The Crusades, Spanish Inquisition, Slavery, Jim Crow and ISIS all used faith to justify repugnant actions against fellow human beings. The faith or religions used to justify these actions are not responsible for the actions of the few who misinterpret their teachings.
There is no international law, which would mean having an international Court to interpret and enforce it. The united States of America is not a member of the ICC.We operate on a gentleman’s understanding of what is acceptable. We all must appreciate that with that kind of system, there will be areas and regions of the world whose interpretation of what is acceptable will see repugnant to our sensitivities. We also must understand when things we hold dear to our mind seems repugnant to others values.
The USA accepts this arrangement by not being a member of the ICC and maintaining very close working relationship with Saudi Arabia while it regularly like clockwork cuts of people’s limps for stealing. The Gentleman’s understanding is that the repugnant practices will only be excised on the citizens of the particular country and not on foreign friendly country citizens.
In the real world, going through local due process and sentencing people to death is a practice that every country has learned to live with. There is also a gentleman’s understanding that countries must be internationally recognized for it to be legitimate. We however have not strictly enforced, we have dealt with self-declared nation states when it suited our interests, and The Palestinian territory and Somaliland are cases in point.
We have established that common law systems are not universally uniform, the Law itself is relative not absolute. We have also established that we have let states carry out sentences that we ordinarily view as repugnant provided they have gone through their local due process. We have accepted that death is a legitimate penalty for some crimes if so proscribed by local law. The world does call for humane means of carrying out death sentences but leaves the definition of humane to local conditions and custom to determine. Lastly we have established that although we would prefer that nation states be universally recognized, we have allowed self-declared nation states to operate in various regions of the world.
Under these conditions, there is bound to occur self-declared nation states that practice rules and regulations that are repugnant to our sensitivities. ISIS comes to mind. The USA and all civilized nations do not agree with their practices and interpretation of their faith, but individually all the things they are doing are not out of the ordinary. Ok, they put a prison of war in a cage and set them on fire. The method of execution is left to local authorities to determine, burning a fellow human being alive may not be our chosen method of execution of a “convicted” person but the USA uses cocktails of chemicals whose effects we do not know. Case in point is Joseph Wood. Putting a fellow human being through two hours of untold suffering is repugnant
“A DEATH-ROW inmate being executed in Arizona took nearly two hours to die, prison officials confirmed. In one of the latest controversy to hit America’s lethal injection regime. The attorney representing Joseph Wood, convicted in 1989 of the murders of his girlfriend and her father, said his client died an agonizing death after being injected with a cocktail of medications that were supposed to quietly snuff out his life.”
Christianity does not come to the table with clean hands. The Spanish inquisition, The USA justification of Slavery, The Southern Christian Church justification of Jim Crow and the current Republican attempt to demonize President Obama as Muslim. ISIS is awful, but we are not that superior. Black lives matter movement comes out of a silent condescending altitude.
The essence of this article is that the outrage over the ISIS method of choice to execute their prisoner should be weighted with a look in the mirror. Having put that to rest, I would like to suggest that the USA and its allies should not let emotion and sentimental feeling cloud the thought process in dealing with ISIS. Ideology cannot be fought with bombs. We know that because we dealt with the USSR differently, we won the war without dropping a bomb. It’s always a dangerous thing when strong and powerful people or nations allow emotion cloud their judgment. The Biblical Samson got emotional and sentimental with Delilah that was his doom.
At times when nations get emotional, the long-term advantage is with the bad guys. Constructive engagement worked with China, a no peace no war with the USSR work by attrition, dropping bombs on Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, Somalia and Yemen has not worked. Working up emotions took us to the wrong war, which benefited a few people but sent many young Americans to their graves and hurt thousands.
Let us not shot then aim, let us take a breather to avoid walking into an emotional long drawn self-perpetuating conflict in the Middle East – Just what ISIS wants.