[ by Charles Cameron — offensive to our sensibilities, yes, but far from the worst thing going on ]
— Raju Narisetti (@raju) May 29, 2016
— David Miles (@Globalpolitic) May 29, 2016
As I understand it, the idea here is to limit the violence to something that might be considered “gentle reproof” — compare, for example, the hudud penalties as applied in both countries — and bearing in mind also these notes from Wiki:
These punishments range from public lashing to publicly stoning to death, amputation of hands and crucifixion. The crimes against hudud cannot be pardoned by the victim or by the state, and the punishments must be carried out in public. However, the evidentiary standards for these punishment were often impossibly high, and were thus infrequently implemented in practice. Moreover, Muhammad ordered Muslim judges to ‘ward off the Hudud by ambiguities.’ The severe Hudud punishments were meant to convey the gravity of those offenses against God and to deter, not to be carried out. If a thief refused to confess, or if a confessed adulterer retracted his confession, the Hudud punishments would be waived.
Bear in mind also the “western” punishments I described here recently in The Cat and the Database. Female genital mutilation, in other words — a cultural, not an Islamic practice — is far more worthy of our scorn.