My husband e-mailed me this really weird and uncritical position on the Qatif case . It’s actually a refutation of a previous and much harsher view about the case. So in the refutation, Ibn Al-Hashimi says that his previous position concerning the Qatif case was wrong and harsh. However, he then goes on to say

However, I now disagree with this ruling, because I think that the fact that the girl was raped serves as a great deterrence, and as such, there is no need to add any more punishment on top of that. For example, if a child keeps sticking his fingers in the socket, then the parents will punish him severely in order to prevent him from placing himself in harm’s way. However, if the child one day sticks his fingers in the socket and then gets electrocuted such that he is rushed to the hospital with severe burns, then I think at that point in time this experience itself will serve as a deterrence to the child such that he will never do it again. It will also serve as a deterrence to his siblings, who will see the result of what he did. Any punishment on top of this would, in my opinion, be unnecessary and redundant. Likewise, I believe that the Qatif girl was alone in a car with another man, and because of this, she placed herself in harm’s way and the result of that was that she was raped. This fact alone would serve as a deterrence to other women, who would then fear placing themselves in a similar situation. What I mean to say is that the lashing on top of that is not, in my opinion, necessary.

Ok, so he thinks that the lashings were harsh not because the whole punishment actually goes against Shari’ah but because her rape was punishment enough? In what psycho world is rape a punishment for being alone with a man? Oh, wait, in misogynist land. I forgot. Sorry. There are so many things wrong with his revised position. For one, being alone with a man in a car in a parking lot is not a crime! Did we suddenly forget the reason why verses 4-5 of Suratun Nur were revealed. ‘A’isha (ra) was alone with a man because she was left behind in the desert and the Prophet (saws) sent one of his men to get her. She was slandered with accusations of adultery. So basically, seeing a woman alone with a man is not ground to accuse of her anything.

And as for those who accuse chaste women [of adultery], and then are unable to produce four witnesses [in support of their accusation], flog them with eighty stripes and ever after refuse to accept from them any testimony – since it is they, they that are truly depraved!

The whole problem with Ibn Al-Hashmi’s opinion is that he assumes that the woman committed a crime that deserved to be punished. She didn’t commit a crime. She didn’t commit a crime according to the Qur’an, so why is punishment even brought up in the same breath with this woman’s name? That’s why I also take issue with the woman being pardoned. Again, this action assumes that she did a crime when she didn’t!

Also, if we were to take the bizaare opinion that her rape was a punishment, what was it a punishment for? She wasn’t raped by the man she was in the car with. She was raped by a group of complete strangers. I mean if we really follow Al-Hashmi’s view to it’s logical conclusion, then simply going out in public puts women in harm’s way since she was raped by strangers. The rape simply reinforced the idea that it’s dangerous for a woman to go out in public at all. Of course, he would see this position as irrational and thus, his position is quite irrational as well. However, at least he did soften his position and come to the conclusion that the lashes were wrong. *sigh* It’s something.