On this date in 2015, Islamic State militants occupying the Syrian oil city of al-Shaddadah or al-Shaddadi horrifically beheaded a man on a public square.
Just what action was compassed in his alleged offense of “insulting Allah” is not known; neither so far as I can find was his name. But he fought his killers furiously, and four men were required to wrestle him into the dust and immobilize him for the executioner’s sword. “I won’t forgive you, I am not the one who did it but you did Arabs and civilians of al-Shadadi,” he cried out to townspeople unwilling or unable to lift a finger on his behalf against the butchers.
Al-Shaddadah was recaptured from ISIS in February 2016.
On this date in 2015, in the Islamic holy city of Medina, Saudi Arabia beheaded Indonesian domestic worker Siti Zainab after a very long wait.
Zainab, a maid, was condemned to death in 1999 for stabbing to death her cruel* employer. Her execution went on pause for more than 15 years until all of the victim’s children could reach adulthood and exercise their right to enforce or mitigate the death sentence; still, for all that lead time, Saudi Arabia irked Jakarta by failing to notify consular offices of her impending beheading.
In addition to the usual controversies Saudi Arabia’s aggressive headsmen engender when dispatching the kingdom’s widely abused migrant workers, Zainab’s case raised hackles over the condemned woman’s alleged “suspected mental illness.”
* Cruel according to Zainab and her defenders. Indonesian NGO Migrant Care argued that the murder was outright self-defense.