Repeal of Amendment Three

by Bob Jacobs

I caught an early train into London for the first public execution in Great Britain since 1868, after it was reintroduced under amendment three of the Prevention of Terrorism Act. Trafalgar Square heaved with people, all desperate for a good view of Al-Muteri's beheading, but I managed to work my way almost to the front where I could see over the shoulders of those squashed against the barriers. Al-Muteri, head shaved, climbed the steps slowly in a long white robe looking relaxed, bored almost, and just before the blade fell - I'll never forget this - he smiled and said, "God is great." The crowd gasped and fell momentarily silent as the head dropped, and for those of us who were close enough, before the cheering started, Al-Muteri's severed head could clearly be heard to say, "God is great." Since then his head, in a protective glass case, has been smiling and reciting the Koran for more than three months. Of course, the beheadings have stopped.

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Bob Jacobs, author of My Reflection is Killing Me, lives in the south-east of England with his wife and kids and Sony Vaio.