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[If you are reading this on email, mobile device or tablet, for much better viewing with all features enabled, please, click on the title of this piece thus allowing full-screen viewing.]

Despite all our efforts to at least to try to ‘take the high road’, to strive to do our best, indeed to train our children to respect their peers, their parents and grandparents, indeed all and sundry, including their humblest of animals, sometimes we are disappointed.

Sometimes, however, mere disappointment cannot even come close to defining the issue.

Almost every day, we read about ‘ISIS’ or ‘Islamic State’, as these barbarians prefer to be called, or ‘ISIL’, which, for reasons wholly inexplicably to me, the current American Administration prefers to use.

That ‘L’ in ‘ISIL’ is meant to be ‘Levant, or for ‘Islamic State in The Levant’.

The Levant is a hangover moniker from the long years of French suzerainty over The Lebanon, in particular, but also other areas deeper inland and running north and south to also include all of modern-day Israel, Syria, and Jordan.

In other words, for years, Paris was puppet-master over this puppet or vassal state.

Technically, ‘The Levant’ has always been accepted at barest minimum to be all those nations who share a beach on the eastern side of the Mediterranean Sea.

In other words, why ever would anyone in the U.S. State Department willingly offer up the State of Israel in ISIL’s ‘Levant’?

Why, for Heaven’s sake, would anyone effectively cede the sole democracy in the most tumultuous neighborhood on the planet into the fantasies of the islamist fanatics which compose ISIS?

Then again, as I have written before, codified barbarity is not limited to ISIS in that part of the world.

Both Iran and Saudi Arabia compete for that top spot.

Since the latter is more open to the world than the former, we know more about Saudi Arabia, including her Koranic ‘justice’ (sic) system.

About all the Saudi laws that can kill or maim the poor slob who is a Saudi defendant, that and one current prisoner, Saudi blogger Raif Al-Badawi.  [A link to that piece, ‘Vexillogically Very Vexing’, appears below].

Then again, this piece, below, took me by total shocking surprise:

Saudi Arabia: Juvenile prisoner faces ‘death by crucifixion’ after appeal is dismissed

A prisoner in Saudi Arabia, who was sentenced to death as a child, faces “death by crucifixion” after a final appeal has been dismissed.

Ali Mohammed al-Nimr was arrested on 14 February 2012 when he was just 17, during a crackdown on anti-government protests in the Shiite province of Qatif. He was accused by the authorities of participation in illegal protests and of firearms offences, despite there being no evidence to justify the latter charge.

Ali-Mohammed-al-NimrLargestPhoto
[A very young-looking Ali Mohammed al-Nimr, per recent photo]

Ali was initially held at a juvenile offenders facility, where he was denied access to lawyers.

Evidence indicates that he was tortured and forced to sign a document which was tantamount to a confession. The signed document formed the basis of the case against him and he was convicted of the alleged offences by the Specialised Criminal Court (SCC).

However, the trials failed to meet international standards. Ali and his family have strongly denied the charges against him, but, after the final appeal – which was held – in secret and without Ali’s knowledge – was dismissed, there are few legal options remaining to oppose the sentence originally handed down on 27 May 2014.

It is feared that Ali could be executed in a matter of days.

The case against Ali appears to be based on his familial connection to Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, a 53-year old critic of the Saudi regime and a prominent religious leader in the Kingdom, who is his uncle.

Mr Al Nimr was sentenced to death by crucifixion on charges including ‘insulting the King’ and delivering religious sermons that ‘disrupt national unity’. This week, it emerged that the authorities plan to execute Ali’s uncle on Thursday (17 September) sparking fears that his nephew will also be killed.

Human rights organization Reprieve has urged the European Union to intervene with Saudi Arabia to prevent the killings.

Commenting on the inhumane and unjust sentence, Maya Foa, Director of the death penalty team at legal charity Reprieve said: “No one should have to go through the ordeal Ali has suffered – torture, forced ‘confession,’ and an unfair, secret trial process, resulting in a sentence of death by ‘crucifixion.’

“But worse still, Ali was a vulnerable child when he was arrested and this ordeal began. His execution – based apparently on the authorities’ dislike for his uncle, and his involvement in anti-government protests – would violate international law and the most basic standards of decency. It must be stopped.”

ali-mohammed-al-nimr posters (2) for his release for photo caption[Two friends and protestors, with their signs]

Ali is just one of a number of young protestors including Dawoud Hussain al-Marhoon, who have been sentenced to death following involvement in anti-government protests.

In January 2015, prominent Saudi blogger Raif Al-Badawi received the first of 1,000 lashes as part of his sentence for his statements criticising the Saudi regime in 2012.

In a post to the NGO’s website Foa added: “Saudi Arabia’s wave of executions since the start of this year has provoked widespread disgust. But these killings, if they are allowed to go ahead, will mark a new low.”

Despite global condemnation, the Saudi Government has continued to carry out executions at a high rate since King Salman came to power in January 2015.

On May 6th 2015, the Kingdom carried out its 79th execution of the year, and it is already close to surpassing its 2014 total of 87 executions.

The Saudi government maintains all cases are tried in accordance with Sharia law, and with strict fair trial standards observed.

According to Amnesty International Saudi Arabia has one of the highest execution rates in the world, with only China and Iran carrying out more judicial killings.

A Facebook page has been created to rally support in protest at the death sentence on Ali Mohammed al-Nimr. [End quote]

Speaking only for myself, as a child, I struggled to understand just what it was, just how naughty Jesus got that was so awful to deserve his abominable punishment.

I was fascinated and repelled, not only by the why, but also by the ‘mechanics’ of the crucifixion of Christ.

As would any child, you knew this was always called a ‘punishment’. The mind raced.

“So, just what”, one pondered, “can the school principal really do to me?”

My elementary principal, Miss Crews, always had her switch or that paddle,  but … could that other really happen to me/us?

No one ever said ‘Not a chance’. Gulp!

That said, compared to today’s Saudi crucifiers, the ancient Romans were almost humane.

Given the Saudis’ penchant for the sword and decapitation, one is aware that in some cases, the Saudis first lop off the head of the person to be crucified and only then do they hang the body up on a cross, there to waste away, to be gnawed upon or ripped at and then eaten by who knows what?

Can that be said to be progress in the New Century, or just another variant of Barbarism Most Vile?

Alas, unless the World can become so exercised as to call a halt to this latest outrage, it is most likely this young man may well depart into whatever afterlife one in his position may be.

Indeed, as I write this, one wonders just how many others are in hellish cells all across that nation, host to the premier, the ‘holiest’ of all ‘holy’ places of what the Saudis and millions other consider to be their religion.

By contrast, many of the billionaire Saudi Princes simply cannot be bothered with the life of a young man who is not old enough to drive.

Then again, poor Ali would never be able to even do that, or assuredly not as his Temporal Masters can.

MercedesSaudiDiamondStudded
[The owner of not 10 or 20 but more than 300 of the most exotic and luxurious vehicles ever built, Prince Al Walid Bin Talal owns a diamond studded handmade Mercedes SL600 car which truly symbolizes the billionaire Prince’s power and opulence. The stunning work is mixture of diamonds and Swarovski crystals. Car was unveiled in 2007 in Dubai to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Mercedes.]

Mind you, this man is one of hundreds of Saudi Princes.

Since, assuredly, you do not want me to venture any further into aspects of any islamist afterlife, on this young man’s behalf, allow an ecumenicalist outreach, yet again, to the sanity, safety and sustaining serenity of Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Vespers, the fifth part marked Nunc Dimittis.

Also known as ‘Simeon’s Song’ or ‘St. Simeon’s Song‘, here this is sung – in a traditional Kiev melody – by a solo tenor.

Nonetheless, this motet ends with the lowest note in the whole of the Rachmaninoff Vespers: a B flat below low C.

Nyne otpushchayeshi raba Tvoyego Vladyko,
po glagolu Tvoyemu s mirom;
Yako videsta ochi moi spaseniye Tvoye,
yezhe yesi ugotoval
pred litsem vsekh lyudey,
Svet vo otkroveniye yazykov,
I slavu lyudey Tvoikh Izrailya.

Lord, now lettest thou thy
servant depart in peace,
according to thy word;
For mine eyes have seen thy salvation,
which thou hast prepared
before the face of all people;
To be a light to lighten the Gentiles,
and to be the glory of thy people Israel

Why do you suppose I assume that ecumenical gestures are the furthest things from these Saudis’ medievalists’ minds?

—###—

Comment: Although the images are aplenty, I’ve spared you those of modern day crucifixions. Assuredly, they are out there for those with strong stomachs.

Will the Saudis proceed with this barbarity?

I shall be grateful for your thoughts, comments, etc.

The link to Vexillogically Very Vexing about Saudi blogger, Raif Al-Badawi, is here:  http://bit.ly/1MtEy0K

Hat-Tips:

Yahoo News UK and Priya Joshi, International Business Times, https://uk.news.yahoo.com/saudi-arabia-juvenile-prisoner-faces-230227718.html#PXOcg1N

Reprieve, Website (UK): http://www.reprieve.org.uk, Website (US): http://www.reprieve.org Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Reprieve-107485499287/timeline/?ref=ts Twitter: @Reprieve

Born Rich, http://www.bornrich.com/al-waleed-bin-talal.html, Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/bornrich Twitter: @bornrich

Mercedes Benz, Website:https://www.mercedes-benz.com/en/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MercedesBenz Twitter: @MercedesBenz