According to the Arabic website Al Shorfa, an al-Qaeda affiliated group in Yemen, called Ansar al-Sharia (or the “Supporters of Sharia Law”) beheaded a woman on April 11 for “practicing magic and sorcery.” Members of the group broke into the home of Sharifa Amr””a local healer who used natural herbs to treat sick people”””beheaded her, and then hung her severed head in front of the home of another popular healer in the region, as a warning that he might share her fate.”
The remainder of the report notes how several Yemeni officials condemned the attack””not because it is absurd to murder herbalists-deemed-sorcerers, but because the “Supporters of Sharia” actually contradicted Sharia, at least somewhat.
According to Sheik Jabri Ibrahim, general director of Yemen’s Ministry of Endowments and Guidance, punishing “sorcerers and magicians” can only be performed after “first summoning the magicians to a council with the ulema [Sharia scholars], who are obligated to advise and persuade him, showing him evidence from Sharia that Islam forbids the practice of sorcery and magic.”
But then, if the witchdoctor still refuses to cease and desist practicing the black arts, other legal (i.e., Sharia-endorsed) actions will be taken against him””including, evidently, the maximum penalty, execution. In short, al-Qaeda acted hastily by killing the woman; she should have been given more time and opportunities to repent before being beheaded.