Justice, generic
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Cairo: ٍSeveral members at Saudi Arabia’s advisory Shura Council have proposed equality between men and women as well as Muslims and non-Muslims in blood money as part of efforts in the kingdom to boost women’s empowerment and human rights, a Saudi newspaper has reported.

The recommendation was made by the council’s members Latifa Al Shaalan, Faisal Fadel and Atta Al Seibeti who called for introducing into a draft civil code an article banning discrimination in blood money on gender or religious backgrounds or any other form of discrimination, Okaz said, citing close sources.

In backing up their proposal, the authors argued that the Holy Quran has a single verse text dealing with blood money and that this verse does not discriminate between men and women. The English meanings of the verse No 92 in An Nisa Chapter read: “And never is it for a believer to kill a believer except by mistake. And whoever kills a believer by mistake - then the freeing of a believing slave and a compensation payment presented to the deceased’s family [is required] unless they give [up their right as] charity.

“But if the deceased was from a people at war with you and was a believer - then [only] the freeing of a believing slave; and if the deceased was from people with whom you have a treaty - then a compensation payment presented to the family and the freeing of a believing slave. And whoever does not find [this], then [instead], a fast for two months consecutively, [seeking] acceptance of repentance from Allah. And Allah is ever Knowing and Wise.”

The authors of the proposals have also cited views of several contemporary Muslim scholars, contending equal blood money for men and women as well as between Muslims and non-Muslims. They argue that discrimination in compensation in homicide cases is not appropriate in today’s world.

Proponents of the proposal believe that adopting their recommendation will enhance women’s empowerment, human rights, tolerance, moderation and life quality. Moreover, the proposal, they argue, is in line with international pacts signed by the kingdom, which stands to further boost its global image.

In recent years, Saudi Arabia has made strides in empowering women and justice system reforms.