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.
- "Saudi Arabia Bans Valentine's Day - and the Color Red"
(February 10, 2009)
- "What is Islam? Even Muslims Don't Seem to Agree"
(February 6, 2009)
- "An Egyptian Doctor, a Saudi Princess, and 1,500 lashes"
(November 11, 2008)
- "Saudi Cleric Wants Women to Use One Eye - I'm Not Making This Up"
(October 4, 2008)
- "Mickey Mouse Must Die! Agent of Satan Targeted by Saudi Cleric"
(September 19, 2008)
- " 'Will the Real Islam, Please Stand Up?' "
(February 6, 2008)
- "Saudi Arabia's National Day, Islam, and Tribalism: This is Big"
(September 27, 2008)
- "Muslims Are Not All Alike"
(August 19, 2007)
- "More about 'Yeh Hum Naheen' / 'This is Not Us' "
(August 9, 2007)
- "Saudi court sentences 75-year-old woman to lashes"
The Associated Press (March 9, 2009)
- "Saudis order 40 lashes for elderly woman for mingling"
CNN (March 9, 2009)