Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) is one of the strongest proponent of Shariah-based Islamic Laws.

Did it have any effect on the crime statistics of the country?

How effective have the criminal laws in Saudi Arabia been to keep the crime-rate low? Or, have the criminal laws not been effective?

Can you think of any country that has a comparable socioeconomic environment to KSA and has been successful in keeping their crime-rate low without using religious-based Laws?

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    It depends on your definition of crime. If it's "crime according to that law itself", then an anarchy has no crime at all (since there's no law), while a restrictive state will be full of criminals (which are violating stupid laws).
    – o0'.
    May 16 '12 at 7:20
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    @Lohoris - True. If you suddenly make certian thoughts a crime (eg: Deciding you don't believe in God), then you suddenly create oddles of "criminals" you not only didn't have before, but in fact don't know about and never will (if they know what's good for them and keep the criminal thoughts to themselves). Statistics are useless for thought crimes.
    – T.E.D.
    May 16 '12 at 13:15
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    In a country like KSA, being Gay or Lesbian is crime by their definition. I do not know how would such laws would interpret this "crime" as statistic. The only effect is that people will not be open about it. In addition, from the things which are against Sharia law are women driving cars, a single woman going out by herself not accompanied by "Mahram, a male of her family or her husband/male child". Drinking or selling alcohol are also a crime. So whatever statitics they have, the questions is how to find a basis to compare them to countries where they have different crime set. Jan 15 '13 at 5:01

The way people like to do this comparison of laws or enforcement policies (eg: Broken Window enforcement) is to compare the delta in crime rates with similar cities that don't have the policy. Just looking at the local crime rate change can be misleading, as other factors may account for any differences (eg: economic changes). Finding a good "control" city can be a challenge though.

So in this case, I don't think there's any way to answer this question, since there's no part of Saudi Arabia simultaniously not under Shariah that you can use as a control. In fact, I don't really think any country can have a "comparable socioeconomic environment" to SA and not have Sharia.

  • Perhaps we can measure them against cities in other countries that also apply the Shariah Law?
    – Apoorv
    Jul 15 '12 at 3:39
  • Even if i agree with you, how about Iran as a comparable country. Maybe also to some extent one could take Somalia and Sudan before and after the strengthening of groups/governments who (would like to?) apply sharia as examples?
    – Medi1Saif
    Mar 15 '16 at 8:17
  • Iran is neither Arab nor Sunni. To make matters worse, they are run under the closest thing you will find to Sharia in the Shia world, so its unclear what kind of a control they would be. One could use those facts to explain away any similarity or difference. Sudan is about 30% non-arab, and Somalia isn't really a coherent country right now.
    – T.E.D.
    Mar 15 '16 at 13:16

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