News & Politics

Islamic State Fighter Executes His Own Mother for 'Apostasy'

An Islamic State fighter executed his own mother in public because she encouraged him to leave the group, according to a Syrian monitoring group.


The woman in her 40s had warned her son that a U.S.-backed alliance would wipe out Islamic State and had encouraged him to leave the city with her.

She was detained after he informed the group of her comments, according to the British-based Observatory, which monitors the war through a network of sources on the ground.

Citing local sources, the Observatory said the 20-year-old man executed his mother on Wednesday near the post office building where she worked in front of hundreds of people in Raqqa, a main base of operations for the group in Syria.

The Islamic State group, which controls wide areas of Syria and Iraq, has executed hundreds of people it has accused of working with its enemies or breaching of its ultra-conservative interpretation of Islam.

The Observatory reported on Dec. 29 that Islamic State had executed more than 2,000 Syrian civilians in the 18 months since it declared its “caliphate” over the territory it controls in Syria and Iraq. They included people killed on the grounds of homosexuality, practicing magic and apostasy.

Executing one’s mother is about as sick as it gets.  But we shouldn’t be surprised.  In the Soviet Union, children were encouraged to rat out their parents – and rewarded for it.  The East German Stasi, the secret police, routinely used children to inform on their parents and relatives.

In societies that cannot allow any questioning, any doubts to seep into the body politic, turning children into informants, or encouraging matricide, keeps a lid on dissent.  You would think such practices would be counterproductive.  But there is tremendous fear that’s engendered by the public spectacle of executing your own mother for the cause.

It works wonders as far as keeping people in line and cowing them into submission.