Woman Arrested By "Religious Police" To Be Executed As Witch

The woman or or representatives were not allowed to attend the trial. Her conviction is based on a written confession to which her fingerprints are attached. She is illiterate and could not read the confession. There are indications that this "conviction" is actually a crime of retribution by a man who is impotent, and who blames his impotence on this woman. A higher court has overturned the conviction, but other courts have intervened and re-sentenced her to death on the grounds that it is in the public interest that she be killed, presumably, beheaded, which is the usual way in Saudi Arabia.

International agencies are asking The King to intervene.
[Source]

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Saudi Arabia is one screwed up, vile little backwater of a barbarous craphole. You have to read the case of Fawza Falih. She has been condemned to death. By beheading. She has been beaten to the point of hospitalization during her incarceration. The authorities have a signed confession, which she…
I'll be visiting the family in the Pacific Northwest later this summer, and I'm going to be very, very careful on the road. The police are authorized to torture you for traffic violations; the courts have recently decided that a case of a pregnant woman who was tasered for refusing to sign a…
Psychology Today has a trio of articles relating to crime and justice. The first article is possibly the most interesting. It offers some compelling data on the frequency of false confessions: Although it is difficult, if not impossible, to estimate the number of false confessions nationwide, a…
This is the kind of story that makes it difficult to remain culturally relativistic. it also makes it hard to look at women who are in purdah walking around in a "free" country like the US and not, in part blame them for compliance. A woman was gang raped in Saudi Arabia. Fourteen times.…

Maybe we all need to rethink foreign relations.

What if we arrested all the Saudis in the US, including those in the UN, and beheaded them, sending their corpses back home via diplomatic pouch?

Would the King see this as a sign of trouble? If not, might his courtiers wise up, behead the King, and try to reign in their crazies?

By Awk_and_Pshaw (not verified) on 14 Feb 2008 #permalink

The House of Saud has a major problem on its hands. In essence they are allied with U.S. interests which causes no end of trouble for them. But the money flow is just too good.

The Wahabist sect that essentially runs Saudi Arabia is batshit crazy though. The House of Saud toes a fine line when dealing with them.

So that is why you see beheading used for fictional crimes.

Still, we should have invaded Saudi Arabia, not Iraq. When 17 of the 19 hijackers on 9/11/2001 were Saudi that should have been a clear message.

If this wasn't real, it would be funny. Indeed, it would be simpsonesque:

Narrator: "..last in science"
Skinner: [tied to a stake] "I'm telling you people, the Earth revolves around the sun."
Photographer: [snaps camera] "What a scoop!"
Grampa: "You've stolen my so-ul!"

By Jason Failes (not verified) on 14 Feb 2008 #permalink

who are you to judge? it's their culture and their values. easy as a privileged white-male for you to judge, but how many white-males abuse women and men of color every day?

razib, that was a most excellent parody of the folly of excessive relativism. I hope.

By Virgil Samms (not verified) on 14 Feb 2008 #permalink

Razib, if you go back and carefully read what I wrote, I think it is actually a pretty objective description of just the facts.

Who am I to judge????

"Who are you to judge? It's their culture and their values."

That's enough from you, Archbishop Williams.

Parody aside, some people need the reminder: women aren't "culture," they're people. There's no excuse. And I'm sure a lot of Saudi Arabians are sick of living under such murderous bullshit.

I think it is actually a pretty objective description of just the facts.

within the house of white-male privilege "objectivity" is always defined by the bounds of eurocentric normative frameworks. all judgments presuppose subjective norms; and surprise, white-male judgments always seem to render them the rescuers of women from the oppression of men of color!

Parody aside, some people need the reminder: women aren't "culture," they're people.

who are you to say what is, and isn't, within the purviews of culture? i'm sure within your own life you presuppose specieist ethics.

OK, Razib, you're a smart guy and we all know you are joking, but this is worth a comment.

There is a culture. You could call it the saudi culture if you want, that is probably not the best term but it works for a comment on a blog post.

The culture is made up of people who participate in it. If it is a patriarchal culture, we could define the culture as made up of the men who participate in it, but that would be absurd. So we'll include the women.

In any given culture, people feel "normal" or "satisfied" or whatever when certain things happen, and uncomfortable or icky or unsatisfied when other things happen. This is an oversimplification, but it will work for a comment on a blog post.

This sense of normalcy is canalized by the cultural experience itself during maturation, or during acculturation. Once we are there, with a culture with people existing as cultural beings in that culture, we can turn on the relativistic framework and say things like "Oh, those people do this thing, and it seems strange to me from my perspective, but it is their culture and it is thus OK."

But, you'd better check before you say that. An athropologist that I will not name once wrote about how he saw a group of men dragging a girl off to the forest to rape her. A group of old women had the girl by one arm, trying to save her, the men by the other arm. He considered intervening to stop the rape, but decided not to because this was their culture, and he wanted to be all relativistic and shit.

The girl was gang banged for a couple of hours in the forest. The old women went home and wept.

What a nice piece of cultural relativism! Five men dragging the girl to the forest, the girl screaming that she does not want to be raped, five women trying to save her. Five men participating in the cultural practice of rape (and in that particular culture this is in deed a practice) and six women participating in the cultural practice of trying to not be raped. And the anthropologist assumed that the "normal cultural practice" that one should not interfere with is the violent one.

Prove to me that this "witch" wants to have her head cut off with a sabre in order to be culturally fulfilled and I'll listen to this crazy argument of yours!

What Greg said.

Razib, I hope to hell that you are trying to parody this position, but an innocent woman has been savagely beaten and is likely to be killed unless the international community can find a way to influence the Saudi gov't again. That's not exactly the ideal RL-immediate situation to use as the basis of a spoof of cultural relativism. It has about the same amount of humor as a parody of the woman who was gang-raped being flogged for her crime of being near the men.

By Luna_the_cat (not verified) on 15 Feb 2008 #permalink

That's not exactly the ideal RL-immediate situation to use as the basis of a spoof of cultural relativism.

it's exactly the ideal situation. some of these women could be my relatives. i've been listening to western liberals talk about "how beautiful" muslim culture is for years (for reasons as trivial as the fact that they were treated well as guests). the "feminist card" doesn't work nearly as well as it used to. and western liberals routinely give islam a pass they never would give toward christianity. you know, because "muslims are oppressed." spare me your outraged righteousness, american feminists routinely compared their own problems to those of women in places like saudi arabia. it's disgusting.

Five men dragging the girl to the forest, the girl screaming that she does not want to be raped, five women trying to save her. Five men participating in the cultural practice of rape (and in that particular culture this is in deed a practice) and six women participating in the cultural practice of trying to not be raped.

it isn't a men vs. women thing though. on average it might be. but cultural presuppositions are strong. you know very well that in many contexts most women in "conservative" societies aren't particularly sympathetic to feminism. their frames are different. it isn't a matter of just liberating women.

and the left has turned to so much deconstructionist gibberish against white males that i can go on for hours in the vein as above. three cheers for white males! better than the rest!

Razib, to hear you talk there is no such thing as an objective way to evaluate a situation. Just how wildly insane do the outcomes have to become before you are willing to certify them as unsupportable and unjust, irrespective of cultural frameworks? If you find a charge of witchcraft credible, what won't you find credible? When the police come for you on charges of being an illegal alien -- from Jupiter, that is -- I hope you will go without a fuss. After all, they're just doing the job their culture asks of them, and who am I to judge?

Razib, you are spot on--after reading all of your posts above.

I would love for you to come to my neighborhood: that paradigm of evil white men abusing people of color 'and women' worked for the last fifty years, and had merit ONCE UPON A TIME, but the reality ? No longer extant in day to day life outside of the Billy Bobs of Florida, etc .

"white-male judgments always seem to render them the rescuers of women from the oppression of men of color,"is actually valid to some extent, and evidenced most strikingly in liberal academics--despite their constant, and as you point out, western feminist incapacitated (cuckolded)perspectives.

It is the simplistic deconstructionist straw man that has occupied the minds of men who don't feel 'white enough' of the last three decades to get some white woman booty, and this reliance of those men on angry bitter white women. Go, get some white woman booty, you can have 'em all....go forward, and conquer academia, with the white feminist crying bloody murder over a funny look in an elevator, while women of color are raped and dehumanized daily-- Every time I hear this distinct whine, I realize that it comes from someone in the upper class 'jungle' of upwardly mobile academic class--an alliance of those whose lives have been spent in books.

Been to Atlanta, Detroit, Chicago, or LA lately? No, I mean the real city, the part past the doorsteps of lecture halls and theaters--I can't remember one street corner from my pedestrian reality where I saw or witnessed white men abusing folks of color--that is so 1962-- but I can recount you many tales otherwise--with white apologists scrambling for cultural territory where they can express white guilt, and espouse the new subjectivity of self hating upper middle class-racism/gender-racism as it vomits out on the lower classes: it is the recreation of Victorian era white female privilege, if anything.

"it isn't a matter of just liberating women." Spot on, again. It is about the failure of women here in Babylon to prove their thesis that we are a "rape culture", and exporting that failed ideology--victimology-- overseas. My favorite example from the last decade, was when "we" went into Afghanistan, and the first headline we read about our incursion into Taliban territory is that women finally get a 'chance' to lift their veils....as if it is a all a big Western feminist peep show;-)

Eve Ensler, et al jus' love new Vaginas;-)

By the real cmf (not verified) on 15 Feb 2008 #permalink

I have to admit, I haven't been able to determine with any confidence whether razib is parodying or serious.

Razib -- wait, is your argument supposed to be "white people used to give Muslim culture a free pass on bad behavior, based on their own cultural misconceptions, so now they are not allowed to criticise Muslim bad behavior, because it's *still* all their own cultural misconceptions"...? This is just about the most coherent interpretation I can give your anti-liberal, anti-feminist, anti-white, anti-western rant there.

Well,
(a) there are a lot of white, western, men and women both who never declared that Islam was a "beautiful" culture or advocated giving it a free pass for bad behavior towards women or anyone else on the basis of cultural tradition, and tarring everyone who is white and western with the same brush is absolutely as stupid as tarring everyone "black", "colored" or "Middle Eastern" with the same brush, and you bloody well ought to know better.

(b) Saying that western feminists falsely compared our problems here to the problems of women in Muslim culture, making it completely invalid for feminists to be outraged about the plight of women there, is equally stupid and fallacious, given that, first, not all feminists did that, but many did use Muslim culture as an example of an enshrinement of male privilege (contradicting what you state in a, above); and second, equally, given the simple fact that even if other people have it far worse, this in no way invalidates efforts to make one's own life better.

(c) Saying that no-one outside a culture has the right to criticise lunatic behavior or blatant injustice is absolute crap. Tom said it better than I could.

You are being an idiot. Really, you seem to be serious, this doesn't seem to just be a parody, and I have lost all and any respect for you that I might ever have had. Your position is absolutely astonishingly bitter and illogical, not to mention defends the absolutely indefensible.

By Luna_the_cat (not verified) on 16 Feb 2008 #permalink

Tyler. You got a cookie, it's on your computer. Who knows what it does!

Ah, so a grand "fuck you" to you too, then, Razib. Nothing like a little light trolling to make people think well of you. I'm awfully glad you're not serious, and yeah, I had begun to think you were, but what the hell...the internets are already full of fuckwits and idiots who really do think that way. There is no position of parody so stupid or extreme that someone, somewhere, doesn't defend it seriously.

What do you think you improve by pretending to be yet-another-idiot? To make us take it less seriously? Why? This crap is still out there, this being a farce doesn't make it go away. To amuse yourself at our expense? Thanks, such a sweetie you are. I have enough people in my life who annoy me to be impressed with someone reasonably intelligent who decides to be an asshat just for fun. You have nothing more constructive to do with your time?

Meh. Wildly, wildly unimpressed. The fact that it's a joke to you is frankly almost as bad as when I thought you were serious. A real, live, human being is sitting in a prison where she has been tortured, for the third year of her imprisonment, wondering if she gets to live or if she gets beheaded in a day or two. But this is just a little light entertainment to get us to stop taking it all so seriously. Fab-tastic.

Wait, I'm sorry. You should have a chance to speak for yourself. Could you share with us, please, why you thought being a troll for a while was a good thing?

By Luna_the_cat (not verified) on 19 Feb 2008 #permalink