Australian Sentenced to 500 Lashes

More happy news from the Magic Kingdom, home of the Religion of Peace.

SYDNEY (AP) — An Australian man has been sentenced to 500 lashes and a year in a Saudi Arabian jail after being convicted of blasphemy, officials said Wednesday.

The 45-year-old man, identified by family members as Mansor Almaribe of southern Victoria state, was detained in the holy city of Medina last month while making the Muslim pilgrimage of hajj. Family members told Australian media that Saudi officials accused him of insulting the companions of the Prophet Muhammad, a violation of Saudi Arabia’s strict blasphemy laws.

Australia’s ambassador in Saudi Arabia has contacted Saudi authorities in a bid for leniency, the Department of Foreign Affairs said. Consular officials are providing support for the man and his family in Australia.

“The Australian government is universally opposed to corporal punishment,” the department said in a statement.

Almaribe was convicted of blasphemy on Tuesday and initially sentenced to two years in jail and 500 lashes. The court later reduced his jail sentence.

Almaribe’s son Jamal told The Age newspaper that his father was reading and praying as part of a group when he was arrested.

Almaribe’s son Mohammed said he feared for his father’s well-being. “Five hundred slashes on his back, and he has back problems. I wouldn’t think he’d survive 50,” he told Australian Broadcasting Corp.

I don’t see how anyone could survive 500 lashes. I don’t think that they would give him all 500 at once, but even if they stagger the lashings over several days, the cumulative damage would surely kill even the healthiest person.They might as well

This is why we need to build the pipeline to the Athabasca Oil Sands. I’m sure the Canadians don’t give people such barbaric punishments.

Eid al-Adha

Today is the first day of the Islamic holiday Eid al-Adha or Feast of Sacrifice. This three day festival is a commemoration of Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son. The story told in the Koran is much the same as in Genesis except that Abraham’s son Ishmael is the intended victim.

Eid al-Adha decorations
Image by zz77 via Flickr

102. Then, when (the son) reached (the age of) (serious) work with him, he said: “O my son! I see in vision that I offer thee in sacrifice: now see what is thy view!” (The son) said: “O my father! do as thou art commanded: thou will find me, if Allah so wills, one practicing Patience and Constancy!”

103. So when they had both submitted their wills (to Allah), and He had laid Him prostrate on his forehead (for sacrifice),

104. We called out to him, “O Abraham!

105. “Thou hast already fulfilled the vision!” — thus indeed do We reward those who do right.
106. For this was obviously a trial —

107. And We ransomed him with a momentous sacrifice:

108. And We left (this blessing) for him among generations (to come) in later times:

109. “Peace and salutation to Abraham!”

110. Thus indeed do We reward those who do right.

111. For he was one of Our believing Servants. (37:102-111)

Muslims generally celebrate this occasion with prayers, sacrificing an animal, usually a cow but can be any domestic animal, and feasting. About a third of the meat is given to the poor. This holiday also marks the end of the Hajj or pilgrimage to Mecca that every able-bodied Muslim that can afford it must undertake.I missed the beginning of the Hajj this year. Oh well.