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Everything you need to know about Saudi Arabia in one brief story

If anyone is wondering just why I (and so many others) are frequently outraged and fear the incursion of Sharia law and other Islamic influences into our way of life here, this story should spell it out for you.

Let me summarize how a Saudi woman and her 11-year-old son ended up in prison:

A certain woman's family changed their minds about approving of her marriage, so they got a judge to divorce the couple. Not only was neither husband or wife present, they were not even notified of the procedings.

When the couple was informed that they were no longer married, they were also told that they were no longer allowed to communicate freely, as a single man is forbidden to have unsupervised contact with an unmarried woman who is not his relative. They now see each other once a week, for 15 minutes, under strict supervision, so the children can see both parents.

The woman was informed that since she was no longer the legal ward of her husband, she had to return to the guardianship of her own family, as single women have no legal, independent standing.

Since she did not wish to return to the family that had dissolved her marriage without her knowledge, she was placed in prison.

Initially, her two children were locked up with her, but prison officials forced her now ex-husband to take custody of the elder.

Keep this story in mind the next time you hear about the "moderating influence" of the Saudis, or why we should allow Muslims living in the West to settle matters according to "their own customs and traditions."

And if you really want to entertain yourself, wait for one of the countless human rights groups or other activists to mention this case.


Comments (39)

You insensitive dolt. No c... (Below threshold)
epador:

You insensitive dolt. No cultursl tolerance or empathy for the poor men trapped in this regressive social framework! What would Margaret Mead say? Or, er, what did she already say? Hmmm.

Man you are way missing the... (Below threshold)
drlava:

Man you are way missing the point on these maniacs. A way more interesting slant on Saudi Arabia is the abrupt withdrawl of the Saudi Ambassador Prince Turki al Faisal from the US, Cheney being summoned to the kingdom for a dress down and poor Prince Bandar all messed up in this Bush family debacle in Iraq.

I'll bet it really burns supporters of this delusional president to realize that our brave soldiers are dying in Iraq to prop up the sunnis and the rulers of Saudi Arabia. Only Bush and Cheney could pull this one off: 17 of the 19 hijackers were from the kingdom and now we are in a proxy war on behalf of those nut jobs. Does anyone think for one second that the Saudis on the street are gonna stand by as their sunni brothers are slaughtered by the shia? What do you think will happen if the rulers don't take quick and decisive action to protect the Iraqi Sunni.

Of course a lot of folks had already thought this through in 2002 and that was why we were opposed to this catastrophe. The Saudi King begged Bush to not do Iraq. He told Bush that by taking out Saddam he would solve one problem but create 5 new ones.

Bush has said he takes advice from "a higher father". Man, in my world talk like that is usually followed by sedation and 30 days in the psych ward.

I think is was something ab... (Below threshold)
epador:

I think is was something about how there's nothing a small group of men can't accomplish if they're thoughtful enough, and we all know how thoughtful islamic males are, especially their mullahs...

...or certain trolls here, ... (Below threshold)
epador:

...or certain trolls here, or even the new leaders of the Demographic Party.

Dang it Lee, where are you?... (Below threshold)
epador:

Dang it Lee, where are you? I had that last post timed so it was supposed to fall after your post.

There's one other thing you... (Below threshold)
astigafa:

There's one other thing you need to know about Saudi Arabia. A significant portion of the malt extract produced in the world is shipped there.

And what do we do with malt extract? Brew beer, which of course is not on shelves in the grocery stores there because consumption of alcohol is strictly forbidden. On the other hand, if some kinda...tasty drink comes out of the closet after sunset, well...Allah be praised.

Don't forget the nuts.

To preserver American cultu... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

To preserver American culture and values the U.S. should greatly curtail immigration from the middle east. Muslims should be told that their religion is not compatible with western values. I know leftists oppose any such restrictions as being misguided and bigoted, but get on the bandwagon for the sake of your gay friends. While many Christians oppose gay marriage, many Muslims oppose gays living. Why should the left support immigration of homophobic and sexist individuals? Ok, you're not convinced, but consider that a recent poll showed a majority of Muslims are "conservative". Now that should convince you to limit their immigration.

The House of Saud has been ... (Below threshold)
OregonMuse:

The House of Saud has been holding on to power for decades by funding Wahabist mosques and madrassas in order to buy off the terrorists so they'll go play in someone else's sandbox.

Then they buy influence in America by showering money on boobs like Jimmy Carter, James Baker, and any number of ex-government officials (via "think tanks") who then respond by faithfully parroting the Arabist party line.

The Saudis are going to have to be dealt with eventually, but right now, their strategy of throwing money around seems to be working well for them.

You have a typo or misread ... (Below threshold)
nosmo:

You have a typo or misread the article
Not an 11 year old son in prison,
but an 11 MONTH old son
and a two year old with the father:

In October, prison officials insisted that Mansour take custody of the older of the two children, two-year-old Noha. She was allowed to keep her 11-month-old son, Salman, in prison with her.

clearly, saudia arabia is a... (Below threshold)
sean nyc/aa:

clearly, saudia arabia is a country being run by Islamic radicals, who fund terrorist organizations, have links to 9/11 and al Qaeda, control a large amount of the world's oil supply, and hate our freedoms. there are rumors developing that they may pursue nukes to counter Iran and they likely have chemical and biological weapons at their disposal.

so when do we invade?

/sarc/

" Man, in my world talk... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

" Man, in my world talk like that is usually followed by sedation and 30 days in the psych ward."

Here we have yet another example of how the fascism of the far left is not at all unlike the fascism of sharia law.

And if you really want t... (Below threshold)
mantis:

And if you really want to entertain yourself, wait for one of the countless human rights groups or other activists to mention this case.

Come on Jay, you have to know you're full of shit on this one. Yes, we're very proud of you for recognizing that the lack of human rights and women's rights in the Arab and Muslim world is deplorable. But why must you ridiculously and ignorantly propose that human rights organizations don't care about such things or will not call attention to them?

There are people and groups who work tirelessly on these very issues, and the presumption that if they haven't commented on a particular case that some asshole blogger saw on a news wire fast enough (even though most of time, as in this case, the asshole blogger in question doesn't even check before he makes such demands/accusations), that means they tacitly approve of or at least choose to ignore abuses in the Muslim world. They do not.

Oh hey, a A Jordanian Human Rights Org calling attention to this very story.

Hey, the UN Human Development Report on Arab women's rights.

Well look there, it's Amnesty International on Saudi Arabia's abuses.

And let's look at Human Rights Watch on women's issues (they don't seem to have noted this particular case). Some reports:

A Question of Security: Violence against Palestinian Women and Girls
Saudi Arabia: Lift Gag-Order on Rights Campaigner. Women's Rights Activist Forced to Sign Oath Not to Protest
UN: New Report Says Violence Against Women Is a Human Rights Violation. Classification Obliges States to Punish Perpetrators and Prevent Abuse
Kyrgyzstan: Bride-Kidnapping, Domestic Abuse Rampant. Despite Progressive Laws, Violence Against Women Goes Unpunished
Pakistan: Bush Should Press Musharraf to End Military Rule. U.S. Should Not Turn Blind Eye on Torture, Discrimination Against Women
Pakistan: Proposed Reforms to Hudood Laws Fall Short. Bill offers minimal improvement but still discriminates against women

It goes on and on. Jay, it's nice that you seem to consider this stuff important, and if you were generally concerned about calling attention to this sort of thing it would be laudable, but you only wish to use such stories as an excuse to attack human rights groups, among whom you are way out of your league. Maybe you could consider criticizing the current and previous administrations for being so cozy with the Saudis while studiously avoiding calling attention to their medieval legal practices. Hmmm?

Here we have yet another... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Here we have yet another example of how the fascism of the far left is not at all unlike the fascism of sharia law.

Double-plus stupidity points for Babe the blue ox, who not only doesn't understand what fascism is as a political philosophy, he actually thinks that criticizing a president (or calling him crazy, rather), is fascist!

The problem isn't the human... (Below threshold)
John F Not Kerry:

The problem isn't the human rights groups, it is the liberal media. We get endless reporting about isolated incidents at Abu Ghraib (which have been adjudicated,thank you very much) and lies about flushed Korans at Gitmo, but very little coverage of a murderously oppressive regime 90 miles from our shores. Castro is a hero to many on the left, so instead of celebrating the impending death of this thug, we get constantly told how great the education and healthcare systems are in Cuba. Hell of a deal for getting to live in fear of imprisonment or death for just thinking differently or saying the wrong thing to the wrong person.

No mantis,Sedating... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

No mantis,

Sedating someone and locking them up for expressing a belief in God is fascist.

Sedating someone and loc... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Sedating someone and locking them up for expressing a belief in God is fascist.

As if you just weren't getting the implication that those who have conversations with imaginary people might be crazy. It's one thing to believe in god, it's another to think he's actually talking to you and telling you what to do. The fact that we now treat those people, instead of say, burning them at the stake (Joan of Arc), says a lot about how much we have progressed.

I'm curious what you think about people who are under treatment for talking to imaginary people whom they don't believe are deities. Crazy or oppressed by fascists for their beliefs?

God talks to everyone manti... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

God talks to everyone mantis. Evil people choose not to listen.

To liken someone who prays to God and listens to what God says back to someone with a mental disorder shows everyone who reads these comments just how evil you far leftists are.

And no I don't mean that Go... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

And no I don't mean that God litterally talks to people in the same way that people talk to each other or in the way that people with certain mental disorders hear "voices in their heads".

But then, neither does the President.

It is you far leftist who don't understand that simple concept and are too wraped up in your religion to understand what the President and I mean.

To be honest I have no idea... (Below threshold)
mantis:

To be honest I have no idea what the President believes or doesn't, but drlava up there was clearly referring to statements which Bush has made:

"I trust God speaks through me. Without that, I couldn't do my job.''

Or may have made (or more likely, was mistranslated as saying):

"God told me to strike at al Qaeda and I struck them, and then he instructed me to strike at Saddam Hussein, which I did."

FWIW I don't think the President is crazy, and I seriously doubt that he believes god speaks directly to him telling him specific things to do.

"To be honest..."P... (Below threshold)
John F Not Kerry:

"To be honest..."

Posted by: mantis

Sarcasm by Mantis?

"FWIW I don't think the ... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

"FWIW I don't think the President is crazy, and I seriously doubt that he believes god speaks directly to him telling him specific things to do."

So then to believe that he should be sedated and locked up in a psych ward for simply expressing his religous beliefs is fascism. Thanks!

Wow, you are dense, Babe.</... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Wow, you are dense, Babe.

I don't believe that he thinks god is telling him what to do. drlava seems to believe it, based on reports on what Bush has said, and therefore believes him to be crazy (and if I'm wrong and he does in fact believe that, he is crazy).

I don't think he should be sedated and locked up in psych ward. If I thought he was crazy, I would. Neither one is the slightest bit fascist, a term you don't understand anyway.

Don't bother with another idiotic rejoinder. Talking with you is pointless and I'm done with it.

Spin all you want mantis, ... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

Spin all you want mantis, you can't hide the fascism of the far left. And this is only one example amoung many.

And making derrogaroty comments about me really adds to your credability too! Keep it up!

sorry that should have been... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

sorry that should have been "derogatory"

Likely Bush is referring to... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Likely Bush is referring to his "inner voice" a concept with deep roots in history and philosophy. Even for those who actually "hear" voices as if they were audible, recent research has shown that many such people have no (other) symptoms of mental illness. Some of the greatest composers of the last millennium claimed to be able to hear music no one had ever played. Western culture considers such individual geniuses, but if they hear voices they're dismissed as being wacko. Maybe western culture doesn't have all the answers.

BTW mantis,I do ge... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

BTW mantis,

I do get the point you're trying to make: If you want to lock someone up for expressing their religous beliefs that would be fascism, but if you first declare some crazy because you have diffent religeous beliefs then they do, and then want to lock them up because they're crazy that's o.k.

I just think that argument rates right up there with: If a doctor delivers a baby and sticks a fork in its brain that would be murder, but if a doctor delivers a baby feet first, up to it's neck and then sticks a fork in its brain before pulling the head out that would be "choice".

Don't know about you, but I... (Below threshold)
groucho:

Don't know about you, but I'd much prefer our illustrious Decider-in-Chief make all of his tough decisions based on facts, reality, advisors, etc. rather than on what his concept of a supreme being tells him to do. I don't think Shrub is "crazy" per se either, just a person whose psychologigal development arrested sometime during adolescence and has trouble groping his way through the "tough" and "difficult" adult world.

If that were true, groucho,... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

If that were true, groucho, he'd clearly be on your side of the political fence as you've described yourself and most of the trolls (esp. Lee & Hugh) on this website pretty well there.

Concerning these two relate... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

Concerning these two related 'memes' the the Saudi influence and the God factor, in an old but still relevant '60 minutes' interview Woodward covers the easy Saudi access to the White House Saturday, Jan. 11,(2003) with the president's permission, Cheney and Rumsfeld call Bandar ( the then Saudi ambassador to the US) to Cheney's West Wing office, and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Gen. Myers, is there with a top-secret map of the war plan. And it says, 'Top secret. No foreign.' No foreign means no foreigners are supposed to see this," .. And concerning
'There's a higher Father that I appeal to.'"

"Beyond not asking his father about going to war, Woodward was startled to learn that the president did not ask key cabinet members either.
"The president, in making the decision to go to war, did not ask his secretary of defense for an overall recommendation, did not ask his secretary of state, Colin Powell, for his recommendation," says Woodward. But the president did ask Rice, his national security adviser, and Karen Hughes, his political communications adviser. Woodward says both supported going to war".
Bush clearly doesn't enjoy listening to people who disagree with him, especially strong personalities.
Bush is in the habit of consulting with people who agree with him period..especially an inner God, who is not liable to give him objections.

I just think that argument ... (Below threshold)
Jeff:

I just think that argument rates right up there with: If a doctor delivers a baby and sticks a fork in its brain that would be murder, but if a doctor delivers a baby feet first, up to it's neck and then sticks a fork in its brain before pulling the head out that would be "choice".

That ladies and gentlemen is some wonderful gooper logic. P. Bunyan...I especially like when you call them trolls. What are you in 3rd grade?

By the way, If you really k... (Below threshold)
Sandra:

By the way, If you really know what "Sharia" is, you wouldn't have posted this story in the first place.But it's good that you're giving us an example of how some people randomly take decisions about concepts from "unacceptable" sources.We hear such stories every now and then, but we never hear a rational feedback for that.If you researched about "Sharia" or contacted a well informed Islamic scholar, you would have noticed that it's unacceptable to divorce a couple like that.That's definitely not Islam.Islam has valued the woman's choice of marriage and divorce in the past, and it still does so.Saudi Arabia isn't like that.Just know where to get your stories and don't just search for what you want to hear not what the truth say.It's unethical.

Wow, Sandra, thanks for act... (Below threshold)

Wow, Sandra, thanks for actually discussing the matter at hand.

That being said, I'm not calling it Sharia. The people practicing it are. I'm just using their own terms for it. If you have a problem with that, might I suggest you take it up with them.

Just be sure to wear a burqa and have your male guardian at hand when you discuss it with them.

J.

Sorry about that Sandra, bu... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

Sorry about that Sandra, but I guess "Sharia" can mean different things, even very, very different things. Just like "liberal"...

Ahh, the Lactimal kicked in... (Below threshold)
epador:

Ahh, the Lactimal kicked in and I am no longer channelling Lee.

This is no rare anecdote if you look at Muslim Fundamentalist activities around the world. Sandra and JT are actually having a conversation about it. Mantis started posting by a few good points, which unfortunately were overshadowed by the BDS comments that contaminated the postings. Note that there are a few regressive Fundamentalists in this country, but our courts tend to go after them, rather than play ball with them.

Its a sad fact of international diplomacy that we often ignore the sins of our putative allies and the virtues of our enemies - but that's real world politics, not some personality defect. The problem is when you ignore the enemies' sins. The Saudi leaders had no desire to have a 9/11 attack on the US, but only for economic reasons. They are not great allies, but they are better allies than Axis of Evil enemies AT THIS TIME.

I favor holding off on glassing over Mecca and Riyad until and if we do our nuclear redecoration of Tehran and Damascus.

And it's hardly gooper logi... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

And it's hardly gooper logic Sandra. If you really think about it, both examples I gave are closely related. You have to not think to see things your way.

It's the left's fascism about abortion that's really the problem for me. You see, in a republic like ours the laws are made by our elected representatives. Some laws are even made by direct vote of the people which is called democracy. When leftist judges decide they can interpret the law & Constitution however they please, that they are alive, to thwart the will of the voters that's fascism. Forcing everyone to do it your way is fascism. IF the judges had decided in Roe v. Wade that the federal government has no say and what ever local laws apply shall be enforced, I'd of been fine with it.

I personally think abortion is killing human babies, but if the folks in California or Massachusetts think it o.k. in their communities, well I'd be o.k. with it. It's a horrible thing, but that's the price of living in a free country. But to say that it has to be legal everywhere in the country- now that's another matter.

I used partial birth abortion as an example because that's a particularly heinous example that has been overturned recently by fascist leftist judges. The reason? Because the laws don't include exceptions for special conditions where it's necessary for the safety of the mother. Sounds o.k. if you don't think about it, but if you think about it, the only time that would apply is if there was a greater risk to the mother if the killing were done sooner. So just say that. By saying "medically necessary" we've got a guy in Kansas making millions a year killing perfectly viable babies because the medical necessity was "depression".

And I don't just feel that way, because of my opinions on abortion or (theism for that matter, which what first set me off on this thread). I'll give you another example... I support gay marriage. It was on the ballot in my state a few years ago and I voted against it. But if a leftist judge fabricated some theory on how it was unconstitutional that would be still be fascism to me.

So your best arguments so far are that I'm in 3rd grade and use gooper logic... And mantis' is that I don't know what fascism is. But I'm in 3rd grade...

And a final disclaimer is that I've never said that fascism doesn't exist on the far right. I just enjoy pointing it out on the far left. And yes the right's fascism probably bothers me slightly less, but it's just as wrong.

I'm sorry, I meant Jeff not... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

I'm sorry, I meant Jeff not Sandra


And Jay, I hope it didn't b... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

And Jay, I hope it didn't bother you too much that I went O.T. If its against the rules on your threads I'll stop.

I just re-read what I wrote... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

I just re-read what I wrote about gay marriage and I thought I'd better explain because what I wrote didn't make sense.

I support gay marriage.
Banning it was on the ballot.
I voted against banning it.
It passed, but if it was stuck down (so the side I favor won) I would still consider it fascism.

Sandra,There is, h... (Below threshold)

Sandra,

There is, however, in practice no respect for women's rights in these countries which is how things like this come about. Islam may provide some protections on paper for women, but the attitudes that it fosters toward women in other areas make the hearts of many Islamic men incapable of following those things. For example, if it takes nearly half a dozen witnesses to vouch for a rape, and you cannot prove rape because a male forensic doctor cannot check her vagina for signs of abuse, that's going to lead men raised under that influence to enforce rules very badly against women, no matter what the Koran may say elsewhere.

The fact of the matter is that for many women throughout history, Islam's "liberal" attitude toward divorce is a terrible weakness. It makes it quite easy for a man to dump his middle aged wife for a new hot piece of ass if she's not making him happy anymore. She's left alone in her older age, whereas the Judao-Christian approach requires him to support her and makes remarriage without adultery a sin.




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