American mosque leader invokes Sharia Law, tries to amputate hand of thief

A Muslim leader showed a considerable lack of brotherly love in Philadelphia last week, when he tried to cut off the hand of a man accused of stealing from the local mosque.

Police arrested the mosque’s emir, Merv Mitchell, 37, also known as Mabul Shoatz, Thursday night on charges of aggravated assault, criminal conspiracy, and related offenses, for using a machete to sever the hand of an unidentified member of the mosque, accused of pilfering jars of money after morning prayers.

Philly.com reported that Mitchell and the mosque’s imam invoked Sharia Law which states, “As to the thief, male or female, cut off his or her hands; a punishment by way of example from Allah for their crime.”

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Although the 46-year-old victim denied stealing from the mosque, the two mosque officials carried him to the building’s backyard and placed his hand on a log, whacking it at the wrist with a machete. The blade, however, was dull and only penetrated through the skin and tendons, according to a police statement. The man will have to undergo reconstructive surgery though.

Philadelphia police also obtained an arrest warrant for the imam, whose name was not disclosed.

Richard Berkow

Former political news reporter Richard Berkow lost his idealism in the Kennedy years, and his innocence in Vietnam, Lebanon, and the Soviet Union. He hasn’t mellowed since, and can be harassed at [email protected]hotmail.com

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