U.K. Cleric Abu Usamah At-Thahabi: I Support Chopping Off Hands of Thieves, But Only in the Muslim World, Not Here
U.S.-born Sheikh Abu Usamah At-Thahabi, the Imam of Al-Rahma Mosque in L iverpool, U.K., said in a video that was uploaded to the Green Lane Masjid YouTube channel on September 1, 2019 that he believes in the Islamic punishment of chopping off the hand of a thief and of cauterizing the wound in boiling oil, and he said that he believes that this punishment is an effective deterrent. Sheikh At-Thahabi emphasized that such punishments should be carried out in the Muslim world and not in the West, and he said that punishments in the West are even worse. Sheikh At-Thahabi went on to say that there is no room for "flexibility" in Islam with regard to homosexuals, lesbians, and transgender people, and he added that Muslims cannot break the law and harm these people.
Following are excerpts:
Sheikh Abu Usamah At-Thahabi: This man, during the time of [Caliph] Omar, he stole something – they caught him and he stole enough to get his hand chopped off. They got ready and set up the program to chop his hand off. [The] hand is going to go. They chop your hand off, and in order to stop the blood, they put your hand in boiling oil, so that it will stop. Terrible! Obviously, we are not going to do that here. We are going to do that in the Muslim world. That's what they used to do in the Muslim world, and in some places they still do it. And I believe in that. And I believe that it is a deterrent, as well. And I won't bite my tongue for anyone about "Oh, look how barbaric that is." Because if we were to start to talk about… The way they do punishment here in the West is worse.
Allah created you a boy. You are a boy, you are a boy, you are a boy, you are a man. Then the person comes and says: "Well, I think Allah made a mistake. So I want to change up this situation." Yo, man, there ain't no flexibility in that. I am African-American and I don't want anybody to be racist towards me. I am a Muslim and I don't want anybody to be racist towards me. Okay, what about the homosexual? What about the lesbian? What about the transvestite? What about this one and that one? Shouldn't I, as a Muslim who is African-American, and people are prejudiced towards me and I don't like that… Shouldn't I look at it the same way?
Don't you, as a Muslim, start coming with that stuff. There is no room for flexibility in that. The flexibility in this is… Listen, we are not going to harm anybody. We are not going to break the law with anybody. But does that mean that I'm going to say that what you are doing is okay?