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Sick in the head R us March 28, 2008

Posted by Aella in Culture, Links, Saudi Arabia, Saudi culture, Whack.
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Are these people sick or sick or sick? I know it’s an old article and nothing unusual but it still both upsets me and surprises me that the Saudis let these animals roam around arresting people. I wonder where in our religion it says that they can tell a woman to undress (sick fucks you are – u just wanted a glimpse to save for your evening session).

Really, really upsetting. And to think that they are telling her she will go to hell.

Dudes! You have the grand stand in hell!

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“A 37-year-old American businesswoman and married mother of three is seeking justice after she was thrown in jail by Saudi Arabia’s religious police for sitting with a male colleague at a Starbucks coffee shop in Riyadh.

Yara, who does not want her last name published for fear of retribution, was bruised and crying when she was freed from a day in prison after she was strip-searched, threatened and forced to sign false confessions by the Kingdom’s “Mutaween” police.

Her story offers a rare first-hand glimpse of the discrimination faced by women living in Saudi Arabia. In her first interview with the foreign press, Yara told The Times that she would remain in Saudi Arabia to challenge its harsh enforcement of conservative Islam rather than return to America.

“If I want to make a difference I have to stick around. If I leave they win. I can’t just surrender to the terrorist acts of these people,” said Yara, who moved to Jeddah eight years ago with her husband, a prominent businessman.

Her ordeal began with a routine visit to the new Riyadh offices of her finance company, where she is a managing partner.

The electricity temporarily cut out, so Yara and her colleagues — who are all men — went to a nearby Starbucks to use its wireless internet. She sat in a curtained booth with her business partner in the café’s “family” area, the only seats where men and women are allowed to mix.

For Yara, it was a matter of convenience. But in Saudi Arabia, public contact between unrelated men and women is strictly prohibited.

“Some men came up to us with very long beards and white dresses. They asked ‘Why are you here together?’. I explained about the power being out in our office. They got very angry and told me what I was doing was a great sin,” recalled Yara, who wears an abaya and headscarf, like most Saudi women.

The men were from Saudi Arabia’s Commission for Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, a police force of several thousand men charged with enforcing dress codes, sex segregation and the observance of prayers.

Yara, whose parents are Jordanian and grew up in Salt Lake City, once believed that life in Saudi Arabia was becoming more liberal. But on Monday the religious police took her mobile phone, pushed her into a cab and drove her to Malaz prison in Riyadh. She was interrogated, strip-searched and forced to sign and fingerprint a series of confessions pleading guilty to her “crime”.

“They took me into a filthy bathroom, full of water and dirt. They made me take off my clothes and squat and they threw my clothes in this slush and made me put them back on,” she said. Eventually she was taken before a judge.

“He said ‘You are sinful and you are going to burn in hell’. I told him I was sorry. I was very submissive. I had given up. I felt hopeless,” she said.

Yara’s husband, Hatim, used his political contacts in Jeddah to track her whereabouts. He was able to secure her release.

“I was lucky. I met other women in that prison who don’t have the connections I did,” she said. Her story has received rare coverage in Saudi Arabia, where the press has been sharply critical of the police.

Yara was visited yesterday by officials from the American Embassy, who promised they would file a report.

An embassy official told The Times that it was being treated as “an internal Saudi matter” and refused to comment on her case.

Tough justice

— Saudi Arabia’s Mutaween has 10,000 members in almost 500 offices

— Ahmad al-Bluwi, 50, died in custody in 2007 in the city of Tabuk after he invited a woman outside his immediate family into his car

— In 2007 the victim of a gang rape was sentenced to 200 lashes and six years in jail for having been in an unrelated man’s car at the time. She was pardoned by King Abdullah, although he maintained the sentence had been fair

Comments»

1. shadowhispers - March 28, 2008

Last week, a young Saudi couple died in Tabuk in car accident as they were trying to escape a “Mutaween” patrol that was chasing them. The sadly funny part of the story is that the head of the commission said that they had nothing to do with the accident and thier patrol “happened” to be in the area when the crash happened !!!

2. tominoman - March 30, 2008

How about the 13 girls that died in the school fire in Mecca, because they would not let the fire department in. These Mutaween need to be brought under control. They are mostly recruited from prison where they have studied the Quran and claim redemption.

I read a good book by an American Paramedic that lived in Saudi for ten years. It is called “Paramedic to the Prince” written by Tom Notestine.

It really gives an insider view into the Kingdom. He also spent time working on the medical staff of King Abdullah. A great book

3. Nicole - March 31, 2008

One more reason for me never to set foot into that country – as beautiful as it might be.
And I bet things will only get worse in the time to come.

4. Ludde - April 4, 2008

I’ve lived in Saudi Arabia for almost 1.5 years now and sure these cases might sound scary and once the muttawas comes you could only hope for the best, kind of makes me think of the Gestapo during the Nazi period in Germany, anyways, its not very normal that muttawas does these raids and their not supposed to go look behind curtains in cafes if people in their are family, unless they are informed by someone that something weird might go on etc.. Anyways, good reading!

5. Sous - April 4, 2008

Shadowisper,Sick and yea, just like they just happened to be outside the burning school where the girls died. These people are really sick and would not be accepted in a normal society. They abuse islam to harass people. They should be whipped and kicked!

Tominoman, thanks for the book tip. I shall keep my eyes open for it.

Nicole, ah trust me, you have no reason to to there really unless you are a muslim.

Ludde,Thanks. The comparison of Gestapo is a good one😛 .

6. Da Dhnutz, Aka Da Globalization Pimp, Aka El Gato Negro - April 5, 2008

Published stories or not, as some are quite mind boggling, however, what i cannot fathom is this:
………
“If I want to make a difference I have to stick around. If I leave they win. I can’t just surrender to the terrorist acts of these people,” said Yara,….

*scratch head*… really now… you think?….

7. Sous - April 5, 2008

Hehe it’s cute isn’t it😛 . Wish I thought I was making that much of a difference just being around haha.

8. Da Shnutz, Aka Globalization Pimp - April 5, 2008

that was pretty quick….

well … we all do make a difference .. whether we like it or not.. (cation: big topic here.. could delve on subjects like parallel universe, chain reaction… alright getting woozy just saying those big words..)

but erm… Yara, well.. rationality decided to hit the road there.. as in business class 101… when deciding on goals let them be S.M.A.R.T goals.. ie

S:specific
M: manageable
A: attainable <— mucho important …
R: Realistic.<— BIG TIME mucho important
T… ugh.. forgot..

I shall save the planet…

oh wait…

9. zani - April 7, 2008

u know what—if i was king or head of intelligence in saudi, i would call for a meeting of all these bearded bastards at a convention hall in a big five star hotel in riyadh—all these fucking mutawwa and scholars—-no guests in da hotels–then i would have da that convention hall locked and order employees to go away and have my men or da army surround da hotel— and shell it until it becums rubble!!


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