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Australian Mansor Almaribe faces 500 lashes for blasphemy

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Freddie Stubbs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 11:05 AM
Original message
Australian Mansor Almaribe faces 500 lashes for blasphemy
Source: Herald Sun

THE family of a Victorian man sentenced to 500 lashes in Saudi Arabia has made an emotional plea to bring him home, fearing he will die in jail.

The Shepparton family of Mansor Almaribe, 45, who was also sentenced to a year in jail for blasphemy, will head to Canberra to plead for help.

Isaam Almaribe, 21, said his father suffered from diabetes and had broken bones in his back and knees from a car accident in Australia.

"Dad told us 'Take me out of here as soon as possible because if I stay here I will die' - that's how bad his situation is," Isaam said.

Read more: http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/dont-let-dad-die-in-ja...
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Roy Rolling Donating Member (762 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 11:20 AM
Response to Original message
1. New ideas
This story should give U.S. hardliners from the right some ideas on how to deal with those of another faith. :sarcasm:
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canetoad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 11:24 AM
Response to Original message
2. This is a terrible story
Another, more detailed article here: http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/religious-pilgrimage-...

"Mr Almaribe, a Shiite Muslim who was travelling in the majority Sunni kingdom, was found guilty of cursing two companions of the prophet Mohammed aloud in a public place.

The Department of Foreign Affairs, in a letter to the family, said the judge had said his crimes could cause sedition. "The embassy notes the Saudi authorities are currently extremely sensitive to perceived Shia incitement of sectarian discord," the letter said.

Riad al-Keffai, who was with Mr Almaribe on the pilgrimage, said a radical had reported Mr Almaribe to police after recognising him as Shiite from the green turban he wore. "He was just praying and reading the Koran to himself in an area known to be frequented by Shiites."

The department told the family the judge had originally sentenced him to two years' jail and 500 lashes, but reduced the sentence because there was only one witness and because a consular officer had attended the trial."
---------

Five hundred lashes is almost certainly a death sentence for this poor man, all on the say so of ONE WITNESS.
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happyslug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 12:33 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. 500 Hundred Lashes is NOT a death Sentence
Even when such punishment was common in the World's navies (I.e. the 1700s), it was rare for someone to die from the lashes. The main reason for this is that today in Saudi Arabia and in the World's navies in the 1700s a Doctor must be present and if the person being lashed fainted OR the doctor said the lashing was endangering the victim's life, the Lashing stopped, to be started whenever the Doctor said the victim was well enough to take more lashes.

Now, I am NOT saying Lashing is good, but just pointing out that only in the Movies were people lashed to death (Through I have to make an exception, only to the issue of being lashed to death, when we address the issue of Slaves in the American South, it was common for slaves to be lashed to death, as in most in slave societies, such deaths were viewed as necessary so that the slaves would not revolt). Slavery is believed to still exist in Arabia, but Slavery is NOT an issue in this case, thus being lashed to death is not a factor in this case.

Furthermore, the lash can be replaced by money payment under Islamic law (as can any death sentence be replaced by money payment). Here it would be up to the Religious court to accept or deny the proposed money payment (In cases of crimes against individuals the determination of payment is up to the victim or his family, through religious leaders do give "advice" in such situations.

Just pointing out that the punishment is NOT to be lashed to death, but to be lashed AND there are other ways around the lashing,

Side Note: The names "Cursed" is NOT given in the speech, but sounds like it relates to the First Caliphs. Both Shiites and Sunnis accept the First Four Caliphs as valid, but the Shiites believe that after the Death of the Fourth Caliph (Ali), the Caliphate should have gone to Ali's son, who was the only Grandson of Mohammad (Ali married Mohammad's Daughter Fatima). Thus the Shiites do NOT recognize any of the Caliphs AFTER Ali, but the Sunni recognize all of them till the taking of Baghdad by the Mongols in 1258 AD (And that the Caliphate can be re-established by anyone who is Moslem, not just a person who trace his family back to Mohammad). Thus it sounds like he cursed the Fifth Caliph, and that would be a violation of Sunni beliefs and thus the stiff fine and the order for the lashing.

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riderinthestorm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 02:11 PM
Response to Reply #5
9. I've always loved that principle: torture someone until they ALMOST die
then revive them, let them heal, then do it again!

And people DO die from being lashed. Here's just one story of a 14 year old girl, raped by cousin, and sentenced to 100 lashes for "adultery", who died after just 70 lashes.


http://articles.cnn.com/2011-03-29/world/bangladesh.las...


The guy sentenced to get 500 lashes is significantly older and in poor health already.
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happyslug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 03:50 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. My point was NOT that lashing is not barbaric, but generally not fatal
Yes, people die of lashings, but people also die in their sleep. In the case you site, that was NOT a legal lashing, but one imposed by the local religious leaders in the name of the family. It is more like the lashing of slaves then lashing of freemen (i.e. killing a slave or two was viewed as "Good", I suspect the local Village views the 14 year old death as "Good", please note I disagree with that assessment but I understand the background for it).

Bangladesh is NOT a Moslem fundamentalist country, the lashing was NOT legal and as such all of the traditional controls over lashing were not present.

A report from 2-8-2011 about that case, which includes the observation that the lashing was ILLEGAL (and that the first autopsy reported the death as coming from no apparent cause, i.e. death was NOT related to the Lashing):
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-south-asia-12384838

More on the case, including that such fatwa have been illegal for over 10 years, and that the first autopsy was faked to cover up the lashings:
http://www.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/asiapcf/03/29/bangladesh....

Another article stating such lashing are illegal under the law, but still occur:
http://www.abigmessage.com/three-men-arrested-in-bangla...
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red dog 1 Donating Member (307 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 10:39 PM
Response to Reply #10
12. 500 lashes "generally not fatal"?
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happyslug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 12:04 AM
Response to Reply #12
13. As I stated above, death is NOT the intention of such lashings
When such lashing were common in the navies of the World (the 1700s), punishment of 500 or more lashes were common. Most sailors did NOT get all 500 at once, if the Doctor present (or other medical official) said the person being lashed had had enough the lashing stopped for that day. It would be resumed on another day, but it was NOT the intention to kill anyone.

I was just pointing out that lashing when it is ordered by a Judge or other Court, when it was done in the past and today, was and is NOT intended to kill anyone. Such deaths appear in the movies then in real life (Though I must point out this rule did NOT apply to slaves, lashings of slaves was used to kill slaves, but the number of lashes was unimportant in such cases, such slaves were just lashed to death).

In lashings ordered as punishment by a court, it was NEVER intended that such lashes would end up with someone dead. The rules were designed NOT to kill a person (Unlike in slave situations where death was the intent from day one). The Punishment is the lash not death. That is what the historical records shows from the 1700s in regards to the world's navies, in the world's armies such lashing was also done under the same rules. We may find lashing barbaric, but I am just responding to a comment that 500 lashes is a death sentence. That is NOT supported by the historical records, or even recent history when it is a court ordered lashing. Given today's options as to punishment, lashings make no sense, but lets keep its harm to its proper level.
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red dog 1 Donating Member (307 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 12:19 AM
Response to Reply #13
14. Despite your research into lashings, it's quite possible that 500 lashings will be fatal
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happyslug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 12:52 AM
Response to Reply #14
15. I never said it could not be, but I only pointed out death was NOT the intention.
No Text (N/T)
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CreekDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 08:14 PM
Response to Reply #13
22. Are you writing for The Ministry of Truth?
is such an argument even worthy of your time/pedantry?
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CBHagman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 11:26 AM
Response to Original message
3. Just got off the phone with Amnesty International.

I'm going to forward a news article to their Mid-Atlantic office, in hopes that here in the U.S.
people will start taking action on Mr. Almaribe's behalf.

Thanks for posting the story. Truly horrifying.
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SoapBox Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 11:27 AM
Response to Original message
4. Long over due for the "Royal" Family, to all get 500 lashes each...so they can feel what it's like.
And maybe, then just maybe, they would treat human beings with some respect for a change.
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McCamy Taylor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 12:45 PM
Response to Original message
6. The "crime" of the Shias is they do not support the Saud monarchy's "divine mandate"
Edited on Wed Dec-07-11 12:47 PM by McCamy Taylor
That makes the Shias political criminals.

Imagine someone arrested you while visiting the UK because you would not bow down and praise Queen Elizabeth as God's all powerful anointed protector on earth. Imagine they threw you into a Church prison, called you a heretic and threatened to burn you (for the good of your soul).

That is what is happening in Saudi Arabia.

We tossed out the notion of divine mandate over two hundred years ago with our revolution. It is high time that the rest of the world did the same. "Divine mandate" is nothing more than a way for a few people to become massively rich--at the expense of others.

The Saud's want to deny Shias the right to make a pilgrimage to Mecca in order to scare Muslims into turning Sunni. I guess Al Qaeda was not effective enough.

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Vincardog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 01:11 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. Who do you think supports the current Saudi Royals? Three guesses and the first two better be the US
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riderinthestorm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 02:05 PM
Response to Original message
8. Despicable. Wonder if any of those who defend sharia law will show up on this thread....
Enshrining ANY religion or religious edicts or religious mandates into a country's constitution is wrong, wrong, wrong.
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Fumesucker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 01:01 AM
Response to Reply #8
16. Sharia is just like English Common Law..
I read it right here on DU..

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riderinthestorm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 04:04 PM
Response to Reply #16
17. Oh man, if I had a nickle for every time I've heard that on DU....
:banghead:
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The Magistrate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 04:18 PM
Response to Reply #16
18. Actually, Sir, Under Common Law, Blasphemy Was A Serious Offense, Punishable By life Inprisonment
Severe penalties fell out of favor by the eighteenth century, but there were imprisonments for blasphemy in England in the twentieth century, and the law did not come off the books until quite recently there.

If Common Law were stll being enforced at the medieval standard Sharia is enforced at in Saudi Arabia, there would be little detectable diofference in outcome.

The difference is in the modernity of the practice, not at the root of the tradition.
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riderinthestorm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 07:59 PM
Response to Reply #18
20. Even in the colonies, being found guilty of religious blasphemy meant a fine
Edited on Thu Dec-08-11 08:03 PM by riderinthestorm
or 10 British pounds OR 25 lashes - hardly akin to 500 lashes in jail and an indefinite jail term (right now, over a year for Almaribe).

In the last couple hundred years, it's mostly been used to prosecute public profanity, and even then very rarely. The Muslims who attempted to revive the blasphemy laws in the UK against Salman Rushdie ensured blasphemy laws were promptly overturned even though there had only been one case prosecuted since 1922 (in 1977 the offence of blasphemy was fleetingly revived in Britain. This was when the modern purity campaigner, Mary Whitehouse, instituted a private prosecution against the magazine Gay News for publishing an erotic poem about Jesus. Although this prosecution was successful, one of the effects of Mary Whitehouses action was to bring the blasphemy laws into active disrepute, particularly among writers and poets.)

The only time I can find when anyone may have endured torture akin to 500 lashes at any time in western culture is during the inquisition years!

It's pretty disingenuous to purport that the west would somehow regress many hundreds of years and re institute lashings for religious blasphemy. Seditious libel has largely replaced blasphemy laws for very, very long time.
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The Magistrate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 08:14 PM
Response to Reply #20
23. Invoking The Inquisition, Ma'am, Is More In Support Of My Point Than Telling Against it
The difference in treatment is not in the root of the different legal systems, but in the attitude of the societies applying laws based on them. Both systems considered blasphemy a serious offense when they originated; one society has come to the conclusion it is a trifle, while one has not, and in consequence strictures against blasphemy have lapsed in one while remaining in force in the other.

Nor is it any part of my view that the modern West will lapse into a state where blasphemy is again regarded as a serious crime: though there certainly are people in our political life who would like this, they are not likely to succeed.

The issue of pointing out the similarities of the role played by Sharia in Islamic societies and of Common Law in our own recently arose mostly from discussions on the new government in Libya. Statements that law for that new government would be based on, or compatible with, Sharia, were taken by some to indicate that Sharia as enforced in Saudi Arabia or Taliban Afghanistan or rural Nigeria was in the ofing for Libya, and had even been imposed on a paradisical Libya by cruel Western governments, chiefly President Obama himself. This is, to put it with extreme mildness, a most blinkered view of Sharia and its role and status in Isamic society.
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riderinthestorm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 08:47 PM
Response to Reply #23
24. I object to ANY 21st century country instilling any religious law into their constitution.
It's a mistake.

Eradicating it becomes damn near impossible once its in there. It's been a couple hundred years for the US and Americans still struggle with the faint references in the US constitution today.

However, there's really no comparison to Sharia and English common law, any similarities stopped many centuries ago for good reason - that was my point in bringing up the inquisition. Libya has all the modern communication devices at it's disposal and certainly can learn from the mistakes of modern cultures and avoid putting any religiosity into their founding documents.

KSA is obviously still set in a pre-medieval and medieval torture mindset in regards to it's laws (such as they are) - of course it's also still a patriarchal kingdom as well...

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The Magistrate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-11 12:45 AM
Response to Reply #24
25. Part Of The Problem There, Ma'am, Is That Sharia Is The Germ Of Constitutionalism In Those Societies
In our society, Common Law is the basis for the view that the government itself is constrained by law, that the old maxim "Rex est lex loquens" does not hold, and that there is a law beyond the sovereign to which the sovereign and its enactments can be held, and by which the sovereign and its enactments can be judged. In the history of Islamic societies, it has been Sharia that has provided the germ of this idea, that there is a law beyond that of a sovereign, to which the sovereign and its enactments must be held, and by which these ought to be judged. This was an emerging check on autocracy in the Ottoman imperium and in other Moslem realms during the late Medieval and early modern periods. How the thing might have developed absent the eventual subjugation of most Islamic lands by the West is a matter for speculation only, like any counter-factual, but there is certainly reason to suppose it might have taken the same course as the struggles that eventually established constitutional principals out of Common Law in our own society did. The fact of having been subject to foreign rule that suplanted native codes complicates the matter even further. To many Moslems, Sharia represents both the assertion of a right to resist autocracy and the re-assertion of positive independence from foreign control. Taken together these are a powerful combination in political and social life. The statement law is based on Sharia does not necessarily mean establishing a medieval regime. It is important to understand how things look to other people in assessing their actions, and comprehending what another's view of matters is, and pointing this out to people who are engaged in mere sloganering, is certainly not identical with agreeing with those actions and views. However, it must always be born in mind that people will do what seems right and best to them, unless constrained by force or fraud.

"A universal feeling, whether well or ill founded, can not be safely disregarded."
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leftynyc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 04:05 PM
Response to Original message
11. Can someone come on here
and explain why I shouldn't consider Saudi Arabia a country of uncivilized barbarians?
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wpelb Donating Member (292 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 04:42 PM
Response to Original message
19. How will the lashes be administered?
If Almaribe is lashed, will the punishment be meted out all at once? Or will it be spread out over the course of his prison sentence (perhaps one or two lashes a day, or 10 lashes a week)?
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CBHagman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 08:12 PM
Response to Reply #19
21. Here's a story from the Sydney Morning Herald.
Some of your questions are answered are answered below.

I assume there could be updates on this story at any time. Based on the account below, it's an extremely urgent matter and Mr. Almaribe's family, the Australian ambassador to Saudi Arabia, and Australian Muslim leaders are appealing for leniency.

http://www.smh.com.au/victoria/religious-pilgrimage-tur...

The department told the family the judge had originally sentenced him to two years' jail and 500 lashes, but reduced the sentence because there was only one witness and because a consular officer had attended the trial.

Mr Almaribe, 45, had accepted the sentence after being told it could get worse if he appealed. He would receive the lashings in seven sessions.


(SNIP)

The department noted, in correspondence to the family, that an Australian man who was previously sentenced to 75 lashings had been allowed to wear a leather jacket, but this case was unlikely to be a relevant precedent because it was in a different province and did not involve religious crimes.

Government officials were weighing carefully yesterday how to seek leniency without inflaming the situation.


No word yet on what Amnesty International is doing regarding the case.
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Prometheus Bound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-11 01:11 AM
Response to Reply #21
26. "allowed to wear a leather jacket"
That's the kind of leniency I would be seeking.
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fujiyama Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-11 01:13 AM
Response to Original message
27. If that country disappeared off the face of the earth
I think this world would be a MUCH better place. Sickening.
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