‘Hands off Islamic law’

Updated 12 June 2014

‘Hands off Islamic law’

Justice Minister Mohammed Al-Eissa has denounced international rights groups for attacking the Kingdom’s judiciary, saying laws in this country are based on divine precepts contained in the Holy Qur'an.
“Any attack on the judiciary will be considered an attack on the Kingdom’s sovereignty,” he said recently.
Speaking to American lawyers, legal consultants and academics in Washington, Al-Eissa said many people have misunderstood Islamic laws because they follow biased information and ignore cultural differences. “This is the reason for rights organizations making big mistakes in their reports,” he said.
The minister tried to counter misconceptions about various Shariah punishments such as beheading, cutting off hands and lashing. “These punishments are based on divine religious texts and we cannot change them,” he said.
Al-Eissa emphasized the progress of the Kingdom’s criminal justice system. “At Saudi courts criminal proceedings are undertaken publicly to ensure transparency and fair justice.” He said the application of Islamic laws has reduced crime in the Kingdom.
“Islam is a religion of wisdom that calls for dialogue with other religious faiths and peaceful coexistence with other communities,” the minister said. “If it was not a good religion, it would not have lasted for more than 1,400 years and won millions of followers around the world.”
Referring to capital punishment, he said many other countries have this form of penalty enshrined in their legislation. “The punishment of cutting off hands has been instructed by religions other than Islam." He said the punishment of lashing is only meted out to those convicted of serious crimes related to honor. The Shariah does not approve of cutting off the hands of suspected thieves, he said.
“Islam sympathizes with the victim, not the criminal,” the minister said.


Fraud alert over cryptocurrency falsely linked to Saudi Arabia

Updated 21 August 2019

Fraud alert over cryptocurrency falsely linked to Saudi Arabia

  • The website of a cryptocurrency company is promoting what it calls the CryptoRiyal and SmartRiyal
  • The Singapore-based company uses the Saudi emblem of two crossed swords and a palm tree

JEDDAH: Fraudsters are trying to lure victims into investing in a “virtual currency” with false claims that it is linked to the Saudi riyal and will be used to finance key projects, the Saudi Ministry of Finance warned on Tuesday.

The website of a cryptocurrency company in Singapore is promoting what it calls the CryptoRiyal and SmartRiyal, using the Saudi emblem of two crossed swords and a palm tree. Its “ultimate goal” is to finance NEOM, the smart city and tourist destination being built in the north of the Kingdom, the company claims.

“Any use of the KSA name, national currency or national emblem by any entity for virtual or digital currencies marketing will be subject to legal action by the competent authorities in the Kingdom,” the ministry said on Tuesday.

The fraudsters were exploiting ignorance of how virtual currencies work, cryptocurrency expert Dr. Assad Rizq told Arab News.

“A lot of tricks can be played,” he said. “Some of these companies are not regulated, they have no assets, and even their prospectus is sometimes copied from other projects.

“They hype and pump their project so the price goes up. Inexpert investors, afraid of missing out, jump in, which spikes the price even higher. Then the owners sell up and make tons of money.

“Cryptocurrencies are a risky investment for two reasons. First, the sector is not yet fully regulated and a lot of projects use fake names and identities, such as countries’ names or flags, to manipulate investors.

“Second, you have to do your homework, learn about the technology. And if you still want to invest, consider your country’s rules and regulations.”