Saudi gang-rape victim gets 90 lashes for International Women’s Day

March 08, 2007

* After being kidnapped at knifepoint, gang-raped 14 times by her captors and then beaten by her brother, a young Saudi woman is sentenced to 90 lashes for meeting a man who was not a relative

* Reported in the Arab media and on Fox News, but...

* Where is the reporting in The New York Times?

* The BBC World service also ignores it, instead leading with a bogus anti-Israel story

***

This dispatch is dedicated to the real women victims around the world, not the often phony official campaigns in the West held to mark today’s International Women’s Day.

 

CONTENTS

1. Afterwards, she tried to commit suicide
2. “Adopt a universal standard of human rights”
3. Women’s rights activists arrested in Teheran
4. Update on Jimmy Carter and CAIR
5. “How my eyes were opened to the barbarity of Islam” (London Times, March 7, 2007)
6. “Saudi gang-rape victim faces 90 lashes” (AFP, March 5, 2007)



[Notes below by Tom Gross]

AFTERWARDS, SHE TRIED TO COMMIT SUICIDE

Today, March 8, marks International Women’s Day. The mainstream media, including the New York Times and the BBC, have true to form, since they specialize only in skewering the news against Israel and the U.S. completely ignored the news that “A Saudi woman who was kidnapped at knifepoint, gang-raped and then beaten by her brother has been sentenced to 90 lashes for meeting a man who was not a relative.”

The sentencing earlier this week has been reported by AFP and in Arab media, including the Khaleej Times (published in the United Arab Emirates) and the Saudi Gazette. But as far as I can tell the only Western mainstream media outlets to have covered the story are Fox News and the Scotsman (a Scottish newspaper). This is despite the fact that most Western media subscribe to AFP.

The 19-year-old Saudi woman was abducted by a gang of men wielding kitchen knives who took her to a farm where she was raped 14 times by her captors. Five men were arrested for the rape and given jail terms ranging from 10 months to five years by a panel of judges in the eastern Saudi city of Qatif, near the teenager’s hometown.

But the judges also decided to sentence the young woman, identified only as “G,” to 90 lashes. “G” was told by one of the judges that she was lucky not to have been given jail time. She said yesterday that she would appeal against her sentence.

The woman told the Saudi Gazette that she tried to commit suicide because of her ordeal and was beaten by her younger brother because the rape had brought shame on their family.

Unrelated men and women are forbidden from interacting in public in Saudi Arabia, which strictly enforces Islamic Sharia law of a kind many European Muslims say they would like to introduce in countries like Britain and France.

* On the official International Women’s Day website, there is nothing about Saudi Arabia, just publicity for the “Lighting candles for Women in Palestinian society” event.

* For more on Saudi Arabia see the dispatch Saudi police ban the sale of cats and dogs (& Gaddafi’s son: Pope must convert) (Sept. 21, 2006), in which two of the notes were on a six-year-old girl burned to death in an “honor” killing in Birmingham, England, and a horrific 12-day gang rape of a mother and daughter in Pakistan as punishment for the daughter wanting to go to college.

 

“ADOPT A UNIVERSAL STANDARD OF HUMAN RIGHTS”

The first article below is by Phyllis Chesler, a professor of psychology and women’s studies at the City University of New York, who for a short time was married to an Afghan man.

Chesler (who is also a long-time subscriber to this email list) writes in The Times of London of what she witnessed as a bride in Afghanistan. In an article titled “How my eyes were opened to the barbarity of Islam: Is it racist to condemn fanaticism?” she says:

“Long before the rise of the Taleban, I learnt not to romanticise Third World countries or to confuse their hideous tyrants with liberators. I also learnt that sexual and religious apartheid in Muslim countries is indigenous and not the result of Western crimes and that such ‘colourful tribal customs’ are absolutely, not relatively, evil. Long before al-Qaeda beheaded Daniel Pearl in Pakistan and Nicholas Berg in Iraq, I understood that it was dangerous for a Westerner, especially a woman, to live in a Muslim country. In retrospect, I believe my so-called Western feminism was forged in that most beautiful and treacherous of Eastern countries.

“Nevertheless, Western intellectual-ideologues, including feminists, have demonised me as a reactionary and racist ‘Islamophobe’ for arguing that Islam, not Israel, is the largest practitioner of both sexual and religious apartheid in the world and that if Westerners do not stand up to this apartheid, morally, economically and militarily, we will not only have the blood of innocents on our hands; we will also be overrun by Sharia in the West. I have been heckled, menaced, never-invited, or disinvited for such heretical ideas and for denouncing the epidemic of Muslim-on-Muslim violence for which tiny Israel is routinely, unbelievably scapegoated.”

Chesler urges Western intellectuals to “adopt a universal standard of human rights and abandon our loyalty to multicultural relativism, which justifies, even romanticises, indigenous Islamist barbarism, totalitarian terrorism and the persecution of women, religious minorities, homosexuals and intellectuals. Our abject refusal to judge between civilisation and barbarism, and between enlightened rationalism and theocratic fundamentalism, endangers and condemns the victims of Islamic tyranny.”

I recommend reading Chesler’s piece (below) in full, including her experience of how she became a “captive in Kabul” of “a charming, seductive and Westernized Afghan Muslim whom I met at an American college.” “Overnight, my husband became a stranger. The man with whom I had discussed Camus, Dostoevsky, Tennessee Williams and the Italian cinema became a stranger.”

As Chesler says, “Ibn Warraq has written a devastating work that will be out by the summer. It is entitled ‘Defending the West: A Critique of Edward Said’s Orientalism.’ Will Western intellectuals also dare to defend the West?”

Tom Gross adds: the great Ibn Warraq a real expert on Islam has been all but ignored by liberal left media who instead for years have promoted the untruths espoused by the likes of Noam Chomsky and Edward Said. Will they take his latest book seriously?

 

WOMEN’S RIGHTS ACTIVISTS ARRESTED IN TEHERAN

In honor of International Women’s Day, I also repeat the following item from yesterday’s dispatch:

Iranian security forces on Sunday arrested 33 women’s rights activists rallying outside a Teheran court where a group of their fellow campaigners were standing trial for having demonstrated last year. The 33 were taken to the notorious Evin prison, which has the largest number of political prisoners in Iran and where many prisoners say they have been tortured.

The arrests on Sunday were part of a crackdown against political activity by women and protests in general since President Ahmadinejad came to power in 2005.

Five women were standing trial for organizing an “unauthorized” rally to ask for equal rights for women. Seventy people, most of them women, were arrested at the protest last June when they called for improved rights and changes to laws discriminating against women. Under Iranian law, married women have to go through a lengthy process to be granted a divorce, and the testimony of two women is equal to that of one man.

* Today marks International Women’s Day, and some western NGOs (predictably) use the occasion to attack Israel and America. Next year they might want to try criticizing the following practices against women, which are widespread in the Muslim world:

1. Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)
2. Trafficking of women
3. Incest
4. Honor Killings

And instead of attacking Israel, they also might like to demand the rights of women to:

1. Freedom of religion
2. Education
3. Free speech
4. Participation in the electoral process

 

UPDATE ON JIMMY CARTER AND CAIR

This is an update to previous dispatches on this email list / website on Jimmy Carter’s anti-Israel book, which led to many resignations from the Carter Center and was denounced for its lies about Israel even by many American leftists.

The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), regarded by many as an extremist group with increasing influence in American society and politics, is sending free copies of Carter’s book to library administrators throughout the U.S.

A letter from CAIR to U.S. libraries has been obtained by the LittleGreenFootballs blog. It can be seen here.

CAIR, which now has 32 offices across the U.S. and Canada, this week also lashed out at the leading moderate Muslims many of whom, like Amir Taheri, subscribe to this email list who have been holding a secular Islam conference in recent days in Florida. Phyllis Chesler, mentioned above, chaired the opening panel of the conference.

As Investor’s Business Daily, one of the only mainstream media sources unafraid to criticize CAIR, writes this week: “In CAIR’s kooky world, the Zionists are behind everything, even 9/11. But if anyone was behind 9/11, it was the Saudis. And guess who bankrolls CAIR? Right: the Saudis.”

I attach two articles below.

-- Tom Gross



FULL ARTICLES

“WHAT WE NEED NOW IS AN AGE OF ENLIGHTENMENT IN THE ISLAMIC WORLD”

How my eyes were opened to the barbarity of Islam
Is it racist to condemn fanaticism?
By Phyllis Chesler
The Times of London
March 7, 2007

www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/guest_contributors/article1480090.ece

Once I was held captive in Kabul. I was the bride of a charming, seductive and Westernised Afghan Muslim whom I met at an American college. The purdah I experienced was relatively posh but the sequestered all-female life was not my cup of chai nor was the male hostility to veiled, partly veiled and unveiled women in public.

When we landed in Kabul, an airport official smoothly confiscated my US passport. “Don’t worry, it’s just a formality,” my husband assured me. I never saw that passport again. I later learnt that this was routinely done to foreign wives perhaps to make it impossible for them to leave. Overnight, my husband became a stranger. The man with whom I had discussed Camus, Dostoevsky, Tennessee Williams and the Italian cinema became a stranger. He treated me the same way his father and elder brother treated their wives: distantly, with a hint of disdain and embarrassment.

In our two years together, my future husband had never once mentioned that his father had three wives and 21 children. Nor did he tell me that I would be expected to live as if I had been reared as an Afghan woman. I was supposed to lead a largely indoor life among women, to go out only with a male escort and to spend my days waiting for my husband to return or visiting female relatives, or having new (and very fashionable) clothes made.

In America, my husband was proud that I was a natural-born rebel and free thinker. In Afghanistan, my criticism of the treatment of women and of the poor rendered him suspect, vulnerable. He mocked my horrified reactions. But I knew what my eyes and ears told me. I saw how poor women in chadaris were forced to sit at the back of the bus and had to keep yielding their place on line in the bazaar to any man.

I saw how polygamous, arranged marriages and child brides led to chronic female suffering and to rivalry between co-wives and half-brothers; how the subordination and sequestration of women led to a profound estrangement between the sexes one that led to wife-beating, marital rape and to a rampant but hotly denied male “prison”-like homosexuality and pederasty; how frustrated, neglected and uneducated women tormented their daughter-in-laws and female servants; how women were not allowed to pray in mosques or visit male doctors (their husbands described the symptoms in their absence).

Individual Afghans were enchantingly courteous but the Afghanistan I knew was a bastion of illiteracy, poverty, treachery and preventable diseases. It was also a police state, a feudal monarchy and a theocracy, rank with fear and paranoia. Afghanistan had never been colonised. My relatives said: “Not even the British could occupy us.” Thus I was forced to conclude that Afghan barbarism was of their own making and could not be attributed to Western imperialism.

Long before the rise of the Taleban, I learnt not to romanticise Third World countries or to confuse their hideous tyrants with liberators. I also learnt that sexual and religious apartheid in Muslim countries is indigenous and not the result of Western crimes and that such “colourful tribal customs” are absolutely, not relatively, evil. Long before al-Qaeda beheaded Daniel Pearl in Pakistan and Nicholas Berg in Iraq, I understood that it was dangerous for a Westerner, especially a woman, to live in a Muslim country. In retrospect, I believe my so-called Western feminism was forged in that most beautiful and treacherous of Eastern countries.

Nevertheless, Western intellectual-ideologues, including feminists, have demonised me as a reactionary and racist “Islamophobe” for arguing that Islam, not Israel, is the largest practitioner of both sexual and religious apartheid in the world and that if Westerners do not stand up to this apartheid, morally, economically and militarily, we will not only have the blood of innocents on our hands; we will also be overrun by Sharia in the West. I have been heckled, menaced, never-invited, or disinvited for such heretical ideas and for denouncing the epidemic of Muslim-on-Muslim violence for which tiny Israel is routinely, unbelievably scapegoated.

However, my views have found favour with the bravest and most enlightened people alive. Leading secular Muslim and ex-Muslim dissidents from Egypt, Bangladesh, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Pakistan, Syria and exiles from Europe and North America assembled for the landmark Islamic Summit Conference in Florida and invited me to chair the opening panel on Monday.

According to the chair of the meeting, Ibn Warraq: “What we need now is an age of enlightenment in the Islamic world. Without critical examination of Islam, it will remain dogmatic, fanatical and intolerant and will continue to stifle thought, human rights, individuality, originality and truth.” The conference issued a declaration calling for such a new “Enlightenment”. The declaration views “Islamophobia” as a false allegation, sees a “noble future for Islam as a personal faith, not a political doctrine” and “demands the release of Islam from its captivity to the ambitions of power-hungry men”.

Now is the time for Western intellectuals who claim to be antiracists and committed to human rights to stand with these dissidents. To do so requires that we adopt a universal standard of human rights and abandon our loyalty to multicultural relativism, which justifies, even romanticises, indigenous Islamist barbarism, totalitarian terrorism and the persecution of women, religious minorities, homosexuals and intellectuals. Our abject refusal to judge between civilisation and barbarism, and between enlightened rationalism and theocratic fundamentalism, endangers and condemns the victims of Islamic tyranny.

Ibn Warraq has written a devastating work that will be out by the summer. It is entitled Defending the West: A Critique of Edward Said’s Orientalism. Will Western intellectuals also dare to defend the West?

 

“NO RAPE VICTIM IS GUILTY”

Saudi gang-rape victim faces 90 lashes
Agence France Presse (AFP)
March 5, 2007

www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticleNew.asp?xfile=data/middleeast/2007/March/middleeast_March71.xml§ion=middleeast

A Saudi woman who was kidnapped at knifepoint, gang-raped and then beaten by her brother has been sentenced to 90 lashes for a meeting a man who was not a relative, a newspaper reported on Monday.

In an interview with the Saudi Gazette, the 19-year-old said she was blackmailed a year ago into meeting a man who threatened to tell her family they were having a relationship outside wedlock, which is illegal in the ultra-conservative desert kingdom.

After driving off together from a shopping mall near her home, the woman and the man were stopped and abducted by a gang of men wielding kitchen knives who took them to a farm where she was raped 14 times by her captors.

Five men were arrested for the rape and given jail terms ranging from 10 months to five years by a panel of judges in the eastern city of Qatif, near the woman’s hometown.

But the judges also decided to sentence the woman, identified by the newspaper only as ‘G,’ and the man to lashes for being alone together in the car.

Unrelated men and women are forbidden from interacting in public in Saudi Arabia, which strictly enforces Islamic Sharia law.

‘G’ said one of the judges told she was lucky not to have been given jail time. ‘I was shocked at the verdict. I couldn’t believe my ears,’ said the woman, who has appealed against her sentence.

The woman also told the paper she tried to commit suicide because of her ordeal and was beaten by her younger brother because the rape had brought shame on their family.

Fuziyah Al Ouni, described as an activist by the paper, said she was outraged by the case. ‘By sentencing her to 90 lashes they are sending a message that she is guilty. No rape victim is guilty,’ she said.

There are severe legal restrictions on women in Saudi Arabia, including a strict dress code required outside the home and a ban on driving.


All notes and summaries copyright © Tom Gross. All rights reserved.