Law and ordure

Having admitted at his trial to the rape of a 13-year-old girl, Adil Rashid, 18, was facing four to seven years in prison.

Yet Judge Michael Stokes suspended the sentence, for reasons that make one doubt not just his sanity but also that of our whole society. In fact, this case could provide a valuable diagnostic tool in any psychiatric examination. However, lacking medical qualifications, I’ll have to approach the stated reasons behind such lenience from other angles.

Reason One: Since Rashid had gone to an Islamic faith school, he didn’t know that having sex with female children was wrong.

Now, Rashid was born, bred and educated in Birmingham, not in Dar-es-Salaam. Even if his environment could indeed ‘be described as a closed community’, as his defence attorney claimed, surely he must have ventured outside his school enough times to make such ignorance unlikely?

But even assuming for the sake of argument that he was indeed unaware of the difference between a child and a woman, or between a woman and a lollipop, as his lawyer also suggested, since when is that an extenuating circumstance? Certainly not since the Roman jurists first enunciated in no uncertain terms that ignorantia juris non excusat (ignorance of the law is no excuse).

Had Judge Stokes sent Rashid down for the full seven years, he would have therefore asserted a legal principle that operates in the law of every civilised country. More important, he would have sent an important message ‘to encourage the others’, in Voltaire’s phrase.

The message would have come across loud and clear: if your religion is in conflict with British laws, move somewhere where they don’t apply. Saudi Arabia or Sudan spring to mind. And if indeed Muslim faith schools encourage their pupils to ignore our laws, such schools must be censured first and shut down second.

The English common law reigns supreme in England (unless, as is often the case, it’s superseded by the EU law, but that’s a different story). This means it takes priority over any religious law whenever the two are in conflict.

Such a pecking order can in no way impinge on Judaeo-Christian legal principles because the law of the land is based upon them. Thus I’m not aware of any Judaeo-Christian commandment that might conceivably clash with our criminal code. For example, neither Testament urges believers to kill.  

With all deference and respect, the same isn’t the case with the Koran. That holy book commands Muslims to ‘slay them [unbelievers] wherever ye find them…’ (2:91). It also takes a dim view of apostates: ‘…If they turn renegades, seize them and slay them wherever ye find them…’ (4:89)

Suppose a classmate of Rashid’s were so devout, and so isolated from the non-Muslim world, that he didn’t realise that following such commandments just may be problematic under British law. What if he ventured outside his ‘closed community’ only to murder a Jew, a Christian or someone who has left Islam? The monster could then benefit from the precedent set by Judge Stokes: the poor lad was just as ignorant of our murder laws as Rashid was of injunctions against statutory rape.

In other words, Reason One is invalid, Judge Stokes must be disbarred, and the rest of us ought to contemplate what such encouragement of alien creeds does to our society in particular and the West in general. For we live at a time when, after decades of a trough, Islamic aggression is at its peak. Three-fourths of all current armed conflicts involve Islam, and its target is the West along with everything it stands for.

As the history of the last 1,400 years has shown beyond reasonable doubt, to use Judge Stokes’s language, the only way to calm Muslims down is to show courage and resolve. The judge, or more likely those who had instructed him, has shown general lassitude and specific cowardice, with a bit of PC idiocy thrown in for good measure. The results can be catastrophic, and the sooner we realise this, the better.

Reason Two evokes less all-embracing problems, but it’s objectionable none the less. According to Judge Stokes, Rashid was so ‘passive’ and ‘lacking assertiveness’ that sending him to jail might cause him ‘more damage than good’.

It seems to me that Rashid was far from ‘passive’ when he groomed the child on Facebook and lured her to a Nottingham hotel room. And he certainly was ‘assertive’ enough to rape her. Don’t our jurists realise how moronic they sound whenever they try to justify their own craven, weak-kneed liberalism?

The good judge should take a remedial course in law to learn what custodial punishment is for. As it is, he’s clearly confusing it with social services and self-improvement counselling. The purpose of jail, sir, isn’t to improve criminals. It’s to serve justice by punishing them. It’s also to pacify society, unsettled by a vile deed, by informing it that the law is still there to offer justice and protection.

A society in which judges, and indeed those who instruct them, need to be told such simple truths is chronically sick. A society that doesn’t send unequivocal messages to potential criminals will never again be heard. And a society that lacks the nerve to defend itself doesn’t deserve to survive.

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