The following piece is by Rev. Andy Webb, Senior Pastor at Providence Presbyterian Church in Fayetteville, NC.
After the Islamic State released a video in which they burned a Jordanian pilot to death in a cage, Jordan hanged it’s two Islamic State prisoners (both of whom were sentenced to death in 2006), including a female would-be suicide bomber whose husband killed 38 people at a wedding reception at the Radisson hotel in Aman, but whose explosives failed to detonate.
Predictably, human rights groups are outraged at… Jordan.
I’m with Jordan on this one. Let me explain why:
1) In the case of the IS prisoners, we are not talking about prisoners of war, uniformed enemy combatants, we are talking about civilian terrorists, or more correctly murderers who were involved in the targeted killing of the civilians of nations merely because those nations have not joined them in their barbarous jihad.
2) As such, these murderers are not covered by the Geneva convention and under the rules of land warfare, they are actually subject to summary execution when captured. This was precisely what the US did at the end of the Second World War, when SS “werewolves” donned civilian clothing and carried out attacks on US soldiers and Germans who were cooperating with the occupation forces. The mistake the West has been making is not instituting the same policies from the very beginning.
3) Outside of converting them to another faith, which the Western and OIC nations are absolutely opposed to, there is no “reforming” Jihadis. Holding them indefinitely is logistically impossible (given the ever increasing number of international Jihadists) as well as legally problematic (as there is no end to this conflict), and once in prison they establish control over their own members and do everything they can radicalize other inmates. Releasing them means they simply rejoin the Jihad and end up killing more innocent civilians. Also, locking them up simply creates a pool of hostages groups like IS commit atrocities seeking to release. Even worse, in the case of teetering nations like Iraq, successful military operations like the one at Abu Ghraib can win the release of hundreds of Jihadis at once.