Justice, Saudi Arabian Style

In another bizarre example of the differences between justice in the United States versus the rest of the world, it has been reported that Saudi Arabia’s laughably titled Ministry of Justice forcibly paralyzed a 24-year old man who did the same to one of his friends. Ali Al-Khawahir has been in prison since he stabbed one of his best friends ten years ago, which left the friend paralyzed. At sentencing, he was given a choice:  come up with one million Saudi Riyals ($266,000 USD) or subject himself to surgical paralysis. However, this is not the first example of paralysis being used as a punishment, a similar situation emerged in 2010. 

It is important to note that Saudi Arabia practices the “eye for an eye” school of thought, known as “qisas” as mentioned in Qur’an 2:178. Such practices are quite common among Arab countries under sharia (Islam holy law) where the concept is taken very literally. While this may seem brutal and cruel, the same could be said about the United States government carrying out capital punishments while its fellow Western nations abolished the practice decades ago. Not that Saudi Arabia has any objections to the concept, as they stand with North Korea and Iran as the only nations that sponsor public executions. Not just any executions, mind you, but actual public beheadings in the vein of the French Revolution. Still, it would not be difficult to prove that the Saudi Arabian government executed proportionally fewer people than the United States government did, and not by a slim margin.

Iranians take thievery seriously

Qur’an 5:45 also shares some thoughts on the subject:“In the Torah We prescribed for them a life for a life, an eye for an eye, a nose for a nose, an ear for an ear, a tooth for a tooth, an equal wound for a wound: if anyone forgoes this out of charity, it will serve as atonement for his bad deeds. Those who do not judge according to what God has revealed are doing grave wrong.”  



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