Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

8/21/2014 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Terrorists are using the tactic for several distinct reasons.

The incredible spate of beheadings which are perpetrated by Islamic militants around the world had many asking the question, "Why do Muslims behead so many people?" In the modern age, there are swift and almost bloodless ways to kill, which makes the use of beheading subject to question.

Muslim terrorists prefer beheading as the latest way to grab headlines. Here, a terrorist prepared to saw off the head of American journalist, James Foley.

Muslim terrorists prefer beheading as the latest way to grab headlines. Here, a terrorist prepared to saw off the head of American journalist, James Foley.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

8/21/2014 (1 year ago)

Published in Middle East

Keywords: Muslim, beheading, Islam, terrorists, Islamic State, Al Qaeda, James Foley


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Islamic terrorists continue their reign of terror over the world as they murder their way into our living rooms and television sets, iPads and offices, where we see the gruesome results of their handiwork. Hardly a person in the modern world has gone without witnessing some of the atrocities of the Islamic State or Al Qaeda-affiliated terrorists around the world.

Among their most astounding choices is the decision to brutally decapitate victims and film or photograph the deed. Many of the Islamic State terrorists have gone further and posed with the decapitated heads, distributing the images via social media. Twitter has recently started blocking some of these images, but the world has both a right and a need to see the truth.

Please come to the aid of persecuted Christians in Iraq.

It's a gruesome decision, to kill by decapitation. We live in an age where there are no shortages of ways to kill. We can kill swiftly will bullets, or painlessly with drugs. Furthermore, decapitation is a messy affair with the warm blood of victims spilling everywhere as they instinctively strain against the sawing blade. It's a lot of trouble to go through for both the killer and the victim.

So why is it happening?

First, most of the people being killed by the Islamic State and other terrorists are not killed via beheading. Shooting remains the most common form of execution, and the Islamic State is filming these executions, publicizing their handiwork. A large number of people are also killed by various means including suicide bombings. Exposure to the elements and live burial have been alleged in a few cases. However, the Islamic State and other terrorists are making a spectacle of beheadings in particular.

We are dealing with terrorism and the point of terrorism is spectacle. It's a way for those who feel disenfranchised to get their message noticed around the world. Historically terrorists hijacked airliners, performed car bombings, and suicide bombings. Within the past decade, beheading has become a way for terrorists to force their message back into the public spotlight.

The change in tactics is required because car bombings and suicide bombings have become cliche. They're so commonplace the media has stopped reporting on them in any detail. As for airliners, they've become very difficult to hijack so such deeds have become rare.

However, beheading has a gruesome allure that practically compels people to watch. The viewing of an execution or a killing has an illicit allure to people and even in a society steeped in violent media on the television and in computer games, nothing beats the real thing. It's a gruesome critique of our modern civilization that footage showing the horror of death in graphic detail is widely consumed.

This plays into the hands of the terrorists who want to propagate their message, however it also works against them. Instead of building sympathy it spreads fear and people do not always fly in the face of fear, sometimes they fight.

Indeed, beheadings of Americans by Al Qaeda have sparked major campaigns to find and kill or arrest those responsible for such deeds.

Yet this fact does not answer the question entirely. Muslims also behead because they believe they have a mandate to do so, granted by the Quran.

Several scriptural passages in the Quran mention decapitation of those captured in battle or as a punishment for alleged crimes. Historically, beheading has been widely employed by Islamic nations, including the Ottoman Empire which used the penalty to great effect throughout the centuries.

In 1480, Muslim raiders beheaded an entire village of 800 Italians after they refused to convert to Islam. The site of their mass execution in Otranto, Italy remains important to the Catholic Church.

The terrorists who are carrying out these executions prefer beheading because the act itself has precedent in Islamic tradition.

Islamic apologists will argue that the act of beheading does not have sanction in the Quran, and that the killing of "infidels" has no place in modern Islam. However, there is no question that today's terrorists would differ with these apologists and as far as the world is concerned, the knife is just the way to send the most prominent infidels to their doom.

Even more gruesome, the manner in which victims are beheaded is also deliberate. While the Ottomans and the Saudis used a single stroke of the sword, the terrorists posing for their 15 minutes of fame prefer to use a small knife, sawing at the necks of their victims. This takes longer, usually just under a minute, and it's far more intimate than using a sword.

This is another deliberate choice and it underscores the brutal revelry of the Islamic State and other terrorists. These people prefer to embrace their role in killing, and even seem to relish it. Few things could be more horrifyingly evil. While it is bad enough to kill, we may be able to relate, however tenuously, to the reluctant killer who although misguided, commits the deed out of a feeling of existential necessity. We afford this level of respect to our enemies in war, for example.

However these are not reluctant killers. These are not people endowed with the same conscience that most others possess. Whereas we could never imagine ourselves committing such an act of brutality, they cannot imagine themselves doing anything less. The proof is in the photos they take afterwards, posing with the heads in photos and captioning their tweets with crude jokes.

So terrorists behead people because they want the attention it brings, because they believe they have a mandate to use that method, and because some of them actually relish the act of intimate murder.

It will be difficult to argue that a greater, more sadistic evil that this exists amongst men.

Act now to help persecuted Christians in Iraq.

James Foley, an American journalist was executed by the Islamic State in retaliation for U.S. interv

James Foley, an American journalist was executed by the Islamic State in retaliation for U.S. intervention in Iraq.



Public beheadings and executions are part intimidation, part propaganda.

Public beheadings and executions are part intimidation, part propaganda.



The heads of Syrian soldiers displayed on a fence outside a military base captured by the Islamic St

The heads of Syrian soldiers displayed on a fence outside a military base captured by the Islamic State.



A terrorist poses with the heads and admonishes viewers. Somehow, we

A terrorist poses with the heads and admonishes viewers. Somehow, we're supposed to embrace his message.







This image was captioned with instructions. Beheading is a process that takes as much as a minute to

This image was captioned with instructions. Beheading is a process that takes as much as a minute to complete.



The Islamic State beheads fellow Sunnis who betrayed their cause.

The Islamic State beheads fellow Sunnis who betrayed their cause.







Act now to help persecuted Christians in Iraq.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copyright 2016 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for June 2016
Universal:
Human Solidarity: That the aged, marginalized, and those who have no one may find–even within the huge cities of the world–opportunities for encounter and solidarity.
Evangelization: Seminarians and Novices: That seminarians and men and women entering religious life may have mentors who live the joy of the Gospel and prepare them wisely for their mission.



Comments


More Middle East

BREAKING: Istanbul airport suffers TWO explosions Watch

Image of The airport saw multiple casualties (Mustafa Edib Yilmaz/Twitter).

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A Turkish official confirmed two explosions have hit the airport. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to <a href=http://www.cnn.com/2016/06/28/europe/turkey-istanbul-airport-attacks/>CNN</a>, the death toll has reached 28 and sixty people are ... continue reading


70 lashes then locked in a cage - The price of breaking the Ramadan fast WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT Watch

Image of ISIS fighters have crucified people for eating or drinking during the holy month (Alamy)

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Jesus forgives but apparently Allah demands blood. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ISIS extremists have been on the lookout for anyone breaking the rules of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.For the entire month, all Muslims are required to fast, with the exception ... continue reading


'I miss my old life': Christians flee ISIS Watch

Image of Ozan fled Mosul with his family when ISIS militants gained control.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Imagine walking down the street of your hometown. Families are enjoying time together at the park, children ride their bikes through the streets and a cool breeze rustles your hair.All is beautiful for a moment - and then the shooting starts. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... continue reading


SKULLS CRUSHED: ISIS stones four men to death for adultery Watch

Image of Fanatic men enthusiastically participate in the execution.

By David Drudge (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

ISIS has stoned to death four married men who were convicted of adultery by a Sharia court. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - Once again, the brutal justice of the Islamic State terror organization has been witnessed by the world. This time, they stoned to death ... continue reading


'More than 40 days have passed since my daughter was kidnapped': Egyptian Christian girls at risk Watch

Image of Christian persecution includes forced conversions and marriage for young women and girls (Amir Nabil).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Teenage Christians are currently at risk of being kidnapped and forced to convert to then marry Muslim men in Egypt. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to Christian persecution group International Christian Concern,  at least seven cases have cropped up ... continue reading


Iraqi refugee children make First Communion Watch

Image of Iraqi refugee children make First Communion (NCRegister).

By Elise Harris (CNA/EWTN News)

On Friday, the first of three rounds of displaced Iraqi children made their First Communion in a refugee camp in Erbil, providing a silver lining to an otherwise bleak situation. Erbil, Iraq (CNA/EWTN News) - Out of the 5,500 people living in Erbil's Aishty 2 camp for ... continue reading


Where's Indiana Jones when you need him? Massive ancient monument discovered at Petra, hidden in plain sight Watch

Image of Although millions of people have visited Petra, nobody, including these characters, discovered the massive monument hiding in plain sight.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Archaeologists have discovered a massive new shrine at the archaeological site of Petra in southern Jordan. Perta is a famous site with massive edifices cut into the faces of cliffs. Most Americans will recognize it from various movies including "Indiana Jones and the ... continue reading


'People! I have killed my daughter for misbehaving!': Woman runs through streets boasting of murdering her daughter Watch

Image of Woman murders daughter for marrying boyfriend (Pacifi/SI/REX/Shutterstock).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

When her 18-year-old daughter eloped with a childhood friend, Parveen Rafiq decided to restore honor to her family by tying the girl to her bed, dousing her in kerosene and burning her alive. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to Daily Mail, Rafiq admitted ... continue reading


ISIS to churn out new chemical weapons Watch

Image of ISIS expected to send suicide bombers armed with chemical weapons (Al Hayat Media).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The world has seen the Islamic State spread terror across the Middle East and Europe but where has their agenda led them this time? LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Images of captives dressed in orange jumpsuits have splashed headlines for years. The unfortunate ... continue reading


'It is sad': Jewish children throw stones at Catholics celebrating Mass Watch

Image of One bishop called for adults and teachers to take responsibility for failing to teach the children (not pictured) to respect others.

By Antonio Anup Gonsalves (CNA/EWTN News)

Jewish youths' stone-throwing attack on Catholics attending Mass in the Israeli city of Rehovot last month has drawn a rebuke from Church authorities. Jerusalem, Israel (CNA/EWTN News) - "It is sad that people in prayer, for [the] most part, women working in Rehovot ... continue reading


All Middle East News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

  • St. Peter: Saint of the Day for Wednesday, June 29, 2016
  • Fatima Morning Offering HD Video
  • A Prayer for the Departed HD Video
  • America has become craven, that's why Satan is winning
  • Daily Readings for Wednesday, June 29, 2016
  • Car accident reveals OBGYN's dark secret - Abortion drugs and human ...
  • Sister Cecilia Maria's smile stuns

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Acts 12:1-11
1 It was about this time that King Herod started persecuting certain ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 34:2-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9
2 I will praise Yahweh from my heart; let the humble hear and ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 16:13-19
13 When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi he put this ... Read More

Reading 2, Second Timothy 4:6-8, 17-18
6 As for me, my life is already being poured away as a libation, and the ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for June 29th, 2016 Image

St. Peter
June 29: Peter, who was also known as Simon Peter of ... Read More