A 32-year-old male Australian who is an Islam convert recounted on Sunday before the Burwood Local Court the physical ordeal he suffered under the hands of four fellow Muslims for drinking alcohol and taking drugs.
Cristian Martinez received 40 whips from Zakaryah Raad, 21, Tolga Cifci, 21, Wassim Fayad, 44, and Cengiz Coskun, 22. However, the four pleaded not guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
The incident happened in July 2012 at the Silverwater home of Mr Martinez. The four defended their action as part of the cleansing of Mr Martinez under the Sharia law for his offence of imbibing alcohol and drugs.
Mr Martinez recounted that the pain he suffered was unbearable that he thought of jumping from his balcony instead of receiving more lashes. He admitted drinking and taking cocaine at the Ivy nightclub and later told over the phone to Mr Fayad of his nocturnal activities since he considered the latter his spiritual leader. He was actually seeking help to get off drugs.
Mr Fayad told Mr Martinez that he will tie up and whip the latter for his vices. Mr Martinez told the court that prior to his conversion to the Islamic faith, he was not informed about the punishment according to the Sharia law.
After 10 lashes with an electrical cord, he was given a break which provided him the chance to vomit in the bathroom. After another 10 whippings, he begged the four to stop the punishment.
However, Mr Fayad did not heed Mr Martinez's plea because he would be punished if he did not complete the lashes. But he was given a cold, wet towel for the welts on his back before the four hit him 20 times again.
"I'm 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 quoted the whipmaster.
The incident is one of the growing number of atrocities committed by members of the Islam faith under the guise of following the tenets of the Sharia law. A few weeks ago, two couples had been accused of mutilating the genitals of their young daughters in keeping with the Muslim religion.
There was also the recent rally in Sydney to protest a 14-minute anti-Islam video posted in YouTube which sparked global protest.
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