If someone in America points out that such punishments are part of Sharia, he is derided as an ignorant “Islamophobe.” But the Koran is clear: “As for the thief, both male and female, cut off their hands. It is the reward of their own deeds, an exemplary punishment from Allah. Allah is Mighty, Wise.” — Koran 5:38
And it is also clear that this verse is taken literally and seriously by all the schools of Islamic jurisprudence. And so this imam is saying something that is only controversial to those who are ignorant (whether willfully so or not).
“What’s wrong with chopping off thieves’ hands, Imam asks,” by Christian Peregin for the Times of Malta, November 19 (thanks to Twostellas):
Imam Mohamed El Sadi, the Muslim leader in Malta, believes chopping off the hands of thieves is a “deserving punishment”.
Mr El Sadi made the statement during Monday’s television programme Bondiplus, where he defended Sharia law, a judicial system used in some Islamic states and which can involve severe corporal punishments.
Contacted yesterday, Mr El Sadi stood by his comments and added the world was incurring the “wrath of God” through its permissiveness and destruction of spiritual and moral values, namely through the acceptance of “same-sex marriages, homosexuality, adultery and abortion”.
Under Sharia law, such things are considered crimes that may even be punishable by death. When asked if he agreed with such punishments he said: “Yes, of course. I agree with everything Islamic.”…
Mr BondÃ¬ then asked whether religion should dictate the laws of the country, through, say, Sharia law.
“What is wrong with Sharia law? If someone steals, he is taking from the country or the poor, so why is it wrong to cut off his hand?” the Imam replied.
Mr El Sadi said the punishment should terrify thieves and criminals, “not the good people”.
When speaking to The Times about his remarks, the Imam said: “Why don’t you concentrate on what is common rather than pick on what is controversial?”
He said he was not proposing this system for Europe because it would be undemocratic. But it was also undemocratic for Muslim countries not to use it because most Muslims wanted it….
He conceded there were different kinds of Muslims who thought of Sharia differently. “But whoever denies this is not a Muslim,” he said, adding the law of God was perfect.
He said there were many safeguards to ensure Sharia law was applied justly, through a court system that depended on having several witnesses. “This does not apply to thieves who are poor or hungry. This is for people who have everything and want more; people who are greedy… The point is to frighten criminals.”
Fr RenÃ¨ Camilleri, who was also a guest on the programme, said he was “shocked” by the Imam’s comments.
“I tried to insist violence is unacceptable. The concept is horrific to me. It is equivalent to the death penalty. I know it is what Sharia law dictates but, coming from him, such a moderate and tolerant person, I was shocked,” he said, adding he never considered the Imam to be a fundamentalist….