A man who whipped a Muslim convert in Australia as a religious punishment for drinking alcohol has been sentenced to at least 16 months in jail.

Wasim Fayad, who was convicted earlier this year of the 2011 attack on Christian Martinez, was sentenced on Friday.

Sydney Central Local Court Magistrate Brian Maloney sentenced Fayad, who had been Martinez's spiritual mentor, to a maximum of two years in jail for assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

"You have brought much shame upon the Islamic faith," Maloney told Fayad during the sentencing hearing.

"You have proved yourself unscrupulously cunning, deceptive and dishonest. You profess to be a religious man, however you resorted to violence upon Mr Martinez."

The attack happened after Martinez called Fayad, 45, to admit he had spent a night out drinking and taking drugs. Islamic laws prohibit alcohol and recommend whipping as a punishment for several offences.

Fayad showed up at Martinez's home and whipped him 40 times with an electric cord while three other men held him down on his bed.

Martinez said he cried and begged for them to stop, and was in pain for about a week after the attack.

The other three men involved received suspended sentences and were ordered to perform community service.

"It was simply one man who happened to be Muslim, assaulting another man, to effect a criminal purpose," Maloney said, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

To assist in that purpose [Fayad] recruited three young men who had been groomed and duped into believing he was righteous and learned in Islamic law."

Fayed reportedly shook his head and muttered as Maloney handed down his sentence.

Source: Agencies