I hope the astoundingly wrong ex “diplomat” Bruce Haigh won’t be offended by my slightly negative remarks re his total lack of understanding about the ways of the world. I don’t mean to criticize too harshly.
It’s just that I heard him rattling on today on ABC “voice of the left” radio, in the light of the recent Ben Zygier ASIO affair, warning Jewish Australians not to go to Israel for whatever “romantic and or religious reasons” (sic) with intentions to help that country. Haigh says they may “mistakenly think that Israel is a good country”, when in his opinion it’s the reverse. It was there that the interview ended.
I must admit that this so called “expert” had escaped my notice up until now, but I was so troubled by the blatant foolishness of his remarks that I determined to Google him and do some research.
As it turns out, he has plenty of experience serving in many foreign countries, but he thinks natural born criminal thugs like Hamas are hard done by and that Israel’s response to the thousands of rockets, shells and mortars fired over the years from Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon was “disproportionate”.
Ironically, I don’t fully disagree with the use of that word. “Disproportionate” can work both ways – it can mean too much or too little.
I think that the IDF and IAF warning the population in advance of an attack by text message and dropping leaflets, ensuring surgically precise attacks to minimize civilian casualties when faced with a cowardly enemy who routinely hide behind human shields, yet stoically putting up with years of barrages of missiles purposefully aimed at Israeli civilians is indeed disproportionate, in the “smaller” sense.
Despite what Haigh says on the vapid “The Drum” website, Gaza is not occupied & controlled by Israel.
It was originally brutally occupied by Egypt until they lost it to Israel in the 1967 war, after which the area flourished. Gaza today is resplendent with luxury hotels, magnificent buildings and golden beaches, despite the “poor ghetto” image the bad guys would have you believe.
It was handed over to the “Palestinian” Arabs by Ariel Sharon in 2005. All the Israelis were forcefully removed from the area at that time.
As soon as Israel handed the territory over, the Arabs destroyed much of the Israeli built infrastructure and immediately used Gaza as a launching ground for rockets and mortars in to Israel with the intent of killing Israeli civilians.
They also elected Hamas as their government, a proscribed terrorist organization in most of the civilised world, including Australia.
Australian Jewish kids know better, are far smarter and have a much greater dignity and sense of decency than you do, Bruce.
They are also fiercely loyal Australians who have always quietly contributed to this country, never protested violently in the streets, never held up signs demanding the beheading of people who disagree with them, never questioned the religious life of Australians and live happily and peacefully with Australians of any faith.
They certainly don’t need your misguided and fallacious advice.
Jews all over the world have always been loyal citizens of their country of residence, yet still manage to hold in their hearts a strong love and identification with the Holy Land, Israel, the historical and spiritual home of the Jewish people.
Because Israel is the front line in the clash between democracy and the inhuman brutality of twisted Islamic extremism, some Aussies may wish to join that fight while they are able enough to do so.
There are many, many Jewish Australians who have served in the Israeli armed forces and returned to live worthwhile and peaceful lives in Australia.
There is nothing wrong with that, Bruce. In fact, it is to be admired.
It’s far preferable to that other Australian – Lebanese citizen who, in July 2012, on the behalf of Hezbollah, murdered 6 innocent people on the tourist bus in Bulgaria.
Think about it!
From Arutz Shevah
Op-Ed: The Top 5 Fatal Flaws of the Israel Apartheid Analogy
Shelley Neese is Vice President of the DC-based pro-Israel Christian publication called The Jerusalem Connection. (www.tjci.org).
On the 26th of February, campuses across America will begin their eighth annual Israel Apartheid Week (IAW). As the name suggest, the protest organizers aim to equate the government of Israel with South Africa’s apartheid regime. The protestors want to paint Israel as a racist, bigoted country that deserves international condemnation.
If they succeed in creating a link between the South African system of apartheid and Israel’s treatment of its Arab citizens, they hope for Israel to lose all legitimacy in the eyes of the world.
Just like the anti-apartheid movements in the seventies and eighties helped bring down the forced system of racial domination in South Africa, the organizers of IAW hope their movement can bring down the nation of Israel.
Modeling the former anti-apartheid strategies, the IAW groups are using boycotts, divestment, sanctions, and synchronized protests to isolate the Jewish state on all fronts.
The Israel apartheid analogy has now gone mainstream—gaining especially wide acceptance in the academic community. In 2006, former President Jimmy Carter aptly titled his best-selling book Palestine: Peace not Apartheid. Anti-Israel signs, apparel, literature, and documentaries run with the semantics of the apartheid comparison: “Zionism is racism,” “Tear down the wall,” and “Wrong for South Africans, wrong for Palestinians.”
There is one obvious problem, however. Israel is not an apartheid state. To accuse it of such requires a real imaginative stretch. Presented here are the top five reasons that the apartheid analogy is fatally flawed.
1. Equality. During South Africa’s apartheid system, the majority black population was oppressed and persecuted by the minority whites. In Israel, all citizens—including Arab citizens—are equal before the law, regardless of their race, religion, or minority status. Of all the countries in the Middle East, Israel is the only true democracy with full freedom for its citizens.
2. Citizenship. In 1970s South Africa all non-whites were stripped of their South African citizenship. In 1948, Israel did the opposite. When the dust settled from Israel’s war of independence, Israel gave full citizenship to the Arabs who remained in Israel and did not flee. They did this even though it was a defensive war. Today 20% of the Israeli citizenry’s population is Arab. That’s a million and a half Arab citizens living in Israel and enjoying all the same rights as Israeli Jews. In addition, only 4% of the Palestinian Arabs in the “West Bank” (Judea and Samaria) are under Israeli rule, the rest are under Palestinian Authority rule.
3. Democracy. In South Africa, non-whites were not allowed to be in government or even vote. In Israel, Arabs have been represented since the very first Knesset. Israeli Arabs vote and have been elected to every level of local and national office, including appointments to the Israeli Supreme Court and government minister positions.
4. Freedom. The South African apartheid regime strictly regulated the lives of non-whites with a host of separation laws. Black South Africans were confined to Bantustans, defined labor areas that they were not permitted to leave. Israel, in contrast, has extensive anti-discrimination laws. Israeli Arabs work in all sectors, attend universities, and open businesses. While much of the Arab population lives in concentrated Arab municipalities in Israel, this is an informal segregation as a matter of choice. For South African blacks, segregation was a matter of force.
5. Security. The security fence separating Israel from the ‘West Bank’ is often denigrated as the “apartheid wall.” During Israel Apartheid Week, a common tactic on campuses is to build mock “apartheid walls” at protest sites. Admittedly, Israel must strictly enforce border control at entrance points from the Palestinian Authority and hostile Palestinian Arab communities to its jurisdiction. However, this restriction is due to their legitimate security concerns and not racism. The fence is credited for a drastic reduction in the number of mass-murder attacks carried out in Israel after reaching a peak in the second intifada. In South Africa, racism formed the base of segregation, not terrorism. Blacks living under South African apartheid did not seek the destruction of South Africa, only the regime of apartheid.
Perhaps the best proof that Israel is not an apartheid regime is the fact that the vast majority of Israeli Arabs want to retain their Israeli citizenship. Israeli Arabs both privately and publicly say they would not want to leave Israel and move to a Palestinian state should one be created. When former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert suggested in 2007 that he would hand over Arab neighborhoods in East Jerusalem to the Palestinian Authority, the Arabs in Jerusalem rose up in protest. Nabil Gheit, an Arab mayor of one of these neighborhoods, said “If there was a referendum here, no one would vote to join the Palestinian Authority. We will not accept it. There would be another intifada [uprising] to defend ourselves from the PA.”
Those who are demanding to “Stop Israeli Apartheid” from the comfort of their campus parade grounds, should first stop and ask the Arab citizens and alleged victims in Israel one question: Where in the Middle East would you have it better?
You may of heard of a bunch of left wing idiots called B.D.S.
They’re the clowns who tried to demonstrate at Max Brenner’s, the Israeli owned chocolate shop which is, ironically, extremely popular with local Muslims!
They are also extremely active portraying Israel as “the evil empire” in every way they can.
Little do these unwitting clods realise that there are some very unsavoury types behind the scenes in their setup, with motives that would scare them even more senseless.
Poor shmucks. The lights are on but there’s nobody home. Reminds me of the Sydney “Peace” Foundation.
In case you’re curious, B.D.S. stands for Brainless, Dumb and Stupid (or Senseless – there is some conjecture amongst the experts).
“Their eyes were dull, their heads were flat, they had no brains at all” (Banjo Paterson re the “gilded youths” in the barbershop in ‘The Man From Ironbark’)
From theislamicworkplace.com (Dec 2007)
Hassan Askari, Muslim Hero, attends Hanukkah Celebration
Posted on December 15, 2007
Hassan Askari, the Muslim who defended Walter Adler, a Jewish man who was being attacked by a gang of ten on the New York City subway, was invited to and attended a Hanukkah celebration with Walter. Congratulations to both Hassan and Walter. God Willing, may all of us be like Hassan and Walter. Peace on earth.
According to the Daily News, the Good Samaritan who tried to stop the Christmas-versus-Chanukah subway beating has two black eyes and a sore nose – but no regrets.
“I did what I thought was right,” said Hassan Askari, 20. “I did the best that I could to help.”
Askari, a Bangladeshi Muslim studying at Berkeley College in Manhattan, was on a Q train headed to Brooklyn late Friday when he came to the aid of young women confronted by a group of 10 thugs.
Fearful for the women’s safety, he pushed one of the men away – and was then pounced on by the group, he said.
“They grabbed me and punched and beat me up,” Askari said.
“They punched me first. I didn’t get a chance to punch him back.”
Askari, all of 5-feet-7 and 140 pounds, said he was left with a swollen face.
He said he didn’t go to the doctor because he’s too busy working two waiter jobs and doesn’t have the money for medical care.
He was mystified as to why the men became so outraged when the women and their male friends wished them a “Happy Chanukah” while they were yelling “Merry Christmas” on the train car.
“I don’t understand,” he said. “They were just being nice.”
New Yorkers Hassan Askari and Walter Adler were also honored by Foundation for Ethnic Understanding Wednesday for their role in preventing anti-Semitic attack on subway. “We salute these young men for their courage in not allowing their faith come between them in a time of need. They are leading by example,” said Foundation President Rabbi Marc Schneier. Please click here to read about this event.
Please note that Hassan Askari is not the exception among Muslims worldwide. He is what all Muslims are expected to be, and he behaved in the manner that all Muslims are expected to behave when they see a fellow human being needing help.
Askari Update: December 19, 2007 :
Recently, at City Hall, Hasan Askari was honored for his altruism and bravey. Mayor Bloomberg presented Askari with a crystal apple that had been donated by Tiffany’s. It is interesting to note that Hasan was once the victim of ethnic intimidation himself: after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, he was on a trip to New Orleans when a group of men harassed him, yelling ”Go home, Osama!” He found this type of intimidation and harassment “very hurtful.” Last week, Mr. Askari said he was thinking only of helping his “fellow man” when he jumped into the fray on the Q train to protect the Jewish students as they were being beaten.
“You have to do what you can to help,” he said. “This gives a positive message to everyone in the city and the country.”
On the Holiness of Jerusalem to Judaism and Islam
The author is a professional translator from Hebrew to English. He is the author of For the World to See:The Life of Margaret Bourke White. He operates the online newsletter SARTABA.
For 3000 years the eternal city of Jerusalem has held the most exalted position in the Jewish religion, and a place of unparalleled importance in Jewish life and history.
First and foremost, King Solomon built the first Holy Temple in Jerusalem between the years 965 and 928 BCE. At that time the Holy Temple was the stronghold of the Jewish religion, containing the Holy Ark and the holiest altar in the nation for bringing ritual sacrifices as offerings to God. The people of Israel would come to the Holy Temple to pray and to give thanks but especially to perform sacrifices on the three festivals of pilgrimage: Passover, Shavuot and Sukkot. The actual performance of the sacrifices in the Holy Temple was reserved for the priests (cohanim) who were descendants of Aaron.
But in the year 586 the Babylonian monarch Nebuchadnezzar invaded Jerusalem, destroyed the Holy Temple carried off its implements made of precious metals, and exiled the remaining Jews of Jerusalem to Babylon. He had already exiled the rich and important ones several years earlier.
Although Nebuchadnezzar had laid waste to the Holy Temple, its holiness remained and it was then the Jewish exiles swore: “if I forget you Jerusalem, may I forget my right hand and may my tongue adhere to the roof of my mouth if I do not remember, if I do not hold Jerusalem above my greatest joy,” and generations of Jews have kept this vow to the present day.
When Nehemiah returned from Babylon around 536 with the first group of exiles the city was rebuilt, and the Holy Temple and Jerusalem were again the principle focus of national religious life until the destruction of the Second Temple by the Romans in the year 70 CE. Following the suppression of Bar Kochva’s revolt, the Roman Legions burned all of Jerusalem to ashes and in its place built a pagan city they called Aelia Capitolina, which Jews were forbidden from entering for generations.
Before the Umayyads built Dome of the Rock and Al Aksa, Jerusalem had no status at all in Islam.
The nation, however, longingly remembers the holiness of Jerusalem and did so throughout thousands of years of exile.
The strong heartfelt desire every Jew has to see Jerusalem rebuilt in his lifetime and the centuries-deep Jewish affection for the city King David founded are embodied in many important customs and prayers from Judaism’s great sages. For example, the prayer: “And to Jerusalem, your city mercifully return, and dwell within it as you said. And build in it soon in our lifetimes, the building for eternity, and may it hold a place for King David’s throne,” is repeated by every praying Jew several times a day.
In brief, those are the religious fundamentals on which Jerusalem’s holiness stands in the Jewish faith.
The Rambam outlines it even more succinctly: “It is a tradition with all that the place in which David and Solomon built the sacrificial altar and which held the Holy Ark on its floor is the place in which Abraham built an altar and bound Isaac on it, and it is the place on which Noah built when he came out of the ark, and it is the altar on which Cain and Abel sacrificed, and on which Adam sacrificed when he was created and on which he was created. As the sages say: “He was created from his place of atonement.” In other words, as the passage from the Rambam illustrates, the reason Jerusalem is the holiest city in Judaism is that in the 5000 year span of Jewish religious life the nation’s devotion to God has intersected more with this city and more intensely than with any other.
Various factors make Jerusalem holy to Muslims.
At first glance, the holiness of Jerusalem in the Muslim tradition is also religious at heart, and stems from the belief that Muhammad the prophet and founder of Islam rose to heaven from the site of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem.
But a little research shows that other factors beside religion played a role too.
After the prophet died in June 632 a series of successors, or caliphs, assumed authority as Islam’s leaders. Between 661 and 750 the Umayyad Dynasty held the Caliphate and ruled from Damascus. During the time they ruled, on account of various internal and external pressures the Umayyads exerted enormous effort to elevate Jerusalem’s status, perhaps even to the level of Mecca.
Daniel Pipes wrote in the Middle East Quarterly:
“The first Umayyad ruler, Mu’awiya, chose Jerusalem as the place where he ascended to the caliphate; he and his successors engaged in a construction program – religious edifices, a palace, and roads – in the city. The Umayyads possibly had plans to make Jerusalem their political and administrative capital…But Jerusalem is primarily a city of faith, and, as the Israeli scholar Izhak Hasson explains, the “Umayyad regime was interested in ascribing an Islamic aura to its stronghold and center.”
Toward this end (as well as to assert Islam’s presence in its competition with Christianity), the Umayyad caliph built Islam’s first grand structure, the Dome of the Rock, right on the spot of the Jewish Temple, in 688-91. This remarkable building is not just the first monumental sacred building of Islam but also the only one that still stands today in roughly its original form.”
The next step the Umayyads took to make Jerusalem holy to Islam relates to a passage in the Quran (17:1) that describes Muhammad’s Night Journey to heaven: “Glory to He who took His servant by night from the Sacred Mosque to the furthest mosque (al masjidi al aqsa).”
Pipes explains that when this Koranic passage was first revealed, in about 621, a place called the “Sacred Mosque” already existed in Mecca. “In contrast,” he goes on, “the ‘furthest mosque’ was a turn of phrase, not a place. Some early Muslims understood it as metaphorical or as a place in heaven.”
In other words, the line about the furthest mosque in the Koran is just a figure of speech. Which means there is no basis for associating the furthest mosque – the Koranic location of the start of Muhammad’s Night Journey – with the city of Jerusalem.
In 715, Pipes writes, the Umayyads did something very clever. To build up the prestige of their domain, they built a second mosque in Jerusalem, again on the Temple Mount, and named this one the “Furthest Mosque” (i.e. al-masjidi al-aqsa) the exact same name written in the holy Koran. And in so doing, the Umayyads forced the city of Jerusalem to assume a role in the life of the prophet Muhammad. A role which it never had.
This is how the Muslim belief in the holiness of Jerusalem, which persists to this day, originated.
It’s impossible to escape the conclusion, as the Palestinian historian A.L. Tibawi writes, that building an actual Al Aqsa Mosque “gave reality to the figurative name used in the Koran…” As Pipes points out, moreover, “it had the hugely important effect of giving Jerusalem a place in the Koran post hoc which naturally imbued the city with a higher status in Islam”.
Which is another way of saying, before the Umayyads built Dome of the Rock and Al Aksa, Jerusalem had no status at all in Islam.
Israeli scholar Izhak Hasson says: “construction of the Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa mosque, the rituals instituted by the Umayyads on the Temple Mount and the dissemination of Islamic-oriented Traditions regarding sanctity of the site, all point to the political motives which underlay the glorification of Jerusalem among the Muslims.”
In other words the sanctification of Jerusalem in Islam is based on the Umayyad building program. And their cleverness in bringing about a (baseless) association between the al-masjid al-aqsa mentioned in the holy Koran and the mosque they built on the Temple Mount and purposely named Al Aqsa, precisely so that it would assume a measure of Koranic holiness it did not have.
Perhaps the most convincing evidence of Islam’s very loose and insignificant bond with Jerusalem is how the Muslims related to the city after the Caliphate passed from the Umayyads to the Abbasid’s in 750. Daniel Pipes writes: “Jerusalem fell into near-obscurity. For the next three and a half centuries, books praising this city lost favor and the construction of glorious buildings not only came to an end but existing ones fell apart (the dome over the rock collapsed in 1016.)
These days, the never-ending cry for a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital surely contains a trace of the claim that the city is holy in Islam. But essentially the historic record shows that the actions and circumstances on which the claim is based aren’t very holy at all. In fact, by any standard of religious values in any society in the world, artificially imbuing a place with holiness, through wordplay and administrative sleight of hand, constitute the very opposite of holiness.
Hat tip Arutz Sheva
Op-Ed: Shame on You, Harvard University!
Prof. Phyllis Chesler
Prof. Phyllis Chesler is the author of fifteen books, including Women and Madness (Doubleday, 1972), The Death of Feminism: What’s Next in the Struggle for Women’s Freedom (Palgrave Macmillan, 2005) and most recently, The New Anti-Semitism. She is the co-founder of the Association for Women in Psychology and the National Women’s Health Network.
First they came for the pagans and the Jews. Then they came for the Christians. And then they came for the Hindus, Buddhists, Zoroastrians, and Ba’hai.
What am I talking about? I am talking about the Islamic persecution of infidels on every continent—a persecution which is still ongoing; about forced conversions to Islam; and about the genocidal extermination of 80 million Hindus over a period of six centuries (1000-1500 CE).
What I’ve just written is historically true as is Islam’s history of anti-Black racism, slavery, and gender and religious apartheid. Ibn Warraq has a new and very important book just coming out on this very subject. It is titled: Why the West is Best. A Muslim Apostate’s Defense of Liberal Democracy.
But, it is a crime to say any of this. And, it is a crime to suggest that a liberal or constitutional democracy must defend itself against jihadic terrorism.
This is not true only in the Middle East or in Islamic central Asia. It is true in the major and most prestigious universities in the United States.
For example, in the summer of 2011, Yale got rid of the elegant and sophisticated Dr. Charles Small (The Yale Initiative for the Inter-disciplinary Study of Anti-Semitism), because he dared to hold a conference in which Islamic anti-Semitism and Islamic terrorism were discussed. This outraged the “Palestinians”, south-Syrians, Jordanians, and Egyptians on campus. Calls were made, letters were written.
The Ivy League professoriate, including the Jews, were exceedingly nervous about having such a politically incorrect Jew in their midst and on their faculty.
Thus, although Yale did not have to pay a penny for Dr. Small’s endeavor (he came with his own funding), they dismissed him. Dr. Small was able to establish a beachhead for five full years. In these times—not bad but especially in these times, not good enough.
Now, Harvard has similarly dismissed a distinguished and highly respected Professor or Economics, an Indian Hindu, Professor Subramanian Swamy. He taught at Harvard for 20 years, every summer.
We do know that many professors all across America preach daily against Israel and against Jews without losing their jobs due to “hate speech” or racism.
What was his “crime?” In the wake of a second Islamic terrorist attack on Mumbai (July, 2011), in which 26 people were murdered and 130 were wounded, Professor Swamy wrote an article about this tragedy. Please recall that in 2008, Islamic jihadists launched a long and horrific attack on Mumbai, in which 164 people were murdered and 308 wounded. The Pakistani Islamist group behind this chose Mumbai because it is a densely populated commercial and entertainment center; they targeted Westerners, tourists, wealthy Indians, and, of course, Jews.
Professor Swamy, is also the President of the Janata Party and served as both India’s former minister of Commerce and Industry as well as the former minister of Law and Justice. This learned man published an op-ed piece in an Indian newspaper in which he reminded his readers of the long history of Hindu persecution at Muslim hands and of the contemporary stated intentions of Pakistani-based terrorist groups to convert all India or to kill those who resist. He suggested adopting a “Hindu mindset” as the first way of fighting back against this.
In a letter to Harvard President, Drew Gilpin Faust, Dr. Jagan Kaul, Retired Professor of International Law and Chairman, Diversity-USA, defended Dr. Swamy’s right to hold his opinion without being dismissed because that opinion was being viewed, by some Harvard students and by a handful of highly politicized faculty, as anti-Islamic “hate speech.” Professor Kaul writes:
“Dr. Swamy has clearly stated that ‘Islamic terrorism is India’s number one national security problem….and already the successor to Osama bin Laden as the al-Qaeda leader has declared that India is the priority target for that terrorist organization and not the USA.’ Towards the concluding portion of his analysis Dr. Swamy has summarized the goals of the Islamic terrorism in India. He believes that their number 1 goal is to overawe India on Kashmir….By demanding the abrogation of section 370 of the Indian Constitution Dr. Subramanian Swamy has been trying to reverse the dangerous advance of Wahabi Islam in the Indian sub-Continent and in the process saving the US from having to deal with one more nasty, bloody and complex development in the world.
“How unfortunate and regrettable it is that Dr. Swamy is being banished because he showed the wisdom, fortitude and guts for doing the right thing by fighting the Jihadis before it was too late.”
On December 6, 2011, Professor Swamy was formally dismissed by Harvard. I do not know if he has any legal recourse. Harvard’s reputation is certainly damaged—just as Yale’s has been.
Professor Swamy should be allowed to write op-ed pieces in India that are not held against him in the United States.
I am not sure whether he preaches against Muslims in his Economics classes. We do know that many professors all across America preach daily against Israel and against Jews without losing their jobs due to “hate speech” or racism. I do know that infidels are cursed in many mosques and madrassas and in Islamic state universities across the world. ”
This situation affects us all. The West must understand that silencing men like Professor Swamy is in a sense an act of Jihad. We are aiding the Islamic fundamentalists in their quest for domination in India and South Central Asia.
Saudi Arabia to Give Australian 500 Lashes, Jail for Blasphemy
Insulting the friends of the founder of Islam earned an Australian national 500 lashes and a year in jail in Saudi Arabia last month.
Mansor Almaribe, a resident of southern Victoria state, was arrested by religious police on November 14 in Medina while participating in the Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca known as the hajj. His eldest son Jamal told The Melbourne Age newspaper that Almaribe was reading and praying in a group at the time.
Family members told Australian media that Saudi officials accused the 45-year-old of insulting companions of Islam’s Prophet Muhammed; blasphemy is considered a serious offense in Saudi Arabia, which is governed under Shari’a (Islamic) law.
No information is available about exactly how or when he insulted them, or even which companions of Muhammed he allegedly had insulted.
He was convicted Tuesday and sentenced to two years in prison and 500 lashes. The court later reduced the sentence to “only” one year in jail, in the presence of an Australian consular official who attended the proceedings.
The maximum number of lashes ever allowed to be used as a sentence under Jewish law during the time of the Holy Temples was 39, and that was to be delivered under the supervision of a medical doctor, in sets of three, so as to ensure the convicted person did not die as a result.
A sentence of 500 lashes is considered equivalent to a death sentence.
Another son of Almaribe, Mohammed — named for the very prophet on whose behalf he is set to be tortured — has expressed fears for his father’s safety. ”Five hundred lashes on his back, and he has back problems,” he told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. “I wouldn’t think he’d survive 50.” Almaribe, a father of five, suffers from diabetes and heart disease.
Australian Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Neil Hawkins has appealed to Riyadh for leniency, according to Canberra’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. ”The Australian government is universally opposed to corporal punishment,” the department in a statement.
Approximately 300,000 Muslims now live in Australia, and there are over 100 mosques, according to an Australian government website. The Arab community in Australia, numbering more than 210,000, is “diverse and includes many high-profile and successful members,” the site notes.