All that may be true, however I view any government that proposes to administer 350 lashes to a 60 something person as barbaric.Like 350 lashes for an elderly foreigner who made the mistake of brewing his own beer.That was in Saudi Arabia which is ruled by a government with a wahibist / salifist approach to Islam.
The Sunni denominations widely practiced in the UAE are much more moderate.
Saying they are both Sunni is like saying that the Westbrough Baptist Church and the Australian Uniting church are both Protestant. Technically that's true, but their approaches to life and faith are vastly different.
1. EVERY expat who goes to KSA knows the rules. Its not your rules, its their rules. It wasn't a mistake, it was deliberate. Why are is he in KSA? 90% is for money with remainder a career boost. Yes I would go, a friend of mine has gone and done very well on both counts above. You brew your own beer, wine or spirits which is extremely common, you take a risk. I doubt I'd be that desperate to make my own. Some of the KSA courts love giving extra harsh punishments to westerners because they are supposed know better and they take the crime as more of a personal insult and to get media attention as a warning to others.
FYI, he will get 40 at a time using something like a black plastic hose while the guy is held down on a bench, spaced 2 weeks apart and then only repeat if the first batch has completely healed. In these cases with western foreigners often there are no follow-up batches as 40 satisfies the courts and hard liners and then the govt quietly steps in on the and the rest just never happens.
While I don't support it this form of punishment at all, it is actually done under far more humane conditions than the old British cat-of-nine tails punishments approach. If the skin is broken, they will stop immediately as that is against the rules which indicate no loss of blood or permanent disfiguring. Killing someone via flogging is not considered good practice by these guys and if they follow the Quran to the letter, the flogger is supposed to hold the Quran under his upper arm against his body to limit the force and the swing length to use of the forearm only and if he was to drop the Quran to the ground, god help him as the others around will quickly swap out the other guy and give him alot more.
I'm not trying to hide the fact this will hurt like hell, but he is not the first and if it does happen he will get through it.
2. AGAIN, I said UAE/Dubai with Oz, not KSA! I didn't compare with NZ or other, why are you comparing my comment with KSA? The two countries, UAE and KSA are more culturally different than Oz and USA. We were talking about govt structure.
3. Every country has their own ways of doing things and when ever you leave your home border you as a guest need to respect the culture. Same applies to those going to Oz.