ISIS has brought to our attention beheadings, persons burned alive, persons buried alive, women and children sold into slavery, and mass killings otherwise. As a people, we are upset. We cannot understand these examples of man’s inhumanity to man.
Surprise, beheadings, etc. are as old as civilization itself. What ISIS is doing is not new.
Look first in our own backyard.
The Pilgrims and Indians celebrated the first Thanksgiving in 1621.Two years later in 1623, Miles Standish decapitated an Indian chieftain. He then impaled the head on a spike outside Plymouth fort.
In 1637, 700 men, women and children of the Pequot Tribe were shot or clubbed to death. The next day, the Governor of Massachusetts Colony declared a Day of Thanksgiving because the 700 had been killed.
Another Day of Thanksgiving was declared soon thereafter when members of the Pequot Tribe in what is now the Stamford, Connecticut area, had their heads hacked off. The heads were then kicked down the streets of Stamford like soccer balls.
Attacks continued. Many Pequot women and children over 14 were sold into slavery. Boats carrying as many as 500 regularly left New England ports for Europe.The slave trade in reverse.
Recall the Salem witch hunts. Supposed witches were burned alive at the stake.
A black revolution occurred in 1811 near New Orleans. Twenty one black slaves revolted. All were subsequently captured. Most were beheaded and their heads displayed on spikes and gates as a warning to other slaves to not even think of revolting.
Now to Europe and Asia.
The Bible tells us John the Baptist was beheaded.
Ancient Celts beheaded the enemy. They would hang the heads on their horses or nail them to the front door of their homes.
The Romans conquered the Celts. The Romans held the Celts in such disdain that they beheaded the Celts in return.
There was a Dracula. For real. He was Count Vlad. In the 1450s, he was ruler of what is now Romania. All were required to agree with him. Dissent was not tolerated. He killed people by impalement. Bent them over and pushed a long spike into one part of the body and out another. Then left them hanging on the spikes. It is reported he killed 100,000 of his subjects during his reign. It is said he drank some of their blood with his meals.
He also skinned people alive. Especially unfaithful lovers.
Turkey was at war with Romania in 1459. Vlad captured 20,000 Turks. He had them all impaled on stakes.
Vlad was born in Transylvania. His father was Dracul. Translated meant Dragon or Devil. Ergo, Vlad was the son of the Devil. In addition to Vlad, he was also known as Dracula
The Catholic Church made its contribution to pain and suffering. The Inquisition. Basically, three. The Spanish, Portuguese and Roman. They started operating in the 1200s. Some were still in effect into the 1800s.
The Inquisition put its victims through extreme torture. If a person confessed, the torture ended. That person was then burned alive at the stake. Burning at the stake was considered humane.
Who can forget the French Revolution. Thousands were beheaded by means of the guillotine. What history has failed to publicize is that many of the heads were placed on spikes and the revolutionaries ran around the streets waving them.
Hitler has the distinction of having killed more persons than any other tyrant. We all know of the six million Jews. Few are aware however of the three million Russian soldiers and two million Poles he also ordered killed. The Russians and Poles were captives and most in concentration camps at the time.
In the late 1970s, Cambodia suffered genocide on a large scale. The Khmer Rouge was responsible for 2 million deaths. Decapitation took place when the victims were alive and others when dead. The heads were strewn along the countryside.
Bosnia and Herzegovina were genocide sites from 1992-1995. Ritualistic beheadings of captive Serbs and Croats took place.
Saudi Arabia still beheads wrongdoing.
There are more. History is replete with such killings.
These killings and the methods used tell us man must have an inner instinct/need to kill. It has happened too often and in too large numbers to be otherwise.
ISIS is merely the most recent perpetrator of such deeds. I suspect we are more upset re ISIS because of the Internet. ISIS has made sure, burnings, etc. have been visually publicized world-wide.
Man’s inhumanity to man. It exists. If history is a teacher, it will never leave us no matter how civilized we become.