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Monday, 4 February 2013

For a fist full of blood money...


Just outside the little flat I stay in when in Paris there is a green grocer. He has lovely mandarins from Tunisia, strawberries from Morocco, dates from Jordan.

Born in France, his parents came from Tunisia. My chats with him are apolitical small talk, I usually censure myself. Except once:

I had just heard about the stoning of a young Muslim woman somewhere “over there”. My green grocer, sooo  polished,  sooo French would certainly not “approve” of such Barbary, would he. After all, he once had told me, proudly, that Tunisia was the only country in the Maghreb where polygamy had never been legalised.

Well, I realised then that the veneer of westernisation (dare I say "civilisation"?) can be less than skin deep. He told me, with as much charm as candor that "their” methods of punishment were much  less cruel than those in the United States. For example, "if you get the death penalty in America", he told me, "there is  no way out".  Whereas Muslims can  buy their way out, money could wash the dishonour away and compensate  the families of victims, even for murder.

Sometimes I’m reminded of that moment when the mandarins from Tunisia turned sour and hearing  this story below is such a moment:

"A Saudi preacher who raped his five-year-old daughter and tortured her to death has been sentenced to pay "blood money" to the mother after having served a short jail term, activists said on Saturday. 

The father

The little girl

What he did

Lamia al-Ghamdi was admitted to hospital on December 25, 2011 with multiple injuries, including a crushed skull, broken ribs and left arm, extensive bruising and burns, the activists said. She died last October 22.

Fayhan al-Ghamdi, an Islamic preacher and regular guest on Muslim television networks, confessed to having used cables and a cane to inflict the injuries, the activists from the group "Women to Drive" said in a statement.

They said the father had doubted Lama's virginity and had her checked up by a medic.
Randa al-Kaleeb, a social worker from the hospital where Lama was admitted, said the girl's back was broken and that she had been raped "everywhere", according to the group.
According to the victim's mother, hospital staff told her that her "child's rectum had been torn open and the abuser had attempted to burn it closed."


Why he got away with murder

The activists said that the judge had ruled the prosecution could only seek "blood money (compensation for the next of kin under Islamic law) and the time the defendant had served in prison since Lama's death suffices as punishment."

The ruling is based on Islamic laws that a father cannot be executed for murdering his children, nor can husbands be executed for murdering their wives, activists said.

Three Saudi activists, including Manal al-Sharif, have raised objections to the ruling.

Someone said: "to write a poem after Auschwitz is barbaric"
I think,  to add music after this would  also be barbaric.

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