred, regardless of the physical and emotional damage to the victim, I can at least understand why some people would hold the opinion that such a vicious crime should carry a capital sentence.
I really can.
And my heart goes out to all of the victims of such crimes. Nobody should ever be put through such trauma. But having said that, I cannot find it in me to countenance the death penalty for any crime, regardless of the levels of brutality, where there is no death of the victim(s).
But now I want to examine the Islam. Under Sharia ‘Law’, the following are all capital crimes:
- Drug trafficking
- Armed Robbery
- Banditry (Murder and Theft)
- Adultery (Men, if married)
- Adultery (Women, regardless of marital status)
I am sure, that like me, you are appalled at some of the entries on this list. After all, risking death because you decide to leave Islam or blaspheme (a ridiculous notion) or simply because of the way you were born outside the gender binary.
But it gets worse. Saudi Arabia alone carried out the death sentence on 87 people in 2014 and has already surpassed that this year, having executed 88 people before 2015 is even at the halfway point.
The official method of execution is both public and brutal.
For most of the crimes on this list, the preferred option is beheading. Not only that, but there is no pain relief, no sedation and absolutely no mercy.
Whilst the thought of a quick, clean sword strike to the neck, lopping off the head for a quick death may initially sound humane (if bloody) this is not the case. Take for instance, Siti Zainab, a mentally ill, Indonesian woman who was put to death earlier this year. Her execution took three sword strikes and she was heard to be desperately protesting her innocence between the second and third strike.
Does that sicken you?
Regardless of your view on the death penalty, I’m sure that you will agree that in the US, there is still at least a nod towards lessening the suffering of the condemned.
But there’s more.
The official figures for Saudi Arabia only include those who were beheaded. The numbers of those who were stoned to death is not known, stoning being the murder of choice for adultery.
There are 15 countries in which stoning is either practised or authorized by law, even if it has never been practised. In Iran, Mauritania, Nigeria (in one-third of the country’s states), Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen, stoning is a legal punishment.
By comparison, three of the remaining five countries (Afghanistan, Iraq, and Mali) do not condone stoning in national legislation, but sentences and executions have been carried out by non-state actors. In the Aceh region of Indonesia and Malaysia, stoning is sanctioned regionally but banned nationally.
Although some men are stoned to death under Sharia ‘Law’, it is mainly used against women for a variety of reasons. Most of which are beyond contempt.
“Stoning is used against women in particular as a way to control them. It is a cruel and hideous punishment, it is a form of torturing someone to death. It is one of the most brutal forms of violence perpetrated against women in order to control and punish their sexuality and basic freedoms.”
Naureen Shameem, representative for women’s rights group Women Living Under Muslim Law
Oh and for adultery, just the accusation is enough. Even walking too close to a man you aren’t related to in the street, in Saudi Arabia can get you brutally murdered.
In 2008, Aisha Ibrahim Duhulow, a 13-year-old Somali girl, was stoned by 50 men in front of 1,000 people at a stadium in Southern Somalia. Her father said she had been raped by three men, but was accused of adultery when she tried to report the rape to the Al-Shabaab militia who controlled the city.
I hope that you are as outraged and disgusted as I am, that such hideous brutality is taking place under Islam in the 21st Century. Surely, we as a species must have outgrown this inhumane and inhuman behaviour by now!
Islam is yet again showing itself to be a disgusting, hateful ideology that seems to find some sort of twisted gratification in the torment, torture and murder of anyone who doesn’t strictly adhere to its mediaeval mindset.