IN OTHER WORDS: Injustice
Muslims who wonder why non-Muslims are often baffled, angered, even frightened by some governments’ interpretation of Islamic law need only look to the cases of two women in Saudi Arabia and Sudan threatened with barbaric lashings.
In Saudi Arabia, a woman who was gang-raped was sentenced to 90 lashes. The reason? Before the rape, the woman, who was then 19, had been in a car with a man who was not a family member - a crime under the kingdom’s legal code. Then a Saudi appeals court more than doubled her lashings to 200 and added six months’ jail time, apparently because she had the audacity to publicly challenge the court’s ruling. In Sudan, a British primary school teacher was originally threatened with 40 lashes, a fine, or six months in jail after her class of 7-year-olds voted to name a teddy bear Muhammad.
The world should expect better from Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah, who has introduced some political and judicial reforms. The king has a hallowed responsibility in Islam as Keeper of the Two Holy Mosques of Mecca and Medina. What one Muslim leader, Ibrahim Mogra of the Muslim Council of Britain, said about the Sudan case can also be applied to the Saudis’: “How does this help the cause of Islam? What kind of message are we portraying about our