Saudi prince faces life or execution for murdering servant
A Saudi prince faces death in Saudi Arabia for homosexuality or a life in the U.K. for murder. (Photo Credit: CC BY-SA/Mohammad Aziz/Wikipedia)

The Daily Mail reports that for beating and strangling his servant to death, Saudi Prince Saud Abdulaziz bin Nasser al Saud faces life in a British jail or execution if he is extradited to his home in Saudi Arabia. U.K. court has convicted the Saudi prince, 34, of murdering 32-year-old male servant Bandar Abdulaziz in their suite at London’s Landmark Hotel. Alcohol and sexual torture were reportedly involved. Witnesses testified to the Saudi prince’s abusive nature and the “personal gratification” he derived from beating his slave. Hotel security footage shows that Bandar Abdulaziz accepted his deadly beating submissively.

Diplomatic immunity did not save the Saudi prince

Saudi Prince Saud Abdulaziz bin Nasser al Saud believed that diplomatic immunity and his status as grandson of Saudi Arabia’s king would save him from British justice, but the playboy was mistaken. Eventually, he confessed to murder, although his defense had argued manslaughter. The court at Old Bailey sentenced the Saudi prince to life in prison for murder, but he faces execution in Saudi Arabia, where homosexuality is a capital offense. Photographic and physical evidence proved “beyond the shadow of a doubt” that Saud Abdulaziz bin Nasser al Saud subjected Bandar Abdulaziz to “sadistic” sexual torture, said prosecutor Jonathan Laidlaw.

Is the Saudi prince’s action against his servant permitted by the Quran?

Some would argue that the Saudi prince acted in concert with Sharia law. Some scholars indicate that the Prophet Mohammad abused servants when they misbehaved. However, as Muslim Access puts it, the Quran does not advocate physical abuse:

“As to those women on whose part you fear disloyalty and ill-conduct, admonish them (first), (next), refuse to share their beds, (and last) beat them (lightly); but if they return to obedience, seek not against them means (of annoyance)” – An-Nisa’: 34-35

“Beating,” in this sense, is translated from dharban ghayra mubarrih, which means “a light tap that leaves no mark” with a siwak, or toothbrush. In the case of the guilty Saudi prince, perhaps he should have brushed up on how not to seek means of annoyance against servants. No amount of money from the royal family can buy the Saudi prince humanity – or save him from the chopping block if he’s extradited.

Muslim Access

Hotel security footage of Saudi prince and servant (Warning: Violence)

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