Sunday, August 22, 2010

More Islamic News!

Saudis considering paralyzing man who paralyzed another man!

Some comments in brief.

* I notice that no one is saying that the man in question isn't guilty of what he's accused of, nor that his actions were accidental. So frankly, this is a hard case to work up much emotional sympathy for. Intellectual? Oh, absolutely. But emotional? Nah. I think many people in the civilized, progressive, whatever-other-nice-word West - if they or a loved one were injured this way - would, even if secretly, approve of such a penalty. Especially since blood money remains an option.

It doesn't justify the Saudis, but it's a point that has to be mentioned.

* Human rights groups are appalled of course. But then, who are these human rights groups and why should I give a **** what they think? What makes a person a "human rights" advocate as opposed to - pardon my language - some ******* with an opinion? Last I checked, Amnesty International considered abortion a "human right". If I oppose them, am I a human rights advocate? And if anyone with a conflicting opinion is a human rights advocate, why bother with the label? Because it sounds good?

I guess what I'm saying here is "human rights groups" can go **** themselves, at least in the abstract sense.

* "No hospital will cut this man’s spinal cord. Any doctor who did could find himself in court,' said a senior Saudi journalist, who did not wish to be named." Oh, that's precious. You need a doctor to cut a man's spinal cord? I'm pretty sure the defendant in question isn't Doogie Howser. You just need one steel-hearted guy with good aim and a guarantee of no liability.

* "Extremist ideology." "Ultra-conservative." "Bizarre religious decrees." How come words like this rarely hit the mainstream press whenever Peter Singer crawls out of the ivory tower that serves as his lair? Why is his song and dance inevitably portrayed as "provocative thought" or "questioning popular ideas" and so on? Why aren't abortion proponents accused of clinging to "ultra-conservative, classical pagan ideology" that viewed children as property of their parents or their country? It's not as if abortion was some new idea no one ever heard of before the 1970s.

But, there you go. Incidentally, a momentary glance at the comments section of that page shows quite a lot of civilized "western" people talking about what a great law the Saudis have. You gotta admit, it'd make Court TV one hell of a lot more interesting.


Drew said...

They should do it. And I don't particularly think they should allow blood money, either. Or they should maybe just kill him, considering his crime was apparently an attempted murder resulting in such grievous injury.

Crude said...

What I'd like to know is, what do they do to blind guys who run around blinding people or such? Part of me chuckles and thinks "I bet THAT would confuse them!" But the more down to earth part of me thinks they have a very ready answer for this: "To hell with it. Kill him."

Either way, I admit I'm not defending or endorsing the Saudis here. I just think the reporting in the article is a joke. Would a bunch of imams and muslims angrily protesting a tame sentence for a drunk driver who left a person crippled be "human rights advocates"? Would a governor or president issuing a pardon to prisoners - a practice that goes far, far back in history, might I add - be an example of some barbaric, ultra-conservative traditionalist action?

Last I checked, Christ's command that we turn the other cheek, do unto others, etc, came two thousand years ago from some primitive Roman backwater. Yet THAT is somehow often taken to be very modern and progressive.

Ilíon said...

"... Last I checked, Christ's command that we turn the other cheek, do unto others, etc, came two thousand years ago from some primitive Roman backwater. Yet THAT is somehow often taken to be very modern and progressive."

I think it's not so much Christ's command that we forgive those who wrong us which it taken to be "modern and progressive," but rather some other fellow's "permission" to "forgive" those who have wronged someone else (and the more egregious the wrong done that someone else, and the less remorse demonstrated by the perpetrator, the more “virtue” adheres to one in “forgiving” it).

Crude said...

Oh, sure. I know that (and many more) command tends to get so conveniently twisted. I'm just noting how the whole "primitive, outdated practice!" thing is so selectively applied. But you know me - examining language and choice of words is a major preoccupation.

Codgitator (Cadgertator) said...

I just read an interesting suggestion at the article combox: make the perpetrator a servant of the victim (and his family) for life. Paralyzing, some readers said, would just add a burden to society.

Crude said...

My main question about that is, how do you guarantee it? I'd think it's also a burden on society to be watching over this guy for the rest of his life, making sure he serves properly. And doesn't, say, snap the neck of who he's serving.

I can think of another solution though: "Don't let him be a burden on society." Get a penalty like this, and it's illegal for the government to provide assistance to help you cope with your new disability. You must depend on the kindness of family or strangers.

Granted, that has its problems too, but hey. If we're going to be "primitive and barbarian" and all that, then go the whole nine yards.

Ilíon said...

"... but hey. If we're going to be "primitive and barbarian" and all that, then go the whole nine yards."

Actually, the "eye-for-an-eye" approach to punishment isn't that barbaric -- it is, at least, an insistance upon justice. The *real* barbarism is:
1) traditional vendetta -- which the "eye-for-an-eye" approach was meant to replace;
2) modern/liberal "criminal justice" -- which winks at wrong-doers if they are in an approved class, and puniches the innocent if they are in a disapproved class.
What these two approaches have in common is that they are the antithesis of justice.