Fayhan al-Ghamdi is a well-known television commentator in Saudi Arabia who, while not recognized as a cleric, commonly instructed people on good Muslim values and lifestyles. We discussed his case earlier when he was released from jail after paying “blood money” for the raping, torture, and killing of his five-year-old daughter. Now, he has been given just eight years in prison and 800 lashes for the unspeakable crime. Ghamdi’s second wife, accused of taking part in the crime, was sentenced to 10 months in prison and 150 lashes in Saudi Arabia, you can be sentenced to death for adultery, apostasy or blasphemy. However, raping, torturing, and killing a toddler is just a matter of some blood money and an eight year stint. A husband can never be executed for killing one of his children or a wife under religious Sharia law.
The daughter, Lama, was only five but al-Ghamdi accused her of not being a virgin. She was admitted to a hospital on December 25, 2011 with a crushed skull, broken ribs and left arm, extensive bruising and burns as well as a broken back. Ghamdi had used cables and a cane in the beating. A social worker is quoted as saying she had been raped “everywhere”. She lingered in the hospital for ten months before dying.
While the mother insisted that she would not take blood money, she ultimately took one million riyals ($270,000). Other reports put the amounts at $50,000 or half of the cost of a boy.
Any punishment was too much for some. In the initial hearings, the judge indicated that, under Islamic law, a father could not be punished for the death of a daughter.