Statement From The Saudi Ambassador to the United Nations

Statement From The Saudi Ambassador to the United Nations

Abdallah Y. Al-Mouallimi is the Permanent Representative of Saudi Arabia to The United Nations. Today we have a translation of his statement about Raif Badawi.

"I don’t like discussing legal matters or the legal decisions especially in early judicial stages, but the commencement of flogging to a citizen raised to me many questions that I need an answer for. The first of which is what is our honorable judges’ stance from the “hadith” (Prophet Mohammed’s sayings) which states: “the prophet Mohammed said no flogged over ten lashes only in the extent of the limits of God "do they deny this? And if they don’t deny this hadith and do believe in the hadith narrated by Ibn Abbas, by the Prophet, which says: “avoid punishments with suspicions”. Based on the above mentioned two hacdiths, isn’t this enough argument to avoid the punishment of lashing and flogging especially with more than 10 lashes?

The second question is regarding the goal from the punishment of flogging specially that it came alongside with the sentence of prison time and a financial fine. Is the goal only causing damage and physical torture? If so, perhaps the legitimate (Sharia’a) punishments that apply in sanctions sins should be in hundreds and thousands, and in my opinion, the answer to this question comes within the hadith which sets the maximum penalty punitive ten lashes, which stands as a symbolic punishment aims to deliver a message to the offender without causing physical torture him.

The third question is about the wisdom in judgment of the repeated punishment twenty times over twenty weeks and implemented publicly, something that suggests that the purpose of this punishment is to humiliate the offender and subject him to a public insult repeatedly. How consistent is this with the story of women, who the punishment of adultery was and applied on her and the Prophet forbade gloat about it by saying: "she had repented; repentance if divided on the seventy of the people of this city it shall cover”.

I won’t tell you more about the contradictions of the punishment of flogging with the international norms and laws, which consider them a form of torture internationally outlawed. If the judgment of flogging was based on the extent of the limits of God we would have complied and agreed with it based on the sharia’a law of Allah and the prophet, but it is obvious that the judiciary’s judgment was determined based on the punishment of “Ta’azir” (obedience), which in fact is discretionary power. And perhaps it was supposedly better to apply the words of God Almighty which says "and repress anger and forgive people and Allah loves the doers of good."

Abdallah Y. Al-Mouallimi

Abdallah Y. Al-Mouallimi is the Permanent Representative of Saudi Arabia to The United Nations. Before his latest appointment, Mr. Al-Mouallimi was Ambassador to Belgium, Luxembourg and the European Union from 2007. He was the Mayor of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia’s second largest city, between 2001 and 2005, among numerous other leadership positions in the Government and the private sector.

Mr. Al-Mouallimi was a member of the Shoura Council (Parliament) from 1997 to 2001, and sat on the boards of several Government organizations, including the General Organization for Military Industries. His private-sector service included chairing the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and the Egyptian Finance Company.

Founder of the Dubai-based investment firm Dar al-Mouallimi Consulting Company and HBG Holdings, Mr. Al-Mouallimi has a master’s degree in management from Stanford University and a bachelor’s in chemical engineering from Oregon State University.
He is married and has four children and three grandchildren.

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