Beating an Old Woman, Saudi Style

It’s time for another segment of “All Religions are Equal”.  In another case of moral outrage, two young men delivered bread to a 75-year-old woman. The Saudi religious police, ever eagle-eyed, spotted the men at the woman’s house and arrested her. Because the men are unrelated to her, she’s been sentences to 40 lashes, 4 months imprisonment, and then deportation, because she’s a Syrian citizen.

Khamisa Mohammed Sawadi tried to argue that one of the men, Fahd, was her son according to Islam because she had breast-fed him, but the court wasn’t buying it. I’m not sure I buy it either, as the man is 24 and she would have been a 50-year-old wet nurse.  But don’t worry, Fahd’s not getting off lightly. He’s getting 40 lashes and four months as well. His friend Hadian has fared even worse. He’s getting six months in prison to heal from 60 lashes.

That’s the Wahhabist approach to Sharia. These are the Muslims that are our allies.

It’s not like everyone in Saudi Arabia is happy about this. “It’s made everybody angry because this is like a grandmother,” Saudi women’s rights activist Wajeha Al-Huwaider told CNN. “Forty lashes — how can she handle that pain? You cannot justify it.” That’s women’s rights activism in Saudi Arabia. It’ s not that Khamisa shouldn’t be beaten, but 40 lashes is too much. And as for the imprisonment, don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time. Or I suppose in her case it should be “don’t take the bread if you can’t be locked up til you’re dead.”

But hey, they’ve got oil and we need it. And they are the good Muslims that are on our side, right? Who are we to say anything? We can’t make value judgements about their culture, after all.

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