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A Saudi Preacher, torture, rape and murder: A Tale of Twisted Justice

A Saudi preacher is accused of raping and torturing his five-year-old daughter to death. He admitted using a cane and cables to inflict the injuries after suspecting his daughter’s virginity. He served a few months in jail and then a judge ruled that the prosecution could only seek blood money and not the death penalty or life imprisonment. The scholar paid about $50,000 blood money to the mother of their daughter and was released from the custody. (Thank God that the judge did not allow the guilty preacher to keep the money under the pretext that he is the father of the girl.) Thus the value of a five-year-old was determined and that included compensation for rape and torture.

The judge based his ruling on sharia, so is the claim. Does the sharia want a murderer to get away with the crime? Does the sharia offer no punishment for torture and rape? Does the sharia have no rulings on child abuse? Does the sharia place a dollar value on torture, rape, and human life? Does the sharia absolve parents from the abuses committed against their children or spouses? These questions must be asked honestly because the ruling given in the name of God and Islam does not make any sense no matter how the legal experts interpret the Quran and the Sunna of the prophet.

If the Sharia is defined as a license to torture, murder or rape, then this is neither divine nor prophetic. It is simply male-chauvinistic tribalism immersed in ignorance and total disregard to human life and dignity. This cannot be allowed in the name of God or Islam. Muslims in general and Muslim scholars, in particular, owe it to their creator to question the legitimacy of this ruling and take a stand against it. Yet few would dare to do that. Most of them did not care about this case. Most of them didn’t bother to follow it and question the logic behind the verdict.

It is sad that despite the presence of so many learned scholars of Islam in the world, few are willing to condemn this verdict and openly distance them away from this vulgar interpretation of sharia. On the contrary, many are trying to justify this verdict in the name of God and Prophet. Shame upon them.

The Quran demands equal rights for children, boys and girls included. The Quran does not give parents the unlimited authority to do whatever they want to do with their children. The Quran condemns rape, torture and child and spousal abuse. There is no room for these things in a society that claims to follow Islamic precepts. However, violations of these mandated Quranic rights do occur. It is in these circumstances that justice and those who are entrusted with the responsibility of preserving it must play their roles properly. If they do not, then it is the duty of Muslim scholarship to take a unified stand against this. The silence in these matters is like condoning and supporting crime and injustice.

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