The following are excerpts from an interview with Saudi cleric Said Al-Qahtani:
We ask [the Westerners]: "What kind of people do you defend?" Islamic law defends the innocent and stops the criminal. In the West, it's the other way around. They defend the criminal and sacrifice and persecute the innocent. When the Islamic law chops off a hand, it does so because this hand is criminal, a treacherous hand that took money protected by law. It was chopped off so that society would be safe. This is a medical principle these days. If a patient had gangrene in his finger, shouldn't we chop it off? Is this barbarism? No. Why do we chop it off? Not to be cruel to the patient, but out of mercy for his whole body. The same goes for a limb that attacked people's property and invaded people's private places, by killing or stealing or fornicating. We stop him to protect society.
Hence, Allah be Praised, Saudi Arabia has the world's lowest crime rate. Because it applies the Islamic legal punishments. Crime is widespread in all the cities of the world, and they cannot fight it despite the strength of their police force strong and their control and so on… Despite this, crime is widespread. Because anyone who feels safe from punishment continues to commit crimes. When the punishment is harsh, society remains safe. You can drive from Al-Qurayya district up north to Jizan in the south – 3,000 kilometers, together with your wife, or in a car with hundreds of thousands [of Riyals] and only one driver, and you have nothing to fear but Allah.
On the other hand – and this is the issue of our discussion – those who claim that the application of Islamic punitive law is barbarism, and I'm talking about our enemies - see what they are doing to people? …To the people of the world? Where is the compassion? I ask where are the brains of those people who have even minimal trust in [the West] even though they know…
I'll give an example. An entire nation was annihilated and its land was occupied. Others came and occupied it. A group of people came from Europe to the American continent. There was a people there called the Indians, and everyone knows this. They were annihilated, millions of them, and their land occupied. Where is the compassion? And what they doing in Palestine? The foreigner Jews were scattered worldwide. They were brought here, where a people was living on its land and in its holy places. Now the Palestinians are being killed daily, and the world is silent. Where is the world's conscience? Where are human rights? Why do they close their ears so as not to hear of the destruction of homes, the killing and wounding of the wretched, the destruction of their homes, the burning of their farms, and their annihilation. Where is the free world? This is where the danger lies!