"Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed."

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Saudi Arabia: Double Standards

In my search just now for a picture, I found this cartoon instead. Since it goes along with the double-and-weird-to-me-standards issue of this post, I decided to use it.

Please note that I am not picking on Saudi Arabia with my recent posts about children and veiled women and rape and homosexuality over there, but I was reading a book that dealt with this country thus why Saudi has been mentioned lately. Hopefully, these issues are rare and my writing about it only brings to attention a very small problem in that part of the world.

Here is my final excerpt from The Consequences of Love by Sulaiman Addonia.

Remembering how at age fifteen he was raped by his kafeel (his sponsor), Eritrean-born Naser recalls . . .

I couldn't go the religious police; not after what happened to one of the kafeel's wife's servants, a Filipino woman who had lived a few blocks down from us.

She had been deported back to the Philippines with her two young children when she reported sexual abuse to the religious police. That had been a year before and I had seen her and her children being dragged out of her house by three religious policemen. She screamed that she was the victim of a rape committed by the Blessed Bader Ibn Abd-Allah. But a policeman smacked her on the face, yelling, "We don't want whores like you coming to this blessed country."

"Classic," whispered our Saudi neighbor who lived on the second floor, and who was standing next to me. "I am sure the kafeel fabricated a lie against her to the religious police to hide his ugly crime and now she is the one being sent back home."

"Shouldn't the Sharia law bring justice in this country?" I protested.

He sighed and said, "The law, son, is only applied to the poor and to foreigners, not to the rich or to the royal family." (pg. 79)

Another lesson Naser learned from an older man:

I recalled what Mr. Quiet had told me when the religious policemen strode past us in the shopping mall looking for illicit love. "If two unmarried lovers get caught," he said, "then the man will be flogged but will live a full life. He will say I am sorry, ya Allah forgive me, and that's his ticket to a happy and a normal life. But the woman, she will find out that once the pain of the lashes subsides, she will endure a greater pain. She will be shamed forever. No man will touch her, no man will want to be her husband, and she will live like a dog with rabies, because if a bullet didn't kill her, then the pain of loneliness and rejection will." (pg. 167)
Where do you see double or weird-to-you standards applied? I know they are not only in Saudi Arabia! If you are like me, you have them in your own life. Right? ;-)


Amber said...

Without telling tales (I'm not gossiping, remember): my work. Let's just say I lack the 'right equipment' to become a manager here.

Susanne said...

Amber, you're so funny! Way to not gossip!! ;)

MuSe said...

i have not read the book yet, couldn't find it around here"Saudi Arabia", and i'm not commenting on what has been said in the book but let me tell you as a Saudi that yes there is a huge descrimination against women and children and foreigners espeically if they are from third world countries, as for homosexual, lol, there is no one label as that, they are jailed and punished hard. sad truth

Susanne said...

MuSe, welcome and thanks so much for your comment. It's always good to hear an insider's perspective! I greatly appreciate you sharing yours.

Well, the book never said "homosexual" relations or even used that word. But men having sex with men is just that so **I** used it. "Rape" was never used when talking about the kafeel forcing Naser to pay his debt with his body, but it is rape so I called it as such.

Yeah, I'm thinking this book won't be found in Saudi Arabia any time soon. :)

Thanks for your visit here. I hope you had a nice birthday recently. :)

Take care.

Achelois said...

Double standards are so common now. Sad. But perhaps they always were.

I too have faced it at work!

KSA is double everything personified.

MuSe said...

Susanne, thanx for your wishes :).

i talked about homsexuality because it's one of the things that are discriminated about in here among many things, and the kafel system is one of the worst things we have around here, worse than being a woman in here is being under the kafel system. and yes rape is rape. as for the book i think i will order it soon from amazon :)

Joni said...

"'The law, son, is only applied to the poor and to foreigners, not to the rich or to the royal family.'"

Well, that certainly resonates with me. The people who have money for a lawyer and for expert witnesses are way more likely to 'get off' for a crime than someone who uses a public defender. Public Defender equals an easy guilty verdict for most people, even when the person might not really be guilty.

Susanne said...

Achelois, you too? :-/

MuSe, thanks for what you shared. I didn't realize the kafeel program was so awful. :-S If you read the book, let me know your thoughts on it. I'll check your blog from now on to see if you write a review. :)

Joni, yes, that's for sure! :(