Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Saudi Rape Victim: Blame It On Sharia

A young 19-year-old Saudi woman, gang-raped by a group of seven men, was re-sentenced by the Saudi Qatif General Court to 200 lashes and six months in prison. Why the Saudi courts decision to sentence a victim of a heinous crime to the extra punishment of lashes and a prison sentence rather than show compassion?

Sharia Law

Her original sentence was "only" 90 lashes for ""meeting with an unrelated male, a former friend whom she was retrieving photographs." The "meeting with an unrelated male" provision comes from Sharia Law. Sharia Law is based on morals and their interpretation from the Quran, Islam’s Holy Book. Sharia Law is the basis for all decisions made by the Saudi court.

There is no separation of religion (Islam) and state in the Saudi court system or government.

Shari’ah is divine in its sources and primary rules, and in Saudi Arabia, it covers all legal aspects: criminal, civil and international.

The Shari’ah Courts are the largest court system in the Kingdom. Its judges are trained at Shari’ah colleges. An important feature of these courts is the short time, usually two months, required for hearings and final judgments to take place. In addition, there are no limitation periods and therefore the right to bring an action would not be affected by the passage of time.[1]

Countries where Sharia Law is part and parcel of the legal system include Saudi Arabia, Iran, Pakistan, and Malaysia.

Iran's Islamic Crackdown of saving women from themselves.

TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iranian police will intensify a crackdown on women flouting Islamic dress code, a police official told a newspaper on Sunday, in the first reinforcement of regular summertime campaigns.

Such crackdowns have become a regular feature of Iranian life, but it is the first time police have pledged to toughen up measures that began in April.

A human rights group on Saturday criticised Iran for abuses like police crackdowns on violations of the Islamic dress code. It said some 488 men and women were detained during the first days of the crackdown.


From Mordad (the Iranian month starting on July 23) police numbers will double to confront such immoral behaviour," the Farhang-e Ashti daily quoted Tehran police chief Ahmad Reza Radan as saying.

Under Islamic sharia law, imposed after Iran's 1979 revolution, women are obliged to cover their hair and wear long, loose-fitting clothes to disguise their figures and protect their modesty. Violators can receive lashes, fines or imprisonment.

Many young women, particularly in wealthier urban areas, challenge the limitations by wearing calf-length Capri pants, tight-fitting, thigh-length coats in bright colours and scarves pushed back to expose plenty of hair.

The Islamic dress code is less commonly challenged in poor suburbs and rural areas.

Radan said those women who resisted the guidance of police would appear before the courts.

"First, those who breach the dress code will be warned by the police ... But if they continue their ignorance ... they will be sent to courts," the police chief said.

Since hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad won the presidency in 2005 after promising a return to the values of the revolution, hardliners have pressed for tighter controls on "immoral behaviour".

Iran has repeatedly rejected criticism by rights groups over such crackdowns, saying the country's efforts were aimed at "fighting morally corrupt people."

Source - - Iran Police to make more Islamic Dress Checks

Sharia Court Doles Out Stiffer Sentence

The original 90 lashes sentence was "adjusted" by the Saudi Sharia court after her lawyer contested the sentences received by the seven defendants accused of raping her.

The victim's attorney, Abdulrahman al-Lahim, contested the rapists' sentence, contending there is a fatwa, or edict under Islamic law, that considers such crimes Hiraba (sinful violent crime) and the punishment should be death.

"After a year, the preliminary court changed the punishment and made it two to nine years for the defendants," al-Lahim said of the new decision handed down Wednesday. "However, we were shocked that they also changed the victim's sentence to be six months in prison and 200 lashes." [2]

The reason given for the harsher sentence, "her attempt to aggravate and influence the judiciary through the media." [2]

Her attorney also faced judicial punishment:

Judge Saad al-Muhanna from the Qatif General Court also barred al-Lahim from defending his client and revoked his law license, al-Lahim said. The attorney has been ordered to attend a disciplinary hearing at the Ministry of Justice next month. [2]

Women in the Sharia court systems learn by lashing, prison sentences, stoning, or in some cases, death, that they are worse than second class citizens. Male counterparts argue that Sharia Law is the prophet Mohammed’s way of “protecting” women, (Mohammed wrote the Quran).

The young woman, raped by seven men, will now have six months in Saudi prison, after her other sentence of 200 lashes is administered, to think over her un-Islamic immoral ways while the rest of the world sees how this woman was raped once again, by the Saudi Courts and Sharia Law.

[Image -]

Source [1] - Saudi Embassy
Source [2] - CNN - Why we punished rape victim

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