11:25am 4th May 2006
|A bloody act of vengeance: 16-year-old Mohamed Moallim takes a knife and stabs the man who killed his father |
A boy of 16 takes a knife and stabs to death the man who killed his father, as a crowd some 700 strong looks on.
In another country, the bodies of murderers, rapists and drug traffickers are strung up in public, a gruesome warning to those who might be tempted to imitate their crimes.
Examples, one in Somalia, one in Kuwait, of how two Muslim societies deal out an uncompromising justice.
The Somali teenager who yesterday found himself becoming an executioner was Mohamed Moallim.
Large crowds gathered at a Koranic school in the capital, Mogadishu, to watch him stab Omar Hussein in the head and throat.
Hussein had been convicted of killing the boy's father, Sheik Osman Moallim, after a row about Mohamed's education.
An Islamic court ordered, under Sharia law, that Mohamed should execute his father's killer in the same manner that his father was murdered.
Hussein was tied to a stake at the school where Mohamed's father had worked, and had his head covered by a bag.
He shouted: "There is no god but Allah' as Mohamed stepped up and plunged the knife into his head and throat time after time.
One witness said: "It was horrible to watch because blood was splashing over the boy.
"But he just carried on stabbing him. He stabbed him around 12 times with a huge knife.
"People fainted because it was so horrible to watch. I saw at least two women collapse. Eventually when he realised the man was dead he just stopped and walked away.
"He was very calm and had a blank look on his face."
Speaking afterwards, Mohamed said simply: "I am happy now because I killed the man who killed my father."
Video footage of the execution was quickly posted on Islamic websites and hardline religious leaders warned that the same fate awaited others they convict.
Sheik Ibrahim Mohamed Nur, a local imam, said: "The justice of Allah has been implemented and there is no better justice than what Allah recommended."
Hundreds of miles away in Kuwait City, the authorities hanged five criminals at the governor's palace yesterday.
Then they flung open the doors and invited the public in to view the bodies, suspended from the almost clinically modern gallows.
Two of the men were foreigners, a Pakistani found guilty of trafficking heroin and an Indian sentenced to death for killing his employer with a machine gun, robbing him and burying his body in the desert.
The other men were all Kuwaitis, one executed for abducting a girl, raping and killing her. He had also raped another girl.
A fourth was killed for kidnapping, raping and murdering an Indian woman, while the fifth was executed for two murders.
For more than two decades Kuwait had carried out executions at the central prison. But officials decided in 2002 to let the public see the bodies of hanged convicts - as a crime deterrent.