A Saudi cleric has proposed this solution to molestation of young girls: they should be required to wear burqas.
While no law or practice in Islam requires that baby girls wear burqas, Sheik Abdulla Daoud suggested that covering the babies in burqas would keep them from being raped. Daoud made the controversial comment on TV last year, stating that babies were being molested in Saudi Arabia.
The video recently surfaced on social media, and elicited shocked and indignant response from fellow Saudis.
“Now the baby victims are blamed for men’s crimes. Allah help us stop the ignorance, stupidity,” tweeted Masleeza Othman.
Othman later followed up the original tweet with another condemning those who “abuse, molested and sexually assaulted or harassed the babies, children.”
“They aren’t supposed to even live!!” Othman continued.
Senior Islamic officers have also been highly critical of Daoud’s comments, noting that they “made Islam and Sharia law look bad.”
Daoud’s comment comes as a contrast to online activists’ recent calls for the Saudi kingdom’s rulers to impose harsher punishments on child abusers. Most notably, Fayhan al-Ghamdi, a prominent preacher, received a light sentencing after confessing to raping and beating his 5-year-old daughter to death.
Startlingly, al-Ghamdi is protected by Saudi Arabia’s Islamic law, under which a father cannot be executed for murdering his children or his wife.
Reports indicate that Saudi Arabia plans to launch a 24-hour hotline, specifically for reporting violence against children.
Photo Source: www.biyokulule.com
It might sound like science fiction, but it’s reality: in Saudi Arabia, an electronic system automatically informs male guardians about the arrival and departure status of their female dependents.
The system, enforced by the Passports Department, sends an SMS to the male guardian whenever a female member of his family crosses the country’s border.
Currently, use of the system has been suspended, and the program will undergo amendment.
“In the past, the system included all the names that were registered,” said Lt. Col. Ahmad Al-Laheedan, spokesperson of the Passports Department. “However, in the next phase, it will be optional.”
Multiple sources have spoken out positively about changes being made to the system; many propopse banishing it altogether.
Arguing that the notification process never should have been introduced at all, Saudi columnist and assistant professor Sabria S. Jawhar called the system “humiliating for women.”
“I hope this is a step toward canceling the whole system,” she continued. “We are born Muslim and we know the principles of our religion. There is no need for anyone, including the government, to monitor our behavior.”
The system has also been accused to belittlingly monitoring women in a way more befitting the monitoring of a child.
Maha Akeel, managing editor of the OIC Journal has referred to the system, with its implications that women cannot be trusted, as an insult to women.
Others, however, approved of the system as a means for families to keep track of across-the-border movements of their children and female relatives. The system has also been praised as a major step towards eliminating bureaucratic paperwork that previously required that guardians sign permission forms.
Sources: Arabnews.com, Rt.com
Photo Sources: Clickrally.com
A court in Saudi Arabia has sentenced a man to three months in prison and 80 lashes for taking to Twitter to publicly accuse a Kuwaiti singer of adultery.
The Saudi man is reportedly a fan of a rival UAE singer named Ahlam, so in an effort to start rumors about singer Shams, he went on Twitter and accused the entertainer of committing adultery without providing any proof.
Shams filed a lawsuit against the Twitter user for making up the accusations, as well as posting fake pictures of her in compromising situations. Shams won the lawsuit, and now, the Twitter user, who claims he is “the lawyer of Queen Ahlam,” will face the consequences.
Under Sharia Law, anybody who accuses another person of committing adultery without proof will face lashes. Now that the Twitter user has been found guilty, he has been sentenced to 80 public lashes, three months in jail, and a fine of nearly $3,000.
A Saudi Arabia prince could face execution after the victim’s father rejected his plea for pardon, a newspaper reported Sunday.
According to Reuters, the English-language Arab News did not disclose the name of the prince or his victim, but said Crown Prince Salman, a senior member of the family and government, had “cleared the way for the possible execution of a prince convicted of murdering a Saudi citizen.”
“Shariah [law] shall be applied to all without exception,” he wrote in a message to Interior Minister Prince Muhammad bin Naif, Arab News reported.
“There is no difference between big and small, rich and poor. The powerful are weak before God’s law until others get their rights from them while the weak are powerful until their rights are protected.
"Nobody is allowed to interfere with the judiciary’s decision. This is the tradition of this state. We are committed to following the Shariah.”
King Abdullah reportedly decreed the prince stating that execution would be enforced if the prince and the victim’s family failed to reconcile.
The victim’s father said in a statement that he was not ready to pardon the prince and claimed the reconciliation committee was not fair to him.
UPI reported that the father was not happy with the amount of blood money offered by the committee.
Executions are common in the kingdom, which follows a strict version of sharia.
With beheading as the most common method, there have been 72 official executions in Saudi Arabia so far this year. The kingdom had executed at least 47 people as of May 2013, according to Amnesty International, compared to 82 in all of 2011 and a similar number in 2012.
Two Missouri men charged with kidnapping and sexual assault of a woman found their bail posted by an unlikely source: the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The bail of Rayan Mohammed A Alqabbaa, 21, and Ahmed Ayed A Alanazi, 27, was set at a combined $2 million for an attack they carried out upon meeting a woman in a Springfield, Missouri nightclub, according to The Kansas City Star.
Both Alqabbaa and Alanzi were students at the local Missouri State University when the attack occurred, and the men are still enrolled in the school. Despite being bailed out via a cash bond wire from halfway across the country, the two men must wear GPS ankle bracelets while they await their February 3rd trial. Their passports have also been held temporarily by their attorneys.
The woman involved in the incident was found partially clothed and in a state of disarray at her apartment, claiming that she believed someone to have drugged her drink at the local nightclub Zan.
The two men are being charged with kidnapping and forcible sodomy, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. They have also been banned from attending the nightclub where they met the woman.
It is unclear why the bail was posted by Saudi Arabia, but assistant prosecutor Stephanie Wan said she feared the men could be deported before their trial begins.
Saudi Funding Of 9/11 May Be Revealed In Secret Report Pages; Congressmen Press For Release Of Classified Docs
When the congressional committee investigating the 9/11 attacks issued its final report in 2003, then-President George W. Bush held back 28 pages of the group’s findings. Whatever was in those 28 pages would put U.S. national security in jeopardy, Bush said.
So he ordered the pages classified.
Almost immediately, a group of 46 senators, both Democrat and Republican, protested. They said that whatever sensitive information the pages contained could be blacked out, but there was no need to keep the entire contents of the 28 pages a top secret.
But their plea fell on deaf ears.
Now, more than 12 years after the attacks, and a decade after those pages were classified, two congressional representatives — again, one Democrat, one Republican — are calling on the Obama administration to make the secret pages public, saying they could shed new light on unanswered questions about who was really behind the deadliest terrorist attack in history.
On Sept. 11, 2001, 19 terrorists hijacked four U.S. commercial airliners, crashing two into the twin towers of New York’s World Trade Center and a third into the Pentagon. A fourth hijacked airliner crashed in a Pennsylvania field after passengers overpowered the hijackers.
All told, nearly 3,000 people died in the attacks.
With the attacks attributed to Al Qaeda, the Islamic fundamentalist terror group led by since-slain Saudi millionaire Osama bin Laden, and with 15 of the 19 hijackers natives of Saudi Arabia, there have long been widespread suspicions that the Saudi government or at least elements of the sprawling Saudi royal family had a hand in funding the attacks.
Is that why the 28 pages were classified? The two congressmen can’t say.
“I was absolutely shocked by what I read,” North Carolina republican Rep. Walter Jones told the International Business Times. “What was so surprising was that those whom we thought we could trust really disappointed me. I cannot go into it any more than that. I had to sign an oath that what I read had to remain confidential. But the information I read disappointed me greatly.”
“These pages contain information that is vital to a full understanding of the events and circumstances surrounding this tragedy,” added Massachusetts Democrat Stephen Lynch, who joined Jones in calling for the pages’ release.
When the investigating committee issued its report, it dropped a hint as to what might be in those hidden pages.
The committee, its report stated, succeeded in uncovering “information suggesting specific sources of foreign support for some of the September 11 hijackers while they were in the United States.”
But that information was largely absent from the public report.
Did the information point to Saudi sources of funding? The former senator who chaired the investigative committee says an unequivocal yes.
“The Saudi government without question was supporting the hijackers who lived in San Diego,” said Florida Democrat Bob Graham. “You can’t have 19 people living in the United States for, in some cases, almost two years, taking flight lessons and other preparations, without someone paying for it.”
Jones says the contents of the 28 pages are shocking, but they are not a threat to U.S. security.
“It does not deal with national security per se,” Jones said. “It is more about relationships. If the 9/11 hijackers had outside help — particularly from one or more foreign governments — the press and the public have a right to know what our government has or has not done to bring justice to the perpetrators.”
Sources: International Business Times, Federation Of American Scientists, Boston Globe
A Saudi Arabian man who was inspired by a “free hugs” video on Youtube decided to take to the streets with a campaign of his own. However, his attempt was not nearly as successful, and he was ultimately arrested by religious police.
Abdulrahman al-Khayyal, 21, took the idea from a popular video of Bandr al-Swed holding a “free hugs” banner and hugging random young men on the street. The viral video reportedly received more than a million views within the first three days it was posted.
Inspired by the campaign, al-Khayyal posted on Twitter that he would be offering free hugs to passersby in Tahliya, one of the main shopping streets in the capital city of Riyadh.
When religious police were notified of the practice, they immediately arrested both men.
Members of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice cited the two men for violating local laws and taking part in “exotic practices.”
In Saudi Arabia, religious police are required to enforce Islamic principles and dress codes, along with a strict set of dietary rules. According to The Independent, these same officials are authorized to stop nonrelated men and women from socializing with each other, and to prohibit any acts of prostitution or homosexual activity.
The two men were required to sign an agreement pledging to never go out and take part in such activity ever again. However, al-Khayyal told The Independent that he was proud of what he had done and that he plans to continue the “free hugs” campaign.
Amidst major revolutions that saw significant political upheaval throughout the Middle East, the country of Saudi Arabia made headlines because its women wanted one simple right: the ability to drive.
Many women throughout the country have been increasingly protesting the country’s ban on women drivers by getting behind the wheel of vehicles, risking arrest and other dangerous forms of backlash.
The country experienced one of its most widespread protests against male-dominated driving culture last week, in which over 60 women took videos of themselves driving in various areas of the country. Although 60 may seem like a small statistic, those women actually comprised the country’s largest protest against the law. According to USA Today, the Saudi activists “have not received any reports of arrests or women ticketed by the police.”
A Kuwaiti woman attempting to get her father to a hospital just across the border in Saudi Arabia was not as lucky as the protesters. Even though the woman was not from Saudi Arabia, and therefore not protesting the country’s driving law in any manner, she was arrested and held in custody as police conducted an investigation on her.
Contrary to popular belief, there is no specific law in Saudi Arabia banning women from driving. The common practice is for women to take drivers or rely on their husbands or fathers to get around. However, women are regularly denied licenses and, as was the case with the Kuwaiti woman, arrested for getting behind the wheel.
According to the Kuwaiti woman, she was driving her father to the hospital because he suffers from diabetes and was unable to drive the vehicle himself. The Kuwait Times reports that the woman “was caught driving a Chevrolet Epica on the ‘Sitteen Road’ in front of a hotel in the area located near the border with Kuwait.”
Two Saudi Arabian comedians and activists made light of the ban on women drivers in a viral video, featuring a parodied Bob Marley song they call “No Woman, No Drive”.
The video has accumulated 4.5 million views on YouTube since Hisham Fageed and Fahad Al Butairi uploaded it Monday night.
“Say I remember when you used to sit in the family car,” Fageed sings, “but backseat.”
In another line, Fageed sings that women’s ovaries will be safe in the backseat so they can continue to have children.
The second line was in response to Sheik Salah al-Luhaydan, a cleric who said women who drove would risk damaging their ovaries and birthing children with defects.
In an interview with the Huffington Post, the comedians said they hoped the ban would soon be lifted, and that the video was meant to spread happiness and positivity.
The video is especially popular because of Saturday’s “drive-in” protests, when Saudi Arabian women across the country published pictures of themselves driving in opposition of the ban.
Because of the protest, 16 women were fined. While there is no law against women driving, they were charged with disturbing the peace of the country.
The protestors and their guardians were forced to sign a pledge to respect the kingdom’s laws.
One man severely beat another man and the reason for the attack is because the victim allegedly spoke to the other man’s wife. The disturbing incident is captured on video.
The attack reportedly took place in Saudi Arabia where an Asian man was beaten by a Saudi man, according to Mail Online, which reports that according to the English service of news site Al Arabiya, the Saudi man is allegedly accusing the other man of talking to his wife.
Human rights activists are very disturbed by the video, which reportedly shows the Saudi man using a belt to whip the Asian man multiple times. The Saudi man then appears to grab the Asian man by his throat and force him up against a wall before the beating continues.
The Times of India reports that Saudi Arabia's Human Rights Commission is looking into the incident.
"The beating has led the Saudi's human rights authority to receive multiple complaints by viewers calling for the perpetrator to be punished," spokesperson Ibrahim al-Shadi said.
Shadi also noted that the beating was a flagrant violation of the victim's rights to safety and dignity and that regardless of why the man was allegedly assaulted, the perpetrator's actions did not abide by state- enforced rules on the protection of human rights.
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