February 28, 2008
Saudi Processor Sentenced to 180 Lashes and 8 Months in Jail For Having Coffee with Student
A Saudi professor of psychology at Umm al-Qra University in the city of Mecca, was allegedly lured into a sting operation by religious police as part of a personal vendetta against the teacher. Dr. Abu Ruzaiz received a call from a woman claiming to be one of his students and requesting to meet to discuss a problem that she did not want to discuss over the telephone. Professor Ruzaiz agreed to meet at a family cafe, provided she brought her brother along as a chaperone. When he arrived, the girl was alone and he was promptly surrounded by religious police who handcuffed him and took him into custody. He was accused of being in a state of khulwa — seclusion — with an unrelated woman. The attorney for the professor, Mr. Abdullah Al-Sanousi, told local newspapers that his client had drawn the ire of some of the religious commission’s staff during a training session where he stressed the importantance for them to be polite to the public. Some of the attendees also sought revenge as they failed the professor's course. Professor Ruzaiz later recorded a conversation with the girl in which she admitted she had been sent to the cafe by the religious police. The professor is hoping, but not expecting, an appeals court will overturn the verdict. His lawyer has urged local human rights groups to back his plea for reviewing the case. A spokesman for the Commission in Mecca denied that his staff had conspired against the professor. “They are honourable people and would not create such a trap for any kind of personal revenge,” Ahmad Kasim Al-Ghamdi, told Arab News, a local paper. Mr. Ruzaiz will soon face his 180 lashes and eight month prison sentence.
February 26, 2008
Illiterate Saudi Woman Sentenced to Beheading for Witchcraft
Fawzi Falih, an illiterate Saudi woman, has been sentenced to death for 'witchcraft.' The woman's male accuser claims that the woman made him impotent with her sorcery. An international human rights group said Falih, who faces public beheading, was beaten by religious police and forced into fingerprinting a false confession.
February 20, 2008
70 Year Old Man Sentenced to 30 Lashes For Walking His Dog
A 70 year old Iranian man was sentenced by an Iranian judge to 30 lashes and four months in jail for 'walking his dog'. The incident occured in Shahr Rey, a suburb of Tehran, where police immediately handcuffed and incarsarerated the man. The dog was destoyed. Under Islam, dogs and other domestic animals are "impure" and the government has banned taking dogs on the streets. The ban is particularly hypocritical as Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad recently purchased four dogs in Germany at a cost of 110,000 euros each.
February 19, 2008
Journalist Sentenced To Hard Labor For Reprinting Islam Cartoon
Belarusian journalist Aleksandr Sdvizhkov was incarcerated and sentenced to hard labor for republishing a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad. In January the Minsk court sentenced Sdvizhkov to three years of hard labor in a penal colony for his decision to reprint the cartoons. Olexei Korol, a co-founder of Zgoda (Consensus) newspaper, which published the cartoon, said Sdvizhkov is prohibited from any communication or visitors while incarcerated at the Belarusian Interior Ministry's prison in Minsk. Belarusian strongman President Aleksandr Lukashenko shut down the Zgoda newspaper in March 2006 after Sdvizhkov reprinted the cartoon that showed the founder of Islam with a bomb in his turban. The cartoons originally appeared in the Danish Jyllands-Posten newspaper in 2005 and outraged Muslims who retaliated with demonstrations and anti-Western violence. Interestingly, Belarus is former Soviet republic with a population that is overwhelmingly Orthodox Christian; only about 3 percent of the 9 million residents are Muslim. However, Lukashenko's oppressive, Soviet-style government has a history of quashing independent media, and retains very close ties with Iran.
February 14, 2008
Islam Condemns Valentines Day
Islam considers Valentines Day "haram," or forbidden. Attitudes about Valentine's Day vary throughput the Arab world and are often a measure of the level of fundamentalism. So called devout Muslims charge that only Muslim holidays should be observed, opposing Valentine's Day as a Western celebration of romantic love that corrupts Muslim youth.
Islamic religious activists burn valentines symbol as part of a
backlash against Valentine's Day celebrations across the Muslim world
February 7, 2008
American Woman Boasted of Saudi Freedoms Before Arrest, Strip Search and Incarceration
As initially reported by several media sources, one week after telling President Bush's brother, Neil Bush, that she felt safe in Saudi Arabia, Yara, an American businesswoman who requested her last name remain secret for safety purposes, was arrested by Saudi Arabia's religious police for sitting with a male colleague at Starbucks. Yara was thrown in jail, strip-searched, threatened and forced to sign false confessions by the kingdom's "Mutaween" police. "When I was arrested, it was like going through an avalanche," she said. "All of my beliefs were completely destroyed." Her crime was sitting with a male business partner in a Starbucks restaurant. Public contact between unrelated men and women is strictly prohibited in Saudi Arabia.
The 37-year-old mother of three was born in Tripoli, Libya, to Jordanian parents and grew up in Salt Lake City. In telling of the experience, Yara indicated that "Some men came up to us with very long beards and white dresses. They asked, 'Why are you here together?' I explained ... They got very angry and told me what I was doing was a great sin," Yara recalled. The men were from Saudi Arabia's Commission for Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, a 10,000-strong police force charged with enforcing dress codes, sex segregation and the observance of prayer times. Yara indicated the men grabbed her mobile phone and pushed her into a taxi which drove to Riyadh's main prison. There she was interrogated, strip-searched and forced to sign and fingerprint confessions of guilt. Later, she stood before a judge who condemned her behavior, telling her she would "burn in hell." She is now taking medication to treat post-traumatic stress while she recovers from her ordeal at her family's home in Jeddah. Her husband Hatim, commented "Thank God they did not harm her more. The psychological impact is beyond description. She's normally a very calm, stable woman. Now she's afraid to leave our compound."
January 24, 2008
In yet another case of radical political correctness (PC), the Times of London today reported "Three Pigs Story Judged "Offensive to Muslims."
December 17, 2007
Gang Rape Victim Sentenced to 200 Lashes
A gang-rape victim who was sentenced to six months in prison and 200 lashes for being alone with a man not related to her when she was attacked and repeatedly raped was pardoned by the Saudi king after the case sparked rare criticism from the United States, the kingdom's top ally. The 19 year victim, known only as the "Girl of Qatif" after her hometown in eastern Saudi Arabia, was in a car with a man in 2006 when they were attacked and raped by seven men. She was initially sentenced in November 2006 to several months in prison and 90 lashes for being alone in a car with a man with whom she was neither related nor married, a violation of the kingdom's strict segregation of the sexes.
November 26, 2007
Briton Teacher To Receive 40 Lashes For Permitting Children to Name Teddy Bear Muhammad
British teacher Gillian Gibbons, was arrested at her home in Khartoum, Sudan on Sunday after parents of her students accused her of naming the bear after Islam's prophet. Muhammad is a common name among Muslim men, but the parents saw applying it to a toy animal as an insult. The Sudan Media Center said legal procedures were under way against Gibbons, who taught at the Unity High School in Khartoum, which teaches students aged 4 to 18. The crime is punishable by a fine, 6 months in jail and 40 lashes against the 54 year old teacher. The country's top Muslim clerics insisted the government punish the teacher to the maximum extent, comparing her action to author Salman Rushdie's "blasphemies" against the Prophet Muhammad.