Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Executions and Surmises

From the viewpoint of René Girard's mimetic theory, the findings of Amnesty International make perfect sense:
Amnesty's report - Affront to justice: Death penalty in Saudi Arabia - says there has been a sharp increase in executions in the last two years in the conservative Muslim kingdom.

There were 158 recorded executions in 2007 and the figure between January and August 2008 stood at 71.

The state does not provide official statistics but Amnesty said it had recorded at least 1,695 executions between 1985 and May 2008.

Of these, 830 were foreign nationals - a highly disproportionate figure since foreigners make up about one-quarter of the country's population.

In some cases, execution is followed by crucifixion, Amnesty says in its report.

Saudi officials were not immediately available to comment. They routinely defend beheadings as a quick and clean form of execution sanctioned by the Islamic faith
(my emphases - ht: Real Clear Religion). Read all …
A few surmises: (a) foreign nationals make splendid victims in the view of the "primitive sacred," from Girard's point of view; they have no relatives or backers of influence, generally, to cover their back, as the kids say today. (b) Crucifixion ... crucifixion? Enough said. (c) The increase in executions, feeding of the victimary apparatus of the primitive sacred, is a tell-tale indicator of a weakening of what Hamerton-Kelly calls the "Generative Mimetic Scapegoating Mechanism" of a culture.

Is this good news, or bad news? Too early to tell, in my opinion. What it does say, however, is that this predominantly Wahhabi nation of Saudi Arabia is surreptitiously dependent on and part and parcel with pagan religion, the characteristics of which are manifest and well-documented in the taxonomy provided not only Girard but such notables as former Jungian Jeffrey Burke Satinover.

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