Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

October 2, 2014

Another execution

Filed under: Terrorist Threats & Attacks — by Philip J. Palin on October 2, 2014

samira_al-nuaimiSamira Salih al-Nuaimi

Over the last week, did you read or hear about this execution?  I assume HLSWatch readers are watching more carefully than most.  But did the report get to you?  Here’s the Associated Press blurb:

Militants with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group publicly killed a human rights lawyer in the Iraqi city of Mosul after their self-styled Islamic court ruled that she had abandoned Islam, the U.N. mission in Iraq said Thursday (September 25).

Samira Salih al-Nuaimi was seized from her home on Sept. 17 after allegedly posting messages on Facebook that were critical of the militants’ destruction of religious sites in Mosul.

According to the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq, al-Nuaimi was tried in a so-called “Sharia court” for apostasy, after which she was tortured for five days before the militants sentenced her to “public execution.”

She was killed on Monday (September 22), the U.N. mission said.

Here’s the official US response.

Here’s the Washington Post piece.

I have wondered about our potentially evolutionary preference to personalize threats. Does it now take a real-time snuff video?  Has our imagination become so anemic?  Or does it require a shared “tribal” identity with the victim?  Is empathy dependent on some sort of perceived cultural or national proximity?  Or perhaps in a promiscuously proximate world we purposefully keep our emotional distance?

In any case, I will admit I did not see a report until a week after her execution. But I will also note, this execution captured my subconscious more than any previous.  Given what seems to be the paucity of reporting, this is not the anticipated response.  Or perhaps I was just distracted.  You tell me.

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Comment by Philip J. Palin

October 2, 2014 @ 8:22 am

Related — at least I think so — is the nature of most US media coverage I am seeing related to Ebola. Especially this morning amazing attention is being given to the Dallas case. The apparent failure of communications protocols is worth attention.

But there is — especially on broadcast media and even in some newspapers — a remarkable absence of attention to the situation in West Africa… which, after all, is the source of the problem.

This preoccupation with symptoms close-at-hand (I almost wrote, superficial symptoms) is not reflected in many European or Asian media. Are these seeming blinders a symptom of some deeper American cultural predisposition?

Comment by William R. Cumming

October 2, 2014 @ 11:10 am

On another blog posted the following comment:

Followers of Islam largely concern themselves with the daily control of the minds and bodies of women. By abandoning women’s rights wherever the USA has fought in MENA the USA has undercut its own efforts.

Comment by Philip J. Palin

October 2, 2014 @ 3:39 pm

Bill, Do you recall when you first heard about this execution?

Comment by William R. Cumming

October 6, 2014 @ 11:15 am

It was suggested that it had taken place first to me in the FINANCIAL TIMES!

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