David Frum

08.28.12

Sharia Law Coming To Syria

What news from foreign countries will we be talking about in two months? To keep readers abreast of the latest developments abroad, Brian Stewart will provide semi-regular commentary for the blog, highlighting global alerts that merit attention.

With each passing day the lethality of the strife between the Assad regime and the Free Syrian Army swells, and with it the potential for Syria to become a failed state. If this comes to pass, the question that has lurked beneath the crisis will rush to the surface: Who or what will fill the vacuum? The Los Angeles Times reports:

Justice was swift and brutal when fighters of the Al Nusra Front militia caught a man accused of raping and killing a young girl in front of her father. They beheaded the man and left his body in the street. The presence of women and children didn't deter them. Neither did the appeals of other rebels at the checkpoint in the embattled neighborhood of Salahuddin.

Members of the Free Syrian Army, the main rebel force, said that the man was a member of a pro-government militia and that they had no doubt he was guilty. They also had no objection to killing him, but they did object to a public beheading. "They don't even shoot them, they slaughter them with a knife," said Hassan, a rebel fighter nicknamed the "Barber of the Revolution" because of his previous occupation. "These aren't Islamic manners."