Saudi Arabia Denies Report of Man Sentenced to Be Surgically Paralyzed

A Saudi man has been sentenced to paralysis for literally stabbing a friend in the back.

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Robert Cianflone / Getty Images

UPDATE: Saudi Arabia has said that the surgical paralyzation sentence will not be carried out, the BBC reported Tuesday. According to a message reportedly posted on the justice ministry’s Twitter account, the judge in the case has dismissed demands for such a sentence.

When they say an eye for an eye, they’re not kidding. A Saudi Arabian court has reportedly sentenced a young man to be paralyzed for stabbing his friend in the back — a crime he committed when he was 14 — which left the victim paralyzed from the waist down, according to the Saudi Gazette. In a statement from Amnesty International, Ali al-Khawaher, 24, has spent the last 10 years in jail waiting for a surgical operation to paralyze him — unless his family pays one million Saudi riyals ($270,000) to the victim.

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Qesas, “a principle of Islamic law allowing victims analogous retribution for violent crimes,” is part of the greater Islamic sharia law–as opposed to secular law–that recently came under scrutiny during the Arab spring uprisings in 2011. “That such a punishment might be implemented is utterly shocking, even in a context where flogging is frequently imposed as a punishment for some offences, as happens in Saudi Arabia,” said Ann Harrison, Middle East and North Africa Deputy Director at Amnesty International in a statement. In 2011, an Iranian who threw acid in a woman’s face was sentenced to be blinded, although he had his punishment postponed and then was ultimately pardoned by the victim, after Amnesty International had lobbied against the sentence as well.

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According to the Council on Foreign Relations, Saudi Arabia follows one of the strictest interpretations of sharia. But Kuwait, Bahrain, Yemen, and the United Arab Emirates also derive their legal systems in part from sharia law. According to a 2010 Pew study, at least three-quarters of Muslims in Egypt and Pakistan say they would favor making each of the following the law in their countries: stoning people who commit adultery, whipping and cutting off the hands of those found guilty of robbery and the death penalty for those who leave the Muslim religion.

In practice, however, “most Muslim countries do not use traditional classical Islamic punishments, ” Ali Mazrui of the Institute of Global Cultural Studies said in an interview with Voice of America.

And at least one form of eye-for-an-eye punishment is still common in the U.S., where 33 states still have the death penalty. When it comes to executing the most people per year, the U.S. ranked in the top five in 2011 — along with China, Iran, North Korea, and Yemen.

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27 comments
Handthumb
Handthumb

 People know the law and are aware of the punishments given when breaking the law, regardless of what country you live in. If being blinded or paralyzed doesn't deter you from breaking the law then you deserve it. 

PaulineRupinskiDutton
PaulineRupinskiDutton

All I can say is thank GOD I'm American, and GOD would not want us 2 torture people, prison yes, hard labor yes. How could any human being do such a thing. Stoning people, making them so they ca'nt ever walk again my GOD that is just awful

komdoJ
komdoJ

My be its time for Sharia Law here in the U.S. Do unto others what others do unto you. It makes perfect sense.

billmichael
billmichael

Now that Kentucky has passed the HB-279, which gives religious organizations un-limited power, the Bluegrass State is ripe for a Muslim takeover.

Paul92401740
Paul92401740

Anyone dubious about the dangers of Sharia law entering in our societies and the middle class politically correct' fear of tackling it should read this piece    http://www.newstiller.com/society/631-sharia-law-and-middle-class-feminism

FactsAndReason
FactsAndReason

I'm far more worried about the Christian's making laws like this as I am of Sharia law taking root in the US.

This law says, "If your God says it's OK, you can treat people differently".

This is NOT what Jesus would do.

Some of these alleged Christians will LOVE it when a Muslim starts discriminating against Christians (in jobs, housing or whatever) and justifies their behavior with this law. And I will laugh...

cleverlyc
cleverlyc

@Paul92401740 Are you people still trying to pretend Sharia has any chance of becoming American law?

Sto it, you're only making a fool of yourself. Please, enough.

billmichael
billmichael

Kentucky just passed HB-279, which makes it virtually impossible for state government to interfere with religious organizations.  Kentucky must "prove" that the state has a legitimate interest in interfering with the practice of religion.  This means that religious groups are now free to do as they please as long as they claim that secular law conflicts with their "religious beliefs".  If a Muslim Church wants to invoke Sharia Law, Kentucky law takes a back seat and must step aside. 

billmichael
billmichael

Well, what do you think this new law means?  If it means just what it says, then the state MUST PROVE that they have a legitimate reason to interfere with the practice of religion, including, but not limited to, the practice of Sharia.  It couldn't be more simple than that.  That's what this law is all about, it elevates religion above state law.

Paul92401740
Paul92401740

@cleverlyc @billmichael Hi.....this is not all about America (the article I posted is not even about the US....maybe you should read it). As a proud atheist (I presume that's what you mean by 'you people') and secularist I do not afford that  misogynistic patriarchal cult or any other misogynistic patriarchal cult (xtianity included) any legitimacy and want it very much out of our socieities.

cleverlyc
cleverlyc

@billmichael You believe too much right-wing radio. This law will only go as far as the Constitution allows, the more extreme examples of Sharia Law would never stand if challenged.

From what I've read, it sounds like an unnecessary and bad law, but the xtians got themselves all spun up about having their religious freedoms abridged. Oddly enough, when you expand EVERYONE'S religious freedom, that includes Muslims too.

Nonetheless, any really extremist religious activity will not pass Constitutional muster, so there really is nothing to be afraid of. They can't enforce beheadings because of this, anyone who says they can is a liar.

brownbuck1990
brownbuck1990

I don't have a problem with this. In fact, I support it. In the USA we see criminals who have robbed, mutilated, raped, and murdered walk free after relatively short periods of incarceration. The tougher the criminal, the less impact jail time matters to them. Their victims' lives, on the other hand, are often destroyed. We need "an eye for an eye" in this country. Let the victims see their perpetrators suffer just as they did. That's justice. I don't know about punishing a crime 10 years after it was committed but the principle is sound.

HannoPhoenicia
HannoPhoenicia

There doesn't seem to be any sympathy for the victim, who is disabled for life. Anyone who's worked with criminals knows that a 14 year old criminal is not a child and in the US we've had premeditated murders by kids as young as 8. So what's really barbaric here?

Matamala3
Matamala3

@HannoPhoenicia A 8 year old or 14 year old tried as an adult will still not qualify for the death penalty under US and international law, nor will they be threatened with amputation or to be paralyzed.   So your answer would be the Saudis.  But nice attempt at turning this against the US somehow.  You are disgusting.  

brownbuck1990
brownbuck1990

@Matamala3

If you commit a crime, you should pay a penalty equal to the damage you did. Victims deserve vindication for their suffering. US and International law are too soft regarding violent crimes. Forget your lectures; I already know why. Capital and corporal punishments immediately become political tools easily abused by those in power so we coddle the criminals at the bottom to hobble potential criminals at the top. Well, ever consider that our modern age grants us enough scrutiny into the halls of power to prevent the old abuses? Victims deserve justice and that means seeing their criminals regret their actions. Bring that system here!

mrbomb13
mrbomb13

Let's see, that makes the score as follows:

8th-Century Saudi Arabian Laws  10,000,000    v.   Modernity in Saudi Arabia   1

Way to go, Modernity...

fatality1515
fatality1515

Sharia is not just in Kuwait, Bahrain, Yemen, and the United Arab Emirates.. Thanks to the stupid liberals, it's also in parts of Belgium, UK, and France these days!

cleverlyc
cleverlyc

@fatality1515 Thanks to Liberals, we have AMERICA. The Founding Fathers were liberals.

FactsAndReason
FactsAndReason

Hey @fatality1515:

Liberals also brought us:

The 40-hour work week (you like weekends off?)

Labor laws that keep kids out of factories 16 hours a day

Clean Air/Water and Pure Food and Drug laws

The ACLU (which kept both Oliver North and Rush Limbaugh out of jail and charged not one penny; go look it up)

Regulations that kept Wall Street from imploding between 1933 and 2008; not bad if you read the history of boom and bust cycles in the US before that point.

Much of what you take for granted was fought for (in the streets, many time) by Liberals.

But we don't care if you hate us for it. Really, we don't. 

And, by the way, You're Welcome.


brownbuck1990
brownbuck1990 like.author.displayName 1 Like

@fatality1515  

Forget the Sharia nonsense. Let's just have the punishment fit the crime! The Saudis have something here.

humtake
humtake like.author.displayName 1 Like

Um, it's not only Sharia law.  Eye for an eye is part of Jewish law, also.

dave.fish
dave.fish

Absolutely not!  If you read the bible and the examples given, "eye for an eye" means a punishment should be commensurate the crime.  This differentiated Jewish law from existing Babylonian and other Middle Eastern laws. In Babylonia law, if you stole from a noble, you would be killed.  Also for example if your horse ran over your neighbor's daughter and killed her, according to pre-Hebrew law your neighbor could kill your daughter.  Jewish law instituted a financial compensation.  Check the Bible.

HannoPhoenicia
HannoPhoenicia

@dave.fish  Making stuff up doesn't make it true. Humtake was right and you know it.

FactsAndReason
FactsAndReason

@HannoPhoenicia

No, Humtake is wrong: if you bother to read the Torah (Old Testament to you) and look into what Jewish tradition is (read their commentaries on the Torah), you'd know that the Jews were among the first people to try and make the law something other than institutionalized revenge. Morality and proportionality, melded with "do unto others" is the basis of their approach. You're just showing your ignorance by stating otherwise.

"Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself: I am the LORD." - Leviticus 19:18

Please: there are other, equally valid approaches to God than Christianity; get that through your head and into your soul.