Sri Lanka’s ambassador to Saudi recalled

The government has decided to recall the Sri Lankan Ambassador to Saudi Arabia with immediate effect in a mark of protest over the beheading of Sri Lankan maid Rizana Nafeek.

Nafeek was executed by the Saudi authorities yesterday over allegations she killed a baby in her care.

Meanwhile the Muslim Council of Sri Lanka expressed shock and dismay at the failure on the part of the infant’s parents to take responsibility for their action and pardon Rizana – an option that was available to them under Islamic law and which option of pardoning is strongly encouraged in the Quran.

Whilst the Holy Quran provides for the implementation of the death penalty for murder, treating murder as an offence against the entire community, the circumstances of the infant’s death clearly do not amount to murder under well known principles of Islamic Shariah, the Muslim Council said.

It added that it is the Shariah that provides for pardoning even the guilty at the instance of the victim’s kin and states that forgiveness is better than punishment.

The Holy Quran furthermore, urges in Verse 15:85 to overlook (any human faults) with gracious forgiveness. Thus we see the implementation of the death penalty as going against the spirit and the letter of Islamic law, the Muslim Council of Sri Lanka said.