Islamist Extremists Cut Off Thief’s Hand in Northern Mali

Telegraph (London), August 9, 2012

Jihadists occupying northern Mali on Thursday said they had cut off the hand of a thief in accordance with strict Islamic law which they have imposed on the population.

“Yes, I confirm it. We applied sharia in Ansongo yesterday (Wednesday). The hand of a thief was cut off. Sharia demands it,” a leader of the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO), Mohamed Ould Abdine, told AFP.

A local government official in the town south of Gao, one of the capitals of the vast desert region, said he witnessed the amputation.

“I am in Gao now, but yesterday I was in Ansongo. There was a lot of blood when the hand was cut. It was the hand of a thief who stole a motorbike,” he told AFP.

He added that dozens of people had witnessed the public amputation.

Abdine said the sentence was “the law of God.”

On Sunday scores of protesters swarmed the main square in Gao to prevent Islamists from cutting off the hand of a thief, but Abdine said the sentence had only been postponed.


This is the first report of the extremists carrying out an amputation since they occupied the north of the country four months ago, enforcing strict sharia law.

In the small town of Aguelhok, another armed Islamist group, Ansar Dine (Defenders of Faith), publicly stoned an unmarried couple to death in late July. They have forced women to cover up and whipped smokers and drinkers.


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  • David Ashton

       Irreversible mutilation is a serious penalty, even for major crimes after “due process”, and Muslims view particular offences differently from us.  However,  white Muslim converts who have visited Mecca, for example, have assured me that the risk of amputation of fingers after proven theft has a substantial deterrent effect, so that whole areas of shops and items spread out for sale can be safely left intact while everyone goes off for prayers.  Stoning allegedly unfaithful wives is not a practice to emulate.
      But there is a case for some measure of prompt public corporal punishment, under careful medical supervision, for young offenders in western societies, as well as forced labour to compensate their victims.  Except for criminals too dangerous for release, these two alternatives to the slammer may be unusual but they are not cruel.

  • Rocky Bass,

    Great idea and all, but do we really want every black in America on disability?

    • Whirlwinder

      Rocky, your sentence is freighted with all kinds of assumptions!!! lol

    • Whirlwinder

      Actually, this is just shariah law in action. Nothing to see here. American liberals are going to love this shariah law when it finally hits them.

    • NM156


  •  Only under certain circumstances are amputations  allowed under Shariah law only.  Shariah has many benefits in regards to modifying the behavior of otherwise uncivilized individuals. Many laws pertaining to marriage and the interaction between the sexes is far more logical and sound than that of western European law as well. There is much western man can learn from Islam. However this is Mali that the article is referencing. Being black sub-Saharan Africans, who knows the level of craziness going on over there. After all, “Christians ” in many parts of Africa still eat certain body parts of their dead relatives.

  • jeffaral

    Burning thieves is a widespread practice in subsaharian Africa.

    • Rocky Bass,

       Not Christian in the puritan sense, more Voodistian if anything.