Judicial discretion

News from Saudi Arabia: women there face flogging and imprisonment if they check their husband’s phone without his permission.

The offence would be prosecuted as a violation of privacy because it is not covered in the country’s Islamic laws, senior lawyer Mohammad al-Temyat has said.

Well it wouldn’t be, would it. There weren’t phones to check when Mo wrote the Koran – which is reason number 4 billion whatever whatever for why we shouldn’t take a very old book as something we’re not allowed to change or dispute or throw away. Mo didn’t know everything, including phones and secularism and feminism and human rights, so he shouldn’t be set up as an infallible authority on all things.

Speaking to The Independent, Mr Al-Temyat said he worked with the government only on a voluntary basis, providing legal advice.

He described the law on checking someone’s phone as Ta’zir offence, coming under judicial discretion because it has no definition or prescribed punishment under Islam.

He said: “I would like to clarify that this subject involves the husband and the wife and it is a Ta’zir offence so it is possible that there is a flogging, a fine, imprisonment, just signing a pledge or even nothing.”

Right. When in doubt, suggest a flogging, especially when it’s a woman doing something a man doesn’t like.

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