Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Sharia law permits firing squads in Saudi Arabia

Capital crimes resulting in the death sentence last year included murder, armed robbery, drug smuggling, "sorcery" and "witchcraft".

Saudi Arabia has executed 17 people so far this year, Amnesty International said this month,
compared with 82 in 2011 and a similar number last year. (From "Saudi shortage of swordsmen prompts approval of executions by firing squad," from Reuters, in guardian.co.uk, in National Post, March 11, 2013, below)
Compare a justice system based strictly on sharia law that includes, permits and even advocates firing squads, and one, for example in Canada, where capital punishment has been completely abolished, if you are interested in attempting to reconcile two different cultures, religions and political/legal systems.
They are, in a word, irreconcilable.
And, for those who might be concerned, any attempt to import, impose, or adopt sharia law into a currently non-muslim country must be opposed at every turn.
We are living in the twentyfirst century, and we have moved beyond firing squads, beheadings in the public square. And to think that Saudi Arabia has been and continues to be an ally of the United States, the source of much of its oil supply, and some say, a voice of moderation and stability in the middle east!
Some moderation!
Some stability! both achieved, among its own people, with bullets from a firing squad, and/or beheadings in the public square.
I can only imagine if such a system of justice were in effect in Canada, in what most of the world recognizes as a relatively "peaceful, moderate and stable" country that the foundations for a similar list of adjectives to describe our national culture would change dramatically. Instead of tolerance, justice, due process and something approaching compassion and rehabilitation, at the core of the Canadian justice system, they would all be replaced by FEAR!


Saudi shortage of swordsmen prompts approval of executions by firing squad
Saudi media reports late arrival of overworked executioners has led to firing squads being approved as an alternative

Reuters in Dubai from guardian.co.uk, in National Post,  March 11, 2013

Saudi Arabia has authorised regional governors to approve executions by firing squad as an alternative to public beheading, the customary method of capital punishment in the kingdom, the Arab News reported on Monday . The English-language daily gave no explanation.

But another newspaper, Al Youm, reporting the measure on Sunday, said the reason for the change was a shortage of swordsmen.
An interior ministry spokesman said he was not immediately able to comment but would look into the report.
The Arab News added that a ministerial committee was looking into scrapping beheading as a form of capital punishment. The kingdom has been criticised in the west for its high number of executions, inconsistencies in the application of the law and its use of public beheadings.
Capital crimes resulting in the death sentence last year included murder, armed robbery, drug smuggling, "sorcery" and "witchcraft".
Saudi Arabia has executed 17 people so far this year, Amnesty International said this month, compared with 82 in 2011 and a similar number last year.
Al Youm reported a circular by the government's bureau of investigation and prosecution as saying the use of firing squads was being considered because some swordsmen were arriving late to the public squares where executions are normally carried out.
"A shortage in swordsmen and their unavailability in a number of areas" meant the executioners had to travel long distances sometimes to get to the place of executions, making them sometimes late, the newspaper reported the circular as saying.
The circular stated that death by firing squad was not a breach of sharia, or Islamic, law. The Saudi legal system is based on a strict version of sharia.
Al Youm said a firing squad had been used to carry out the death sentence against a convicted female in a case in Ha'il in north-western Saudi Arabia a few years ago.

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