Update: Sign a petition calling for justice for Lama here.
Cleric sheikh Fayhan Al Ghamdi, a regular on Islamic channels, was absolved and made to pay blood money (only half of what he would have had to pay had he killed a boy) for raping and torturing his five year old daughter Lama last October; he had custody of the child after he divorced from her mother though she begged him for Lama.
The absurdly lenient ruling is based on Saudi law that a father cannot be executed for murdering his children. It is also based on some Hadith sources (sayings and actions of Mohammad).
According to OnIslam:
As for fathers, the matter is different; a father cannot be executed for killing his child. This is because a father is the considered the origin of his child and the child is the branch; and the branch cannot be used to eliminate the origin.
It was narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “No father should be killed (executed) for killing his son.” (At-Tirmidhi)
Having said this, it should be also pointed out that Imam Malik has a different opinion: if a father kills his son definitely on purpose without any doubt, he may be executed.
Allah Almighty knows best.
Three Saudi activists, including Manal al-Sharif from the SaudiWomen2Drive campaign, have raised objections to the ruling. They have started a Twitter campaign hashtag “Ana Lama” which is Arabic for “I am Lama”. The campaign must be unequivocally supported until there is justice for Lama.
Imprisoned Saudi journalist Hamza Kashgari did say “No Saudi women will go to hell, because it’s impossible to go there twice”, but I do sometimes wonder whether hell isn’t better.
Please remember Lama next time someone tells you that matters of marriage, divorce, child custody, and females being worth half of males are ‘mundane’ family matters that can be relegated to Kangaroo Sharia courts.
I held my son a little closer when I picked him up from school today and wept for Lama and her mother who speaks below about what happened (in Arabic): [Read more…]