Sunday, November 25, 2007

Religious Truth & Believes - Man Married 15 –yr Daughter Believed ordained by Allah nearly lynched; Saudi Rape victim Punishment enhanced

UPDATE: Dec 18 2007 - finally a Face saving Pardon, see 2nd story Below

Saudi king pardons woman who was raped by 7 men

RIYADH: King Abdullah has pardoned a female rape victim who had been sentenced to six months in prison and 200 lashes for being alone with a man who was not related to her, a Saudi newspaper reported yesterday.

Saudi Justice Minister Abdullah bin Muhammed al-Sheik told al-Jazirah newspaper that the pardon did not mean the king doubted the country's judges, but instead acted in the "interests of the people". "The king always looks into alleviating the suffering of the citizens when he becomes sure that these verdicts will leave psychological effects on the convicted people, though he is convinced and sure that the verdicts were fair," al-Jazirah quoted the minister as saying. The victim in the case, known only as the "Girl of Qatif" after her hometown in eastern Saudi Arabia, was in a car with a man last year when they were attacked and raped by seven men. She was initially sentenced in November last year to several months in prison and 90 lashes for being alone in a car with a man with whom she was neither related nor married, a violation of the kingdom's strict segregation of the sexes.

The woman, who was 19 at the time of the rape, has said she met the man to retrieve a picture of herself from him because she had recently married. The case sparked an international outcry, especially after the court more than doubled the sentence last month to 200 lashes and six months' prison in response to her appeal. US President George W. Bush expressed anger at the sentence earlier this month, saying he wondered how he would react if it had been one of his daughters. But he said he had not made his views known directly to the Saudi king, a US ally. The Justice Ministry has defended the sentence, saying the girl was having an illicit affair with the man. The minister told al-Jazirah that the king was the only official who could issue a pardon, and he did so despite the government's view that the Saudi legal system was "honest" and "fair". "The king's order consolidates and confirms what is known about the Islamic courts. "Efficient judges look into different cases and issue their just verdicts and those convicted have the right to appeal." The seven men who were convicted of raping both the girl and the man were initially sentenced to jail terms from 10 months to five years. Their sentences were increased to between two and nine years after the appeal. -- AP

= == = == = = = =

Malaysiakini has stated through its Editor (in a recent 8th Anniversary CNN interview, details Go H E R E ) that in Malaysia, "religion, race ... those are the two main issues that we would be more careful with"
This is so because
many people do not question their religious beliefs but accept them blindly as fact or truth.
= == == = == = ==
On first reading the following two stories real as they may be will evoke a lot of feelings against the people for passing out such judgments basing on certain laws and inappropriate justification in doing things in the name of the religion. True religion as in Islam is not repressive as life itself is not. It all boils down to the beliefs. Your beliefs form reality. Your individual beliefs and your joint beliefs. And the intensity of a sacred belief is extremely important. Many people do not question their religious beliefs but accept them as fact. It is far simpler to recognize your beliefs in regard to religion, politics or similar subjects than to pinpoint your deepest beliefs about yourself and who and what you are. The eventual truth is what you might be asked to believe; take the next step and say:-

It is not necessarily true, even though I believe it”.

We Should Consider Carefully before Believing

So we should be careful about what we read and what we hear because if we don’t select discriminately, other people's ideas, theologies or philosophies, which are sometimes not quite correct, will sink into our minds and become our own. And we’ll think it’s we who think this way, who accept this, that and the other. Then later, when other information comes to us that are more correct and more helpful, we reject or doubt it because we’ve already recorded some idea or theory that seems contradictory to the new data.

And this is one of the problems we encounter in our lives and in the world that has produced or given birth to many things, such as hatred, discrimination and conflicts between religions, between nations, between neighbors and between people. So whatever theories, teachings or ideals we take in, we should first or at least later examine as to whether they have any grounds, any use in our daily life or for our spiritual progress. Otherwise, we’ll have a lot of trouble struggling between different ideals, groups or systems of thought.

There’s nothing that we should take on faith without consideration or proof. We need to prove everything, even spiritually because it’s a science. It’s the highest science, but it’s still a science. The Masters of the past, present and future are those scientists who know many things about the universe that we ordinary people probably find difficult to understand or believe. But then they also teach us or guide us into this science so that later we ourselves also become a master or teacher, at least of ourselves because to be master of ourselves is the most difficult task. And to be able to do that, we must have the strongest power, which is the power of God or the universal intelligence that we’ve had all along.

When He was alive, some people accused Jesus of telling lies and being blasphemous because He said He was one with God, that He was the son of God and that He and the Father were one. But we’ve forgotten, and even nowadays people still think this way. We’ve forgotten that except for God, there’s nothing and no one else who lives within this temple.

= = == ==
Incest man' saved from lynch mob; By Subir Bhaumik; BBC News, Calcutta

A Muslim who married his 15-year-old daughter and made her pregnant had to be rescued from angry villagers in the Indian state of West Bengal, police say

Afazuddin Ali, 36, has five children - three of them daughters. A few months ago Ali married his eldest daughter, telling his wife Sakina that Allah had ordained him to do so. Not convinced by his story, his angry neighbours in Kasiajhiora village nearly lynched him for what they said was a clear case of incest. Marriage within the nuclear family is forbidden in Islam.

'Divine sanction'

"He is a deeply religious man and will never lie in the name of Allah," Sakina told a court in the northern district of Jalpaiguri. "I agreed to his marriage with our eldest daughter when he invoked divine sanction," she said. But this story has failed to impress the other villagers. "We didn't know she was married so when we confronted his wife, she told us about the bizarre marriage six months ago," Sheikh Ramzan, a village leader at Kasiajhiora, said. "We wanted to smash his head, we were so angry." When the angry mob attacked Ali on Sunday, a police team went to the village and rescued Ali and his wife. The couple were produced before a magistrate in Jalpaiguri on Monday.

But as the lower court has no criminal jurisdiction, Ali and his wife were released. "The police have not lodged any specific charge against Afazuddin (Ali) and my court has no jurisdiction over criminal matters, so what can I do," sub-divisional officer Atanu Roy said. Angry villagers say that is not good enough. "The girl is a minor, so at the very least her father should face criminal charges for marrying a minor," villager Sheikh Ramzan said. Ali and his wife have not returned home because they fear a fresh attack from angry villagers. They are staying in Jalpaiguri town at the moment.
= == = == = = WARP Justice in
Saudi Arabia?

Exclusive: Saudi Rape Victim Tells Her Story

Victim to Receive Whipping and Jail for Being in Nonrelative's Car When Attacked

By LARA SETRAKIAN; Nov. 21, 2007

Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Justice is defending a sentence of 200 lashes for the victim of a gang rape, punished because she was in the car of a male who wasn't a relative when the two were attacked. In exclusive testimony obtained by ABC News, the young woman told her story of what happened and how she was treated in the months that followed. "Everyone looks at me as if I'm wrong. I couldn't even continue my studies. I wanted to die. I tried to commit suicide twice," she said of her experience just after the attack. The woman, known anonymously in the Saudi press as "Qatif Girl" for the eastern province town where the crime took place, was originally sentenced to 90 lashes for being in a state of "khalwat" -- retreat with a male who's not a relative. But the General Court of Qatif increased the punishment to 200 lashes and six months in jail after she took her case to the press. Authorities deemed it an "attempt to aggravate and influence the judiciary through the media," according to Saudi Arabia's English-language newspaper Arab News. The seven attackers were convicted of rape with sentences that ranged from two to nine years in prison, according to Arab News. In a December 2006 interview in Khobar, Saudi Arabia the woman gave a full account of her testimony to Human Rights Watch, describing the incident as she did before the court. She was meeting a male acquaintance, a former boyfriend, when the attack took place.

Ordeal Began With a Photo

"I [was] 19 years old. I had a relationship with someone on the phone. We were both 16. I had never seen him before. I just knew his voice. He started to threaten me, and I got afraid. He threatened to tell my family about the relationship. Because of the threats and fear, I agreed to give him a photo of myself," she recounted. "A few months [later], I asked him for the photo back but he refused. I had gotten married to another man. He said, 'I'll give you the photo on the condition that you come out with me in my car.' I told him we could meet at a souk [market[ near my neighborhood city plaza in Qatif. "He started to drive me home. …We were 15 minutes from my house. I told him that I was afraid and that he should speed up. We were about to turn the corner to my house when they [another car] stopped right in front of our car.

Two people got out of their car and stood on either side of our car. They man on my side had a knife. They tried to open our door. I told the individual with me not to open the door, but he did. He let them come in. I screamed. "One of the men brought a knife to my throat. They told me not to speak. They pushed us to the back of the car and started driving. We drove a lot, but I didn't see anything since my head was forced down." "They took us to an area … with lots of palm trees. No one was there. If you kill someone there, no one would know about it. They took out the man with me, and I stayed in the car. I was so afraid. They forced me out of the car. They pushed me really hard ... took me to a dark place. Then two men came in. They said, 'What are you going to do? Take off your abaya.' They forced my clothes off. The first man with the knife raped me. I was destroyed. If I tried to escape, I don't even know where I would go. I tried to force them off but I couldn't. [Another] man … came in and did the same thing to me.

I didn't even feel anything after that. "I spent two hours begging them to take me home. I told them that it was late and that my family would be asking about me. Then I saw a third man come into the room. There was a lot of violence. After the third man came in, a fourth came. He slapped me and tried to choke me. "The fifth and sixth ones were the most abusive. After the seventh one, I couldn't feel my body anymore. I didn't know what to do. Then a very fat man came on top of me and I could no longer breathe. "Then all seven came back and raped me again. Then they took me home. … When I got out of the car, I couldn't even walk. I rang the doorbell and my mother opened the door. She said you look tired.' I didn't eat for one week after that, just water. I didn't tell anyone. I went to the hospital the next day.

"The criminals started talking about it [the rape] in my neighborhood. They thought my husband would divorce me. They wanted to ruin my reputation. Slowly my husband started to know what had happened. Four months later, we started a case. My family heard about the case. My brother hit me and tried to kill me."

Lawyer Punished Too
Along with the young woman's sentence, the General Court of Qatif confiscated the license of her attorney, Abdul Rahman Al-Lahem, a lawyer known for taking on controversial cases that push back against Saudi Arabia's strictly interpreted system of sharia, or Islamic law. "Asking me to appear in front of a disciplinary committee at the Ministry of Justice … is a punishment for taking human rights cases against some institutions," Al-Lahem told Arab News

Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Justice said in this week's statement that Al-Lahem's "faulty behaviors … contradict the ethics of his profession and violate the provisions of practicing law and its executive code."

New York-based Human Rights Watch researcher Christoph Wilcke, who studies the Saudi legal system, said the woman would need a pardon from King Abdullah himself or from the provincial governor to be spared the lashings and jail time. The punishment will also be reviewed by the Supreme Judiciary Council, which will scrutinize the ruling, according to the Ministry of Justice.

= = = == = = =Reuter’s account

RIYADH (Reuters) - A Saudi court has increased the sentence given to a gang rape victim to 200 lashes of the whip and six months in prison and ordered disciplinary action against her lawyer for talking to the media, the lawyer said on Friday. A series of erratic verdicts have focused attention on the Saudi legal system, much of which remains uncodified and which does not recognize the concept of precedent. The 19-year-old Shi'ite woman from the town of Qatif in the Eastern Province was raped by seven men in 2006. A court had originally sentenced the woman to 90 lashes and the rapists to jail terms of between 10 months and five years.

The victim's lawyer Abdul-Rahman al-Lahem told Reuters another court had increased her sentence on Wednesday to 200 lashes and six months in prison. It ordered the rapists to serve between two and nine years in jail. "The court blamed the girl for being alone with unrelated men, but it should have taken the humane view that it cannot be considered her fault," Lahem said, adding the case still has an appeal stage before the verdict becomes final. He said the judges had also taken the unusual step of suspending Lahem from the case and initiating a disciplinary procedure that could see him barred from practicing law. Lahem said the case highlighted deep problems in the Saudi justice system which rights activists hope judicial reforms announced this year by King Abdullah will help to solve.

"The aim of the reforms is to create a new judicial reality," he said. Clerics who adhere to Saudi Arabia's austere Sunni form of Islamic sharia law dominate the legal system, with Shi'ite Muslims also judged according to Sunni Islamic law. The state-affiliated Human Rights Commission says current efforts to codify the penal code will limit the chances of arbitrary sentencing by judges. (Reporting by Andrew Hammond; Editing by Catherine Evans)


Anonymous Kean said...

How about ABB's Islam Hadari? I wonder how many girls or womens will be raped if Islam Hadari come in power. And when they report it to the police, I'm sure that the victims will get more then 100 slashes and a few years of jail.

This is why you CANNOT and must NEVER rule a country base on religious law. The one who will paid the price is the command people. Even the Western countries dare not rule their country base on Christian's law because they have seen the consequences of running it during the Dark Age in Europe.

History always teach us yet human tends to forget about it and worst of all, they even ignore them! Hope this will be a lesson to all of us especially those who supported 'Islamic State' BLINDLY!!

6:59 AM  

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