This year’s Darwin Awards, a celebration of people who mutilated themselves or removed themselves from the gene pool, will have plenty of contenders from the Islamic world. Egyptian Muslim Ali Afifi, 28, is definitely in the running. As a lover of sharia law, Afifi felt immense guilt for his kleptomania. Though his petty thefts didn’t cause anyone any physical harm, he felt there was no way he could repent except by administering the sharia punishment for theft unto himself. What’s that punishment? Amputation of hands.
Afifi approached a train track, and instead of laying down on it to end himself, placed his hands on the tracks. The train couldn’t stop in time (or the conductor didn’t care about the crazy Muslim wracked by guilt caused by an imaginary supernatural threat), and Afifi’s hands were severed at the wrist. Afifi called his thieving ways a “disease” and felt he needed to stop. However, he claims he rarely benefited from taking other people’s phones and jewelry – when interviewed, he said that he gave the profits to the poor.
You know, Robin Hood would be a pretty lame story (lamer than it is already) if it ended with Robin cutting off his own hands. However, that’s apparently the happy ending Allah wants to see. Afifi says he wants to get married, but worries that no woman would want to be with him because of his criminal history. I get the feeling his history of mental health problems, including self-injury and schizoid delusions of invisible people in the sky, is far more of a turn-off for women than a bit of pickpocketing.