Crime and punishment

In Saudi Arabia there was a strange incident in which woman who was a gang-rape victim who was sentenced to 200 lashes and six-months in jail. Seven men from the majority Sunni community were found guilty of the rape and sentenced to prison terms ranging from just under a year to five years. While a rapist is prosecuted and the victim is compensated, here we have the case of both parties subjected to punishment. This is worse than punishing a person simply on intent. At least the would-be victim will be spared being hurt by the aggressor and “disciplined” by the law.

To make a comparison, former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson was sentenced to six year imprisonment, of which he served three years for rape, although the victim was with him in his hotel room at 02:00 a.m. So in Saudi Arabia, instead of the young women being fairly treated and receiving counselling, she is thrown in prison as a criminal.

Another guy who showed his desire to have sex with children, the risk can be in luring them via the chat-room. Today sending an email expressing intent or having a website for such intent is like sending letters to homes as it was the case in old days. People should be careful about what thy say and do on the internet as this new monster has become uncontrollable despite the huge efforts for censorship.

But intent should be an excuse for prosecution as it is the leading way to commit any act. In this case, the person caught is guilty as it is proven. Thoughts are what behind many actions. One can spread them without committing any act, but still that person is guilty. A gang leader can give just instructions without firing a bullet or robbing a bank but as a mastermind he/she should get the same punishment as the perpetrator. Saddam was executed, not because of direct killing of thousands of people but they were carried out under his orders.

In dictatorships, thoughts are policed. In the former soviet block, people couldn’t voice any criticism of the regime even to their friends. In former East Germany, husbands and wives were spying on each other. Of course we shouldn’t come to the point where the state implant spies in our bedrooms. A large margin of freedom should be left for a normal life. We needn’t live in a Big Brother society where we are watched 24/7.

As the way we think is essentially the way we behave and as we are members of a society that should stick together, people should learn to have normal and creative thoughts, not to inflict harm but to help for the good of all. Only schizophrenic, lunatic and desperate people who come out with deranged ideas. They should be monitored. Their best place is an asylum or tight security prison.


  1. Anonymous said,

    November 29, 2007 at 3:07 am

    it’s funny how people keep always twisting words and facts.The girl did not get 200 lashes and six months prison for been raped, but for been alone with another man in a car, doing what? I hope you are smart enough to figure. And that’s when those other men came and done all that .

  2. Abdelilah Boukili said,

    November 29, 2007 at 10:19 am

    To Anonymous,
    Whether the girl was with a strange man or not, she shouldn’t receive such a harsh treatment in view of the rape she underwent. When you catch a criminal bleeding or injured, you don’t send him to prison right away. you send him to hospital. This woman needs counseling not punishment. There was no proof she was having sex with the man in the car. There weren’t four witnesses as required by the sharia. Why should she get 200 lashes instead of 90. In charia, punishment is fixed. Here we have a confusion between what is Islamic and man made law.

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