17 = 1!
That's right. A Shariah court in Sharjah, a member state of the United Arab Emirates, has handed down an unusually large number of death penalties 17 in all for a single murder. That, in the learned Judge Yousuf Al Hamadi's interpretation of the laws of a compassionate and egalitarian religion of peace, is a just punishment for the heinous crime committed by these men.
Well, what was the nature of the crime that warranted such a seemingly disproportionate and egregious punishment?
- An attempt to commit bio-terrorism and genocide of thousands of law-abiding residents of the UAE, perhaps?
- They are guilty of high treason, having conspired to assassinate the Head of State, the Emir himself, right?
- Did these seventeen "human animals" kill an innocent baby and leave his mutilated body as lunch for the dogs?
- Abducted a helpless school girl, gang raped, and then murdered her, perhaps?
- Brutally assaulted a pregnant woman, and left her naked and bleeding to death on the streets of Sharjah?
No sir, none of the above! The scene of the crime was a gang war that resulted in the death of one and grievous injuries to another three. A drunken brawl over bootlegging rights in this country where alcohol is prohibited in accordance with its reigning religion, no more, no less. Oh, by the way, the one dead and the three that escaped with injuries were of Pakistani origin, and the convicted 17 were of Indian origin. Not that it should make any difference, of course.
Shariah is notorious, we know, for cruel and unusual punishment for what may at worst be described as social crimes, but death penalties for 17 criminals for the murder of one criminal? That doesn't make sense even under this nonsense that is peddled as jurisprudence does it? Uh, uh, something is grossly amiss here.
Wait a minute; perhaps, the national origins of the victims and the convicted do have something to do with this seemingly insane judgment. Allow me to hazard a guess. The seventeen men facing the firing squad are Hindus or Sikhs, and the victim was a Muslim, right?
According to the laws of UAE's neighbor, Saudi Arabia - they should know, they are the custodians of the allah's religion and its laws - when a Muslim man has been killed or caused to die by a Hindu [or Sikh, what's the difference anyway? Both are kuffar who don't believe in our allah, the merciful and compassionate], the prescribed blood money rate is 100,000 Riyals, and if it is the other way, only 6,666 Riyals.
That is, a Muslim man's life is worth those of 15 Hindu men. Sounds about right, Judge Al Hamadi of the Sharjah Shariah court may have written in his verdict. Let's be fair, though, and throw in a couple of more Hindus/Sikhs for the failed attempt to murder 3 other believers, so we'll have the math according to Shariah right!
Article 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states:
No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
And, Article 7 states:
All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.Then again, Islamic countries have rejected these articles as deriving from "a secular understanding of the Judeo-Christian tradition", and "could not be implemented by Muslims without trespassing the Islamic law". Instead, the Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam by the Organization of the Islamic Conference - of which UAE is a member - asserts:
In contribution to the efforts of mankind to assert human rights, to protect man from exploitation and persecution, and to affirm his freedom and right to a dignified life in accordance with the Islamic Shari'ah. [emphasis added by me].
Tough luck, fellas. As John Selden had said, "Ignorance of the law excuses no man: Not that all men know the law, but because 'tis an excuse every man will plead, and no man can tell how to refute him".
The media has not been very helpful in confirming or rejecting my conjecture. They are playing coy about revealing the names of the convicted, pleading that all the seventeen men have requested that their identities not be revealed. I say, since when did the media seek the permission of convicted criminals to reveal their names?