ISIS again caused international outrage with pictures this week of its beheading of Ayham Hussein, 15, who was reportedly executed for listening to Western music. ISIS considers such influences to be anti-Islamic and subject to death under the medieval Sharia law system enforced by the militants.
Ayham was found listening to Western music while sitting in his father’s grocery store in the Nabi Younis marketplace in Mosul. He was reportedly beaten and then brought before a Sharia court for his death sentence. Even by ISIS standards, people were shocked and a rare protest was held outside the family’s house. Two years ago ISIS banned “music and songs in cars, at parties, in shops and in public, as well as photographs of people in shop windows.” The group insists that it is merely following Koranic principles and that “Songs and music are forbidden in Islam as they prevent one from the remembrance of God and the Koran and are a temptation and corruption of the heart.” Obviously, most Muslims reject this extremist interpretation.
It is worth noting that Saudi Arabia, one of our closest allies, also enforces extreme Sharia law edicts, including arresting people for dancing.