Saudi Arabia is considered a “moderate” Muslim nation, but sometimes there is not much moderation in the religion of peace.  Certainly their interpretation of the biblical words “an eye for an eye” do not suggest anything like moderation

According to the Saudi newspaper Okaz a judge in the “moderate” Saudi Kingdom has been asking hospitals around the country if they could damage a man’s spinal cord so he can sentence a man to being paralyzed. The man being sentenced struck another man with a cleaver and paralyzed him. 

Abdul-Aziz al-Mutairi, 22, was left paralyzed and subsequently lost a foot after a fight more than two years ago, according to his older brother, Khaled al-Mutairi. He said the assailant, whom he and the paper did not identify, was sentenced to 14 months in prison, released after seven months in an amnesty and now teaches at a university.

Under Islamic (sharia) law in Saudi Arabia, victims can ask that criminals receive punishments similar to the harm they inflicted. Thieves still commonly have their hands cut off. 

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“We are asking for our legal right under Islamic law,” Khaled al- Mutairi said. “There is no better word than God’s word — an eye for an eye.”

The Saudi paper said the judge in northwestern Tabuk province, identified as Saoud bin Suleiman al-Youssef, asked at least two hospitals for a medical opinion on whether surgeons could render the attacker’s spinal cord nonfunctional.

The reports cited the letter of response from one of the hospitals and the victim Mr. al-Mutairi.

Two of the hospitals involved and the court were closed for the Saudi weekend beginning Thursday and could not be reached for comment.

Okaz reported that a leading hospital in Riyadh, the King Faisal Specialist Hospital, responded that it could not do the operation. It quoted a letter from the hospital saying that “inflicting such harm is not possible,” apparently refusing on ethical grounds.

The papers cited above did not carry any response from a second hospital that reportedly received the request, King Khaled Hospital in Tabuk province, but a news website originating out of the UAE (Emirates 24/7) reported 

“King Khaled Hospital is of the opinion that it is possible to cut the spinal cord and cause paralysis medically through specialist centres,” 

The law of the religion of peace as applied in moderate Saudi Arabia allows victims to ask for a similar punishment for harms inflicted on them. Cutting off the hands of thieves, for example, is common.

Human rights group say trials in Saudi Arabia fall far below international standards. They usually take place behind closed doors and without adequate legal representation.

Those who are sentenced to death often are not informed of the progress of legal proceedings against them or of the date of execution until the morning on which they are taken out and beheaded.

Crucifying the headless body in a public place is a way to set an example, according to the kingdom’s strict interpretation of Islam.

Amnesty International expressed concerns over the reports and said the rights groups was contacting Saudi authorities for details.

“We are very concerned, and we will appeal to the authorities not to carry out such a punishment,” said Lamri Chirouf, the group’s researcher on Saudi Arabia. Such measures are against international conventions against torture and international standards on human rights.

According to Amnesty, in 2005 a convict in the kingdom had his teeth pulled out by a dentist because he had smashed another man’s teeth out in a fight.

“We have also had cases of people sentenced to blindness because they have caused the blindness of another person,” Mr. Chirouf said, “but never anything involving a spinal cord.”

The phrase “And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life, Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, Burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe is also in the Judeo-Christian tradition it comes from the book of Exodus 21:23-25. The literal translation is an”eye under eye”.

As practiced in biblical times and instructed by the ancient rabbis it did not mean literally poke out a man’s eye if he causes someone to lose their eye, it meant that the punishment should fit the crime.  It meant thatt the offender should provide equitable retribution for an offended party, no more and no less.

The religion of peace, as least as practiced in the Middle East sees this verse as a call to cut off limbs and torture, and this is what our United States Government calls “moderate.”