15 APRIL 2013
"News that's fit to print" was very carefully reported. When it came to beheading in Saudi Arabia, The New York Times enlisted two
correspondents -- its Cairo correspondent David Kirkpatrick and "Mayy El Sheikh" (whoever she is) for reporting -- very carefully, the following
under the heading: "Saudis Consider Firing Squads for Executions."
"After centuries of public beheadings, the kingdom of Saudi Arabia is considering firing squads as an alternative means of execution.
"A special inter-ministerial committee has recommended that "because of the scarcity of swordsmen and their unavailability in a number of
regions", the princes who govern Saudi provinces should be free to use firing squads, according to a statement from the special committee, reported
in Saudi newspapers on Sunday.
"The few officially authorized swordsmen were so busy traveling between different regions to conduct executions that they sometimes arrived
late, "which causes security confusion" complicated by "the resulting spreading of rumors through modern technology," the statement noted. Saudi
Arabia is the only country that still executes criminals by beheading, carried out with a sword and conducted in public. The kingdom
has beheaded 15 people so far this year and more than 75 in each of the past two years.
"The Saudi monarchy maintains that the Koran is the kingdom's only constitution. Saudi Arabia has no formal criminal code. The country's courts
apply a literal interpretation of medieval punishments described in the Koran, including occasionally cutting off the hands of thieves and more
rarely stoning adulterers. Although most Muslim scholars disagree, the kingdom has generally treated beheading by sword as the proper Islamic
method of execution under the Koran, and the Saudis apply the sword quite liberally: in convictions for murder, rape, armed robbery, drug
trafficking and other offenses.
"But Saudi Arabia has also conducted occasional executions by firing squad. The committee found that killing by gunfire "does not constitute
a religious violation," the statement said."
Would you imagine how The New York Times would report such a story if it was about Syria, India, Venezuela, Brazil, South Africa, Zimbabwe, or
the Palestinian Authority?!