Torah and Wahhabism
November 15, 2007 13 Comments
As I read the story my Western mind was taken aback by some of what I was reading,
The 19-year-old woman — whose six armed attackers have been sentenced to jail terms — was initially ordered to undergo 90 lashes for “being in the car of an unrelated male at the time of the rape,” the Arab News reported.
The story reports that the 90 lashes became 200 because,
the judges had decided to punish the woman further for “her attempt to aggravate and influence the judiciary through the media.”
As much as I wanted to cast judgment on the policies of the Saudi government (whether or not it is warranted is another issue), I remembered something from the Old Testament.
More specifically in the Torah, that is the Law of Moses. To narrow it down even further, in the book of Deuteronomy (22:23-25),
If there is a girl who is a virgin engaged to a man, and another man finds her in the city and lies with her,
then you shall bring them both out to the gate of that city and you shall stone them to death; the girl, because she did not cry out in the city, and the man, because he has violated his neighbor’s wife. Thus you shall purge the evil from among you.
But if in the field the man finds the girl who is engaged, and the man forces her and lies with her, then only the man who lies with her shall die.
I write this post understanding that this type of text is fodder for those who shake their fist at God and dismiss Him as some bloodthirsty tyrant (at best) or a non-entity (at worst). Context is typically ignored when one is content to wallow in the mire of unbelief.
However, if we can move past the realm of emotionalism for a bit, is there a difference between what the Saudi government did in this case and what is written in the Torah?