Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Shopping for a Spine Butcher

Director’s Comment: A presiding Saudi judge is shopping around for a hospital, willing to cut a sentenced man’s spine in half in accordance with Islam’s Shariah law, practiced in Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia is the birth place of Islam and home to the religion’s holy shrines, that 1.5 billion Muslims face and pray towards five times a day. The Judge (Saoud bin Suleiman Al-Youssef), from Tabuk has been searching for a hospital that would agree to destroy the spine of Abdul-Aziz Al-Mutairi, aged 22, who was convicted of damaging another man’s spine in a fight two years ago. According to the attached article, the brother of the injured man said that his family “…would be ready to send the attacker abroad to perform the operation if it were not possible in the Kingdom”.

Human rights groups and even Saudi newspapers have documented accounts of Saudi courts, which have ordered for individuals to have their teeth smashed, their eyes pocked, limbs and heads chopped off, in the designated “chop chop” public squares. The latter is a common ritual after Friday prayers in Saudi Arabia.

It would only take a Royal Decree, not only to put an end to arbitrary Saudi court abuses, but to reform Islam to make it compatible with globalization, democracy and modern living. A great deal of resentment by non-Muslims and Muslims is directed toward the way Saudis practice and use Islam as a tool of oppression, discrimination, incitement and intolerance of other beliefs and their adherents.

The question is: why should Muslims be surprised, incensed or feel the world does not understand Islam, if the practices of stoning women to death or beheading Muslims who open up to other beliefs, persists?

What should the US Government do about cases like this and others, such as the gang-raped 19 year old Saudi woman Bint Al-Qatief, who was sentenced to flogging for being seen sitting in a car with a man not related to her? Nothing, said former national security advisor Fran Townsend, during an interview on CNN. Ms. Townsend is now a partner at former Secretary of State James Baker’s law firm, with an office in Saudi Arabia. Read article


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