Saudi ‘Justice’ Minister Defends Fascist Laws

Mohammed Al-Eissa is the Saudi Arabian “Justice Minister,” which is a lot like giving Charlie Sheen the title of Sobriety Minister. In a talk to an unnamed lawyers group in Washington, DC, Al-Eissa made a pathetic attempt to defend that country’s barbaric laws.

Justice Minister Mohammed Al-Eissa has denounced international rights groups for attacking the Kingdom’s judiciary, saying laws in this country are based on divine precepts contained in the Holy Qur’an.

“Any attack on the judiciary will be considered an attack on the Kingdom’s sovereignty,” he said recently.

Well gosh, that’s certainly intimidating. Okay, let’s attack the kingdom’s sovereignty, starting with the idiotic idea of having a king in the first place.

Speaking to American lawyers, legal consultants and academics in Washington, Al-Eissa said many people have misunderstood Islamic laws because they follow biased information and ignore cultural differences. “This is the reason for rights organizations making big mistakes in their reports,” he said.

The minister tried to counter misconceptions about various Shariah punishments such as beheading, cutting off hands and lashing. “These punishments are based on divine religious texts and we cannot change them,” he said.

So what misconception is allegedly being countered here? We believe you base your barbaric “justice” system on Islamic law. And you do.

Al-Eissa emphasized the progress of the Kingdom’s criminal justice system. “At Saudi courts criminal proceedings are undertaken publicly to ensure transparency and fair justice.”

Yes, of course. We put people to death for changing religions, but we do it publicly, so it’s totally okay.

Referring to capital punishment, he said many other countries have this form of penalty enshrined in their legislation. “The punishment of cutting off hands has been instructed by religions other than Islam.” He said the punishment of lashing is only meted out to those convicted of serious crimes related to honor.”

You mean like blasphemy? That’s a “serious crime related to honor”? Bullshit. You’re fascist barbarians. Period.

"Nooooo. No, Noah.In 1971 a friend, a wrestling fan, treated me to a night of ..."

Trump Awkwardly Tries to Walk Back ..."
"This is par for the course. Saying it's the previous administration's fault for something he ..."

Trump’s Absurd Attempt to Blame Obama ..."
"This was a very thorough, logical discussion of "values" differences at the always thorough and ..."

Is Trump Being Blackmailed?
"I'm pretty sure it's that 400 pound man he mentioned. He's pretty slippery for a ..."

Trump Awkwardly Tries to Walk Back ..."

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!

What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • doublereed

    “Serious crimes related to honor”? You mean like whipping people and cutting off hands? Those kinds of dishonorable crimes?

  • lldayo

    Referring to capital punishment, he said many other countries have this form of penalty enshrined in their legislation.

    But Mikey has an XBox! Why can’t I?! Waaaahhh!

  • vmanis1

    I actually have no problem with anchoring one’s legal system in something beyond the scope of government. Bills of rights are premised on an extra-legal notion that everyone ought to be treated fairly and humanely. Whether that’s described as being because of a religious notion, or because of something innate about the universe is mostly immaterial to me, but it is pretty clear that one has to have some kind of answer to the question, `Why must we treat people fairly?’, even if it’s only `because God said so’.

    The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms starts, `Whereas Canada is founded upon principles that recognize the supremacy of God and the rule of law’; while I admire the Charter intensely, I wouldn’t have written the words `supremacy of God and’, but regardless, that preamble does settle the question adequately: we have these rights because the rule of law demands them. There’s a whole theory of justice packed in those words. Similarly, the U.S. Declaration of Independence (non-normatively) states that `all [people] are created equal’; and the U.S. Constitution eloquently states that its goals are to `form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty’. Again, the value of each of those goals is simply assumed in the Constitution. (The fetishistic use of `We the People’ by wingnuts is a denial of all of those goals.) Of course, both constitutions provide for the separation of church and state, leading in Canada to the peculiar notion that the right to be an atheist flows from `the supremacy of God’. As I said, I wouldn’t have written those words (they arose from a late compromise to get the Charter approved.)

    So I have no objection to Saudi Arabia’s anchoring its legal system in religious beliefs. However, their religious beliefs, as evidenced by their legal system, are revolting. And that we have a right to judge. I leave it to scholars of Islam to determine how much of Saudi’s Wahhabi theocracy is authentic (many liberal Muslims criticize it relentlessly), but regardless of how authentic is, a legal system like that ought not to be allowed to flourish and prosper.

  • eric

    Transparency and fair methods are important. They at least let people understand what arbitrary nonharmful acts you will be punishing and how they can defend themselves. But that’s only step 1; step 2 is to stop punishing nonharmful acts.

    Moreover, I’d say Saudi hasn’t even achieved transparency and fair methods. They can’t even live up to their own criteria of a “good” legal system. When women’s testimony is treated as less valuable than a man’s, then your system is not fair. When you tell lawyers you’re going to punish them for blasphemy if they mount a legal defense for an accused blasphemer, then your system is neither fair nor transparent, because not it is even unclear how such a person is supposed to legally make their case.

    So, bullflop from stem to stern. They set low standards for their legal system and then don’t even meet them.

  • culuriel

    We are not barbaric! We just killing people in public for insulting our superstitions! Nothing barbaric about that!

  • But, but, they’re America’s bestest friends?

    How can anyone pick on them like that?

    I smell persecution!

  • John Pieret

    The minister tried to counter misconceptions about various Shariah punishments

    Um, what misconceptions would that be? You inflict cruel and inhuman punishment on people.

    These punishments are based on divine religious texts and we cannot change them

    If you aspire to be a modern, western-leaning nation (and if not why do you keep buying all those Gulf Sream jets and Rolls Royces and swiss watches, etc. instead of riding the desert on camels?) then you can change them. Christians in western nations gave up stoning (although some here in the US long for the good ol’ days). If you work on it, I’m sure you can manage to come up with a reason to stop doing it.

  • And it’s not like our system is any better. I mean, you can’t even get a Trial by Ordeal anymore! Come on! And back in my day the whole family would go down to watch the Trial by Combat. Now people just stare at their phones, playing Trial by Combat on the iphone, which is pretty good, but it’s just not the same.

  • Prove it is divine, then we talk.

  • Abdul Alhazred

    To call those laws “fascist” is to give the Saud regime excessive credit for modernity.

    630, not 1930.

  • grumpyoldfart

    Don’t worry. It will all turn out for the best:

    Saudi Arabia is a member of the United Nation’s Human Rights Council.

  • pacal

    The idea that the Saudi system of justice is transparent is silly. Saudi Arabia is a theocracy in which theocratic rules are enforced on the multitude but different rules apply to the ruling Saudi royal family which rule the country like an oligarchic elite and number in the hundreds of thousands. They live lives of hedonistic excess, resting assured that they are beyond the reach of the law in their corrupt theocratic state.

  • His argument can be summed up as, “God said it, I agree with it, so you are the ones who are wrong.”

  • dingojack

    According to Amnesty International, in 2012:

    China executed 4000+ (true figures unknown)

    Iran executed 314+ (mostly due to drugs offences)

    Iraq executed 129+

    Saudi Arabia executed 79+

    United States of America executed 43

    Yemen executed 28+

    Sudan executed 19+

    Afghanistan executed 14

    Gambia executed 9

    Japan executed 7

    North Korea, Somalia, Palestinian Authority, Republic of China executed 6 (the first two; at least 6)

    South Sudan executed 5+

    Belarus executed 3+

    Botswana executed 2

    Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, United Arab Emirates executed 1 each

    A total of 4680* people executed (at least) in 21 barbaric countries.

    🙁 Dingo


    * on average 1 person executed every 1 hour 52 minutes 37 seconds

  • birgerjohansson

    You know, if we applied their gruesome law *consistently*, I bet we could get the entire royal family and aristocracy executed….

    No wonder the wankers are afraid of al-Quaeda.

  • birgerjohansson

    “based on divine precepts contained in the Holy Qur’an”


    Muhammed did not write anything down. The oral traditions of his teachings was writen down generations after the events. And a lot of the participants were killed during the civil wars so you get a skewed sampling of what Muhammed is supposed to have said.

    Even if the angel Gabriel turned up in his full leather/Hugo Boss outfit and dictated the Quran to Muhammed, there is no reason to assume the current Quran is an accurate rendition. In fact, there are several versions, despit the decision by an early kaliph to burn versions he did not like.

  • birgerjohansson

    Speling erors: should be “written” and “despite”

  • dingojack

    birgerjohansson – Fail failure.

    ‘Divine’ precepts don’t have to be either spoken or written by any specific ‘prophet’, they only have to be ‘inspired by god(s)’. Therefore claiming that the Qur’an is a book of divine precepts’ is NOT claiming that said precepts were written or spoken by Mohammed.


  • birgerjohansson


    Suppose we have three or four different Qur’ans with slight or significant differences in the text- would that change things? I suppose the hard-core believers will just say one is true and the others false but -when dealing with monotheism at least (ruling out three or four gods)- the whole “divinity” business would seem rather shaky, as the message is garbled.

  • dingojack

    You could have a bazillion Qur’ans (each one as different as you like) if that’s what floats your boat, that still doesn’t mean that Mohammed actually spoke (or wrote) any of the words contained therein, as you claimed in post #16, nor does it mean that Mohammed Al-Eissa, the Saudi Arabian Justice Minister, ever claimed that this was the case.


  • dingojack

    It’s kind of OT but I read this in the FoAW:

    They [the rabbis] construct stories that are then integrated into larger ideologically motivated literary units in such a way as to impart particular ideological messages. The sources do not necessarily relate the historical facts about the heroes but they do illustrate the cultural concerns that find expression in the stories told about them. … All this leads to the realization that the significant unit for presentation is not the life of the sage; it is the stories about sages. These stories are not formulated in an attempt to tell the life of the sage. They are told because the sage, as part of the collective culture, has some bearing on the common cultural concerns. Various anecdotes are coupled into a larger story cycle.”

    Alon Goshen-Gottstein, The Sinner and the Amnesiac: The Rabbinic Invention of Elisha Ben Abuya and Eleazar Ben Arach, Stanford University Press, 2000.

    So I’d suppose at some point all cultures are the same. The the factual history of Mohammed (or Jesus or Agamemnon or whom ever) is really not the point, it’s the mythos of the hero as a cultural signpost to the present circumstances, that really matters, A kind of historical character as metaphor*.



    * Perhaps this explains, partially, the likes of Elias Washington and David Barton. It’s not that they don’t understand what factual history is, rather, it’s that they’re using historical characters as metaphors in a religious/philosophical narrative.

  • birgerjohansson


    I was trying to hoist the Saudi guy on his own petard, but I am not up to my game. I need a vacation.

  • dingojack

    birgerjohansson – A noble cause that I support, but (I fear) with equally weak petards. 🙁

    The stronger the arguments the tighter the trap.