Killed for eating on the street

This from The Black Iris of Jordan:

Speaking of, I was reading an article the other day about a man who was arrested for eating in the street. The police took him to the precinct where he spent the night in jail. The next morning he was found dead. This story created a heated discussion between my father and I. He was of the opinion that if someone is eating in the street then they’re disrespecting the will of the majority who are Muslim, and that it’s a way of intimidation. I could not get on board with that, as I argued that democracy is also respect of the minority and moreover not only does a Muslim have the choice of fasting or not fasting, but you can’t just lock people up for eating in the street. It’s not only silly and archaic, but it creates a slippery slope. Moreover, the guy could’ve been sick and had to eat. My father however, argued that while there is the choice of ‘to fast or not to fast’, people should respect those that are around them, and they should summon the will to eat in their own homes. That is kind of true. The man was 52 I think.

Comments

Rob said…
The disturbing thing is how the law appears to be left up to individuals to decide upon. I would feel differently if there was a clearly stated law, saying "do not eat in the street" and the violator was apprehended by police, or locals empowered to arrest, and jailed, etc. Even if we think the law is silly, we are bound to respect it.

But, in this case, the violator was "dealt with" by someone who made a private judgement as to the severity of the offense and subsequent punishment. Seems a recipe for disorder.
This reminds me of a talk given by Professor Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na'im that I, sadly, did not attend. Here's a description of the talk:
Professor An-Na'im argues that the state cannot be Islamic and that the Shari'a (usually translated as "Islamic Law") by its nature defies codification and implementation by the state. A Shari'a principle ceases to be Shari'a when it is enforced by the state. He also argues that he needs a secular state to be a Muslim by conviction, it is impossible to believe unless it is also possible to disbelieve.

It's definitely an interesting point and something that seems very intuitive from my Western point of view but that kind of radical change in thought takes time (i.e. generations).
W&J said…
What if the man was a diabetic and needed to eat to stay alive.. diabetes is given to many by GOD .. and to murder someone for perhaps obeying the need to eat because of the will of God to prevent untimely demise seems incredibly unrealistic . Rather like announcing it is "ok" to rape a woman because her ankle showed and some man saw it and though AH HA! I can rape her because she disobeyed God! ... In a sermon during Ramadan Sheikh Taj Aldin al-Hilali, Australia's most prominent Muslim cleric, said that women invite rape by not covering themselves head to toe .."If you take out uncovered meat and place it outside ... and the cats come to eat it ... whose fault is it, the cats' or the uncovered meat's?" He said "The uncovered meat is the problem. If she was in her room, in her home, in her hijab, no problem would have occurred" … Women are meat? Men are cats?
Moses said rape is a crime. God forbids lust after women who are not the mans own wife. Seems this cleric is afraid to call rapists the dogs that they are. Perhaps that means he may be guilty of rape and is finding ways to lie to himself to excuse breaking faith with God. Only God knows.

I would think that hoping someone else must die because they ate food on the street would be a crime against God and the ten commands. God said God owns revenge. If the crime of eating on the street is enough for death..then let God choose. And none of us is God. Let none of us lust for the death of another.

God is good!

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