What mercy looks like

The Saudi legal system, not surprisingly, subscribes to the same legal theory as does the most talkative rapist in the Jyoti Singh case: that women are committing a crime if they are outside on their own, and should be punished for being raped in those circumstances. The IBT reports that

A 19-year-old woman, who was reportedly violently gang-raped by seven men in Saudi Arabia, has been sentenced to 200 lashes and six months in prison…

Well, women are supposed to keep themselves safe from rape by never leaving home. Obviously if they are raped it’s their fault.

The so called punishment that the woman received was according to the Sharia law, which dictates a Saudi Arabian woman not to be in public without a male guardian – the rule that the 19-year-old apparently did not follow.

Other Muslims wouldn’t recognize that as Sharia, but then that’s the problem with goddy law; the supreme court is in some other dimension where living humans can’t appeal to it.

In the incident, which reportedly took place in 2006, two men got into the vehicle where she was present along with her friend. She was then driven far away to a secluded place and raped by seven men. Three of the rapists also roughed up the friend in question.

Initially, the woman was sentenced to about 90 lashes because of the “crime” of not following the reclusive country’s rules. The men who raped her, however were given minor custodial sentences, which led to the woman’s lawyer appealing to the Saudi General Court.

However, instead of overturning the punishment to the woman, the court reportedly more than doubled the punishment to the woman, and the same was done for the accused men.

I remember that case. I blogged about it at the time.

Allah is merciful.



  1. Blanche Quizno says

    Sharia Law identifies “zina”, which means “unlawful sexual intercourse”. Given that a woman’s testimony is worth half or less than a man’s, she must present TWO male witnesses to a rape accusation. Unless she can do so, SHE will be convicted of “zina”, because she has admitted to sexual intercourse that is, by definition, unlawful (not her husband). The accused will be asked if he admits to the crime; all he has to do is say “No” and he walks free. Also, if the woman can bring 2 male witnesses, THEY may find themselves charged with a crime for witnessing but not stopping! Plus, if they testify for the woman, that will result in something horrible happening to the rapist, and then all his family and friends will be after them to “honor-kill” them.

    So why would any woman report a rape, you ask? Well, sometimes the victim is so badly injured that she must go to the hospital, where her condition (and obvious violation) will be reported to the police. And, unless she can produce the required TWO male witnesses (who have to be devout Muslims, upstanding in their community, and regularly attending mosque – did I forget to mention that?), SHE will be charged with “zina.” The punishment ranges from imprisonment + flogging to stoning to death – can’t remember, don’t want to look it up.

    And a rape victim who becomes pregnant? Guess what? Abortion is illegal! So as soon as she starts “showing”, SHE is charged with “zina” and punished!

    It’s a lovely system for keeping women terrified and silent. That says a lot about the caliber of people running it.

  2. johnthedrunkard says

    AND…’sharia’ is not some monolithic set of infallible rules. There are at least five different major ‘schools’ of Islamic law. Being derived from the eternal word of god, they are of course mutually exclusive.

    I thought I’d heard that FOUR male witnesses were required for rape to be established. Because Mo’s child ‘wife’ was once alone with one of his followers for some stretch of time. To avoid having to kill her, god provided Mo with the usual convenient revelation: witnesses other than the suspected man would be required.

  3. latsot says

    In India’s Daughter, that most talkative rapist (and, I think, his lawyer) said that Jyoti Singh should just have let the rape happen without trying to fight back. Then it would have been totally cool because they’d “just” have gang raped her and beaten the man she was with “only”.

    This was said in a manner clearly intended to indicate that it’s perfectly reasonable.

    Of course, they didn’t say anything about what the aftermath for Jyoti would have been if that had happened. And we don’t know because it didn’t happen. They ripped her to pieces instead.

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