Sharia in the West:
"Forty lashes for having a drink" News.Au.com (hat tip Peggy)
Cristian Martinez leaves Burwood Court / pic: Danny Aarons Source: The Daily Telegraph
CRISTIAN Martinez was physically sick and begged "please no more" as four men held him down and whipped him 40 times with an electrical cord as punishment under sharia law for drinking alcohol.
But his attackers told him it was his body being "cleansed" by Allah, he told Burwood Local Court yesterday.
Mr Martinez said the "unbearable pain" was so bad he wanted to jump from his balcony rather than face more lashings.
Four men charged over the attack - Zakaryah Raad, 21, Tolga Cifci, 21, Wassim Fayad, 44 and Cengiz Coskun, 22 - faced court yesterday.
They all pleaded not guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm after the alleged attack at Mr Martinez's Silverwater home in July last year. They denied stealing CCTV footage from cameras at the home.
Mr Martinez told the court yesterday he had been drinking and taking cocaine at the Ivy nightclub and had contacted Fayad because he saw him as "his spiritual leader" after his recent conversion to Islam.
The court heard Fayad told him over the phone that: "I'm going to tie you up ... that's what you need."
Mr Martinez said he was "going to be punished for what I'd been doing with drugs and alcohol".
He said that during his conversion to the Islamic faith he had never been told about sharia law punishment.
Raad, a friend of Mr Martinez, allegedly went to his home before letting the other three men in, the court heard.
Mr Martinez said he was "grabbed and held down" on his bed and whipped 10 times with an electrical cord before he ran to the bathroom to vomit. "They stopped after about 10 lashes to give me a break," he said, adding he got back on the bed willingly for the next 10 lashes.
But after those, Mr Martinez said he was "vomiting, crying and begging 'please brother no more, no more'."
Fayad allegedly told him that the vomiting was "Allah taking impurity out of the body because you are being cleansed" and that if he didn't finish administering the punishment, he would be punished himself.
The court heard Mr Martinez was given a cold, wet towel for the welts on his back before the next 20 lashes.
"They said they were going to give me 40 lashes, that was the intention they came with," he told the court.
"After the 40 lashes, I couldn't bear the pain ... I even wanted to jump off the balcony, I was running to the front door.
"(Fayad) said to me: 'I'm only doing this because I love you ... the next time you want to drink or take drugs you're going to remember this pain'."
Mr Martinez said he was "angry and furious" after the lashings and called a sheik to ask about the punishment because he couldn't believe it was real.
"I knew I had done the wrong thing, but I couldn't believe I was getting these hits," he said.