By Dr. Aslam Abdullah, TMO Editor in Chief
A Saudi preacher is accused of raping and torturing his five year old daughter to death. He admitted brutalizing her after suspecting her virginity.
He served a few months in jail and then a judge ruled that the prosecution could only seek blood money and not death penalty or life imprisonment. The scholar paid about $50,000 blood money to the mother of their daughter and was released from custody. (Thank God 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 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 Qur`an and the Sunna of the Prophet (s).
If the Sharia is defined as a license to torture, murder or rape, then this is neither Divine nor Prophetic. It is simply a 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 didnâ€™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 themselves from this vulgar interpretation of Sharia. On the contrary, many are trying to justify this verdict.
Shame upon them.
The Qur`an demands equal rights for children, boys and girls included. The Qur`an does not give parents unlimited authority to do whatever they want to do with their children.
The Qur`an condemns rape, torture and abuse. There is no room for these things in a society that claims to follow Islamic precepts.
However, violations of these mandated Qur`anic 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 scholars to take a unified stand against this. Silence in these matters is, in its own right, like condoning and supporting the crime and injustice.