The Islamic State (IS), which has firmly established itself as the ruling entity in a large portion of Syria and Iraq, has recently begun instituting Shari’a Islamic law as the law of the land – in its full and literal sense.
According to classic Islamic law, a thief must have his right hand cut off – and last Friday, that is exactly what IS representatives did in the town of Al-Bab in northern Syria, near Aleppo. In a “surprise” event, members of the congregation of the town’s main mosque (attendance at services is mandatory) were directed to the town square, where a large platform had been erected.
On the platform was a table, containing a knife, bandages, and what appeared to be medicines. An individual convicted of theft was brought to the platform and was held forcibly still by police officers. A large individual – the “hatchet man” – quickly grabbed the knife and cleanly cut off the thief’s hand. A doctor quickly bandaged the victim’s bleeding stump.
Friday’s incident was just one of dozens IS has announced in recent weeks, delineating the crime and offense against Islamic law, and the punishment. So far, adulterers and homosexuals have been stoned or thrown off the roof of buildings, thieves have had hands and/or legs cut off, Muslims not deemed to be “religious” enough – goofing off during prayers, for example – have been whipped in public, and so on.
With that, witnesses in the IS-held areas said that fighters for the group were recently given an official religious ruling that stated that they could take women and girls who were not Muslims as their “sex slaves.” The men and boys, of course, are killed.