Tuesday, March 10, 2009

House of Saud Lashes Old Woman: Another Tale from the Weird Side

More weirdness from the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques' desert kingdom.

This time, a Saudi court sentenced a 75-year-old Syrian woman named Sawadi to deportation. First, though, she'll be lashed 40 times, and imprisoned for four months.

She's guilty of what, in Saudi Arabia, is a serious offense: lingering with men. Two of them. Much younger than she is. Who were bringing her bread. Five loaves. Sawadi seems to have been accused of corrupting them, too. Which, considering that she asked them to bring the bread, is sort of true.

Providing that you really think that bringing bread to an old woman warrants lashing her 40 times.

This may sound crazy, but in Saudi Arabia it's the law. As enforced by the 'religious police.' Or, more formally, The Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice. (Translated into English)

The religious police are the chaps who enforced the 'no-red' rule on Valentine's Day this year.

"...The Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, feared by many Saudis, is made up of several thousand religious policemen charged with duties such as enforcing dress codes, prayer times and segregation of the sexes. Under Saudi law, women face many restrictions, including a strict dress code and a ban on driving. Women also need to have a man's permission to travel...." (CNN)

Saudi Arabia: Leader of the Islamic World, or a Sort of Sideshow?

Islam got started in what is now Saudi Arabia, and Saudi Arabia's king seems to take quite an interest in Islam: hence the "Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques" title.

How good a representative he and his religious police are is, I think, a point that Muslims around the world should consider. Seriously.

In a way, the antics of Saudi Arabia's rulers shouldn't be in a War on Terror blog. But, since this conflict involves what some people think Islam ought to be, and since Saudi Arabia is thought by some (including, apparently the king), I think it's reasonable now and again to discuss the Keystone Cops show that passes for Saudi law and justice.

Related Posts: In the newsRelated posts, on Islam, Christianity, Religion, Culture and the War on Terror.

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Note! Although I believe that these websites and blogs are useful resources for understanding the War on Terror, I do not necessarily agree with their opinions. 1 1 Given a recent misunderstanding of the phrase "useful resources," a clarification: I do not limit my reading to resources which support my views, or even to those which appear to be accurate. Reading opinions contrary to what I believed has been very useful at times: sometimes verifying my previous assumptions, sometimes encouraging me to change them.

Even resources which, in my opinion, are simply inaccurate are sometimes useful: these can give valuable insights into why some people or groups believe what they do.

In short, It is my opinion that some of the resources in this blogroll are neither accurate, nor unbiased. I do, however, believe that they are useful in understanding the War on Terror, the many versions of Islam, terrorism, and related topics.