Woman gets gang raped, gets sentenced by the court to 90 lashes for being alone with a man in a car. There must be quite a time change between here and Saudi Arabia. It's 11:41 here and it's 1100 AD there. Must be on Medieval Savings Time.
But, but... I keep hearing how the Bush administration has done so much for the plight of women in the Middle East. Wasn't invading Iraq was all about saving the women and children from fates such as this? (Justification no. 146, if I recall correctly).
How often did this sort of thing happen in Iraq under Saddam Hussain? Very rarely (though I'm sure it did happen). Women were free to attend schools and university, drive cars, and wear what the wanted to (at least in the urban areas).
And now that we have our US-friendly government in power, it's beginning to feel more and more like living in Saudi Arabia for these women. They can no longer walk out of the house alone or uncovered, and they are being intimidated out of the schools and colleges.
I suspect many Iraqi women are beginning to yearn for the "good old days" under Saddam. (If that gets me accused of being a Saddam apologies--which I'm most certainly not--the so be it. It doesn't change the horrific reality that faces these women today one iota.)
Oh, and remember those schools for girls being opened all over Afghanistan? They'll soon be gone too, since we managed not to eradicate the Taliban when we had the chance. Heck of a job, Bushie!
BTW: I abhor what the Islamic fundamentalists are doing in these countries, and they must always shoulder the large majority of the blame for these despicable acts of violence towards women. But I never thought that the American government would be their enablers to this degree. That is what has been so shameful about the past four years.
At the very least --
The sentence was passed at the end of a trial in which the al- Qateef high criminal court convicted four Saudis convicted of the rape, sentencing them to prison terms and a total of 2,230 lashes.
The four, all married, were sentenced respectively to five years and 1,000 lashes, four years and 800 lashes, four years and 350 lashes, and one year and 80 lashes.
And it's certainly comforting to see the progress technology has made:
A fifth, married, man who was stated to have filmed the rape on his mobile phone still faces investigation.
It seems like only yesterday that one could only immortalize a rape for posterity by including it in a holy book.
This is a complete travesty. If the four guys were convicted of the rape the woman is obvioulsy innocent. The Saudi justice system is completely out of whack. Not only do you have stuff like this happen but it is extremely non-transparent and non-Saudis are a lot more likely to get death penalties (beheading in the public square! No really! I used to live there and it was an entertainment to which some citizens took their children! Like the hangings in Britain about 100 years ago) whereas Saudis are allowed to pay off the victim's families.
The story is tragic, but your commentary is funny and dead-on. What will it take to get them to change?
Cuba, Vietnam, Saudi Arabia.
Three countries, two of which we think are more bad than the other. None are Democracies. Yet one gets high praises from our leaders.
Excellent point, Markus.
"A male friend of the rape victim was also sentenced to 90 lashes for being alone with her in the car."
I got the feeling from the original post that she had received the lashings, as opposed to her male friend who actually was sentenced. Not that I agree with the punishment of 90 lashings for being alone with your friend, but there's a lot of Sharia law that I don't agree with.
The very first sentence of the article reads, "A Saudi court has sentenced a gang rape victim to 90 lashes of the whip because she was alone in a car with a man to whom she was not married."
Apparently my reading skills are just *that* impressive.