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Decapitation…ISIS’ Tool to Spread Fear - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Cairo-Scenes featuring ISIS’ decapitation practices are endless; everyday people see new shocking videos that will probably never end, as the organization has considered these videos a tool to spread fear and show its power to the world.

The latest video appeared on Eid Al-Adha and showed 19 Syrians who were hanged and slaughtered like being sacrificed. Apparently, the timing of this disgusting scene was so important for the organization following its defeats in Iraq, Syria, and Libya that it aimed at proving the validity of its old expression “still exist and expands.”

In its videos, the terrorist organization has decapitated civilians and soldiers; reports pointed that during the first year after the announcement of its so-called Caliphate in Syria and Iraq, ISIS slaughtered more than 3,000 people accused of cooperating with foreign countries. Observers say that the organization uses decapitation to spread terror among residents of Syria, Iraq, and Libya to force them on pledging loyalty to it; a number of videos showed individual and mass slaughtering and some featured prisoners who were obliged to dig their own graves before being killed.

The calmness and passivity of victims has been a principle feature in all the videos of decapitation; psychiatrists said that ISIS uses a kind of “sensual deprivation” with its victims for a while, during which prisoners should be isolated from all sensual stimulators, mainly hearing and eyesight, which lead them to a total surrender and to face death without resistance; experts also suggested that the organization may be using drugs to calm its victims. It is worth mentioning that decapitation was first practiced by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi when he slaughtered American hostage Eugene Armstrong in Iraq in 2004.

Egyptian Study
A recent Egyptian study carried out by Dar Al-Fatwa said that crimes and practices of ISIS violate all humanitarian and religious values, and that most of the organization’s victims are Muslims who reside in areas that fall under its control in Syria, Iraq, and Libya.

The study pointed that ISIS’ leaders have thought that draconian measures help prove their control despite that the Islamic culture has never called for killing or intimidating people so they pledge allegiance and loyalty. The study adds that ISIS’ practices were spread among many tribes that existed before Islam and that Prophet Mohammed never ordered decapitations. According to the study, the most dangerous problem is that the organization is using Islam to justify its bloody practices.

The study notes that the organization’s leaders have become addicted to bloody scenes, and that they use slaughtering to satisfy their sadism; it adds that ISIS benefits from these practices to raise its members’ morals by emphasizing the organization’s power and showing enemies that they would have the same fate of other victims.

Dr. Abdul Halim Mansour, a jurisprudence professor, says that the remarkable calmness that appears on victims before their slaughter may be due to severe beating and torture they received from the terrorists.

Dr. Ahmad Ali Sleiman, the former director of the League of Islamic Universities, sees that ISIS may be using cinematic tricks, visual technology, and fake images in the decapitation videos shared on social media.

The Egyptian study asserts that the terrorist organization has used some Islamic hadith and has sought to misinterpret them to justify their draconian practices under the name of religion.

Dr. Suleiman concludes that the huge funding and technology innovations used in ISIS’ videos shared through the organization’s media outlets clearly show that parties supporting it are powerful and that they provide it with the newest means of technology, telecommunication and media tools along with financial resources and arms.