Archive for the 'Middle East' Category

09
May
08

Video: Islamic Honor Killings and Mutilations

YouTube link


International Campaign Against Honour Killings

Related:

[Update 4: Reward is now $25,000!] Sarah and Amina Said’s Family Fight to Keep Their Deaths in the Public Eye

[Update 4] Texas: Dis-Honor killing of two sisters

Brigitte Gabriel on Honor Killings

When religious devotion outweighs the sanctity of life

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21
Mar
08

Saudi Arabian Hypocrisy!

I am not shocked. And I would not expect any less from the mangy Saudis. They fund various Islamic related groups, mosques and collegiate studies in the US and elsewhere. For them to expect the Catholic Church to accept Mohammad (as a prophet) as prerequisite for Church’s in Saudi. Is a mind blowing arrogance. Recognizing Mohammad as a prophet would be going against the faith. They may as well be saying say convert or else. It is as simple as that. Of course that would still mean no church’s. There would be no longer be any need for Catholic Church’s (anywhere). Since Catholicism will have dissipated. The Catholic faith accepting Mohammad as a prophet would be a blasphemous act.

It is a lose, lose situation. Basically they are saying no to church’s in Saudi. Because surely even in their wildest dreams they do not believe that the Catholic Church will go along with such a demand.

Saudi Arabia: No churches unless prophet Mohammed recognised, says expert

Riyadh, 20 March (AKI) – No churches should be permitted in Saudi Arabia, unless Pope Benedict XVI recognised the prophet Mohammed, according to a Middle East expert.

While Saudi mediators are working with the Vatican on negotiations to allow places of religious worship, some experts believe it will not occur without this recognition.

Anwar Ashiqi, president of the Saudi centre for Middle East strategic studies, endorsed this view in an interview on the site of Arab satellite TV network, al-Arabiya on Thursday.

“I haven taken part in several meetings related to Islamic-Christian dialogue and there have been negotiations on this issue,” he said.

“It would be possible to launch official negotiations to construct a church in Saudi Arabia only after the Pope and all the Christian churches recognise the prophet Mohammed.”

“If they don’t recognise him as a prophet, how can we have a church in the Saudi kingdom?”

Ashiqi’s comments came after a declaration launched by the papal nuncio of the Persian Gulf, the archbishop Mounged El-Hachem, at the opening of the first Catholic church in Qatar last week.

The prelate had announced the launch of “treaties to construct a church in Saudi Arabia where it is banned to practise whatever religion they want outside Islam”.

El-Hachem estimated three to four million Christians in the Saudi kingdom who want to have a church.

A member of Saudi Arabia’s Consultative Council, Abdelaziz al-Thinani, rejected the prelate’s claims saying that there were no Christians among the Saudis who were all Muslims.

“Those few Christians do not reside in the country permanently, they come and go,” he said.

He denied there were four million Christians in the kingdom and said the issue of human rights should not be used to call for the construction of a Christian church.

Most of Saudi Arabia’s Christians are foreign workers. There are 8.2 million foreign workers in a country of 25.6 million people according to a report by the Saudi Labour Ministry.

15
Mar
08

Qatar: Millitant Islamists Oppose Catholic Church Opening

Westerners cautioned in Qatar
Sun, 16 Mar 2008 06:33:42

Western embassies in Qatar urge their citizens to be alert after a militant website opposed the opening of the first church in the country.

The British embassy in Qatar said the website flagged the opening on Friday of St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church in Doha, the first of five to be built in the gas-rich state.

cyber-jihad-01200899_100.jpgThe authorities are aware of this and are taking appropriate security measures,” the embassy said on its website, without indicating what the unidentified militant website said.


British citizens should “maintain a high level of security awareness, particularly in public places… you should avoid large gatherings and demonstrations,” it said.

In March 2005, a suicide bombing in Doha killed one Briton and wounded 12 people.

The US embassy in Qatar on Thursday also released a warning that the new Doha church might be a target for attack.

Qatar is a close ally of Washington and hosts the command headquarters for US forces in the Middle East.

The Australian embassy in the United Arab Emirates, which is responsible for affairs in Qatar, said it was aware of the militant website’s reference to the church, which has no bells or crosses on its exterior.

“We advise you to exercise a high degree of caution in Qatar because of the high threat of terrorist attacks,” it claimed on its website.


On a side note: Saudia Arabia does NOT allow Christian churches. Though they fund Mosques and CAIR in the US.

03
Mar
08

Does a Form of Slavery Exist in Saudi Arabia?

Repatriated Lankan Maid Claims Torture, Nonpayment of Wages

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RIYADH, 3 March 2008 — A Sri Lankan maid, who was tortured brutally by her employer’s wife, has been forcibly sent home without being paid a year’s salary.

“I was tortured severely. The sponsor’s wife burned me with an iron rod, poured disinfectant and gasoline on me and threatened to burn me alive; she also said she would cut my hair to make me ugly,” said Madhuwanthie, the 28-year-old Sri Lankan woman.

Madhuwanthie has — through the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) — sought the intervention of the Sri Lankan Embassy in Riyadh to contact her sponsor and get her salary dues.

Madhuwanthie, who worked for the household for 21 months, has only received pay for the first nine months of her employment. “Every time I asked for my salary, they would beat me and threaten to hand me over to the police on false charges,” she said in a letter to SLBFE. “I did not have the opportunity to contact the embassy since the telephone was out of my reach.”

According to a Sri Lankan Embassy official, the mission needs to come up with a system whereby it is informed when a domestic worker is sent on final exit.

“This is a clear case of sponsor deserting worker. The sponsor sent the maid home stealthily without anyone’s knowledge fearing he would be questioned for torture and nonpayment of salaries,” said the official.

He added that it would be better if the mission could tackle problems in the presence of both the employer and the employee. Third party inquiries are ineffective since both sides cannot be heard together and a firm commitment from the sponsor cannot be obtained. However, he said the mission would take up the matter with the relevant authorities.

The Sri Lankan Embassy in Riyadh receives an average of nine cases of runaway maids each day. The mission has opened a 24-hour cell to accommodate such cases and report them to the proper authorities. The country’s missions in Jeddah and Riyadh also run safe houses for such workers till problems are resolved. Common complaints by the maids include nonpayment of salaries, harassment and being forced to continue work beyond contract periods. Source.

H/T Doctor Bulldog

Slaves in Saudi

The unpalatable truth is that, the Ottoman and Persian empires were one of the last to abolish slavery, falling far behind their European counterparts in matters of human emancipation. Full abolition of slavery did not come until the twentieth century, with Saudi Arabia holding out until 1962. Given that desert kingdom’s shameful record on this basic human right, it was no surprise to read Human Rights Watch’s report and find that today’s migrant workers are kept in conditions of “near-slavery.”

The Muslim world is sliding backwards into medievalism, and it is time for reformers to speak openly and bravely. There is a cancer that is eating away at our soul — a disease marked by paranoia, double standards and virulent racism. While we are in full-throated cry against abuses in Iraq and Palestine, we stay completely silent when it is Muslims who are the abusers (of both non-Muslims and Muslims).

How else to explain our outpouring of sympathy for the Bosnian genocide, but our complete silence on the ongoing genocide in Sudan? In that country’s civil war between the Arab Muslim North, and the black Christian and Animist South, 2 million people have been killed to date. In a BBC profile of the hundreds of black Africans who have been raped by pro-government Janjaweed Arab militia, one victim described the attackers: “They called me Abeid (slave in Arabic).”

Shame on the Muslim world for staying silent!

BAD DREAMS:
Exploitation and Abuse of Migrant Workers in Saudi Arabia – Human Rights Watch

Summary

an excerpt

“It was like a bad dream” is the way one migrant worker from the Philippines summed up his experiences in Saudi Arabia. Another worker, from Bangladesh, told us: “I slept many nights beside the road and spent many days without food. It was a painful life. I could not explain that life.” A woman in a village in India, whose son was beheaded following a secret trial, could only say this: “We have no more tears, our tears have all dried up.” She deferred to her husband to provide the account of their son’s imprisonment and execution in Jeddah.

It is undeniable that many foreigners employed in the kingdom, in jobs from the most menial to the highest skilled, have returned home with no complaints. But for the women and men who were subjected to abysmal and exploitative working conditions, sexual violence, and human rights abuses in the criminal justice system, Saudi Arabia represented a personal nightmare.

In 1962, then-King Faisal abolished slavery in Saudi Arabia by royal decree. Over forty years later, migrant workers in the purportedly modern society that the kingdom has become continue to suffer extreme forms of labor exploitation that sometimes rise to slavery-like conditions. Their lives are further complicated by deeply rooted gender, religious, and racial discrimination. This provides the foundation for prejudicial public policy and government regulations, shameful practices of private employers, and unfair legal proceedings that yield judicial sentences of the death penalty.

The overwhelming majority of the men and women who face these realities in Saudi Arabia are low-paid workers from Asia, Africa, and countries in the Middle East.

This report gives voice to some of their stories.

It is based on information gathered from migrant workers and their families in mud brick houses off dirt roads in tropical agricultural areas of southwest India, in apartments in densely packed neighborhoods of metropolitan Manila, and in simple dwellings in rural villages of Bangladesh. The victims include skilled and unskilled workers; Muslims, Hindus, and Christians; young adults traveling outside their home countries for the first time; and married men, and single and divorced women, with children to support.

In Saudi Arabia, these workers delivered dairy products, cleaned government hospitals, repaired water pipes, collected garbage, and poured concrete. Some of them baked bread and worked in restaurants; others were butchers, barbers, carpenters, and plumbers. Women migrants cleaned, cooked, cared for children, worked in beauty salons, and sewed custom-made dresses and gowns. Unemployed or underemployed in their countries of origin, and often impoverished, these men and women sought only the opportunity to earn wages and thus improve the economic situation for themselves and their families.

This report is the first comprehensive examination of the variety of human rights abuses that foreign workers experience in Saudi Arabia. The voices of these migrants provide a window into a country whose hereditary, unelected rulers continue to choose secrecy over transparency at the expense of justice. The stories in this report illustrate why so many migrant workers, including Muslims, return to their home countries deeply aggrieved by the lack of equality and due process of law in the kingdom. In an important sense, this report is an indictment of unscrupulous private employers and sponsors as well as Saudi authorities, including interior ministry interrogators and shari’a court judges, who operate without respect for the rule of law and the inherent dignity of all men and women, irrespective of gender, race, and religion.

Some of the most frightening and troubling findings of the report concern mistreatment of women migrant workers, both in the workplace and in Saudi prisons. The report also provides an intimate view of the workings of Saudi Arabia’s criminal justice system, through the eyes of migrant workers with first-hand experience of its significant flaws. And it is the families and friends of migrants who were beheaded, pursuant to judicial rulings, who describe how Saudi authorities kept them and consular officials in the dark until well after the executions were carried out. The mortal remains of these victims were not returned to their families, who until now have no information about what happened to the bodies.

England: Islamic Sexual Slavery of White Girls

09
Jan
08

Britain: Female Genital Mutilation

The unspeakable practice of female circumcision that’s destroying young women’s lives in Britain

The girl is 15 years old but looks much younger. Her face has the fine-boned elegance typical of her native Somalia, but her accent belongs to the streets of East London. She is plainly terrified. That much is clear from the way she avoids eye contact and constantly fidgets in her chair.

“Promise you won’t print my name or anything?” she implores repeatedly. “Promise no one will ever know that I’ve spoken to you? If people in my community find out, they’ll say that I’ve betrayed them and I’ll have to run away. And anyway, I don’t want my parents to be sent to jail.”

With great courage, this British-Somali girl – she asks that we call her “Lali” – is about to describe a barbaric act of ritualised cruelty which has been perpetrated against her. Knowing the danger to which she is exposing herself, her anxiety is entirely understandable.

For by speaking about it, Lali will break the ultimate taboo among Britain’s 600,000 ethnic Africans. In Norway, where this brutal act is also prevalent, a young Somali woman was recently beaten, almost to death, for talking to TV documentary programme-makers.

It is known by a variety of names, the most common of which are female genital mutilation (FGM), female circumcision, or simply “cutting” – a word which somehow conveys the raw pain its prepubescent victims suffer.

Most people will be unfamiliar with this practice, which involves removing part or all of the clitoris, the surrounding labia (the outer part of the vagina) and sometimes the sewing up of the vagina, leaving only a small opening for urine and menstrual blood.

It is carried out for a variety of cultural reasons. Such is the secrecy that surrounds the practice that even those aware that it occurs in large swathes of Africa and Asia will be shocked to learn that it is prevalent in Britain.

During a highly disturbing, four-month investigation, however, we uncovered evidence that thousands of British-African girls, in towns and cities throughout the country, have been forcibly “cut”.

By conservative estimates, 66,000 women and girls living in Britain have been mutilated. This figure, accepted by the Metropolitan Police, came in a report by a volunteer organisation funded by the Department of Health and carried out with academics from the London School of Tropical Hygiene and the City University.

And thousands more girls are at imminent risk as families club together to fly professional “cutters” from Africa to Britain.

These women “elders” perform the crude operation for up to £40 a time, often on kitchen tables or floors, without anaesthetic, using filthy, blunt knives, razor blades or scalpels.

Many readers will be distressed by our report, but this practice is an abomination which has no place anywhere, let alone in a civilised society, and if it is to be expunged then this is a story that must be told.

There is no way of escaping the unpalatable terminology, just as there is no way for girls like Lali to escape the unsterile knife which cuts them as they are held down and which will result in a lifetime of physical and psychological pain.

Some people say the practice is to increase the sexual pleasure of the man, but this is only one appallingly outdated reason why many womenfolk from 28 African and some Middle Eastern countries, most of which have sizeable representation in Britain, are treated like this.

It is also done to demonstrate their virginity on their wedding night; and because “uncut” girls with the ability to enjoy love-making are considered more likely to be promiscuous, unhygienic, and prone to diseases such as Aids.

Attempts are also made to justify this iniquitous practice on religious grounds. Some hard-line Muslims insist that women must undergo genital cutting to remain faithful to the purest teachings of Islam – although, in truth, it is not even mentioned in the Koran, and only ambiguously in the Hadith (a collection of oral traditions about the life of the prophet Mohammed).

Several leadings Imams have openly condemned the practice. This, though, does not deter its proponents, who maintain that it is their inalienable right to live according to their traditional beliefs and customs, rather than conform to British values. Indeed, some argue that the freedom to carry out FGM is a fundamental principle of our multi-cultural society.

Whatever the arguments, the fact is that genital mutilation is a reality, and the Metropolitan police is so concerned that it recently set up a special unit to investigate and prosecute the perpetrators. Heading the unit is Detective Inspector Carol Hamilton, herself a mother, who was horrified when she discovered what was happening to other people’s daughters.

The Met team also educates regional police forces about FGM, and speaks to mosques, community groups and local authorities.

Usually their visits are well-received, but we found that at least one London council declined to publish material highlighting the suffering and danger the practice causes – for fear of offending ethnic African residents.

This kind of attitude incenses Detective Inspector Hamilton. “We are all becoming very culturally sensitive,” she says. “People are a bit frightened of saying ‘You can’t do this here’ because people shoot back with ‘But it’s our culture’.

“But it’s not: this is just plain cruel. I won’t be put off by the politically correct argument. We have to be seen to be strong on this. I don’t care about human rights – I care about the rights of the child. Everything else has to go out of the window.

“We have one rule in child protection: the child is of paramount importance. I stick by that firmly.”

Together with the Waris Dirie Foundation¹, an international campaign group formed by the Somali-born supermodel who suffered genital mutilation as a five-year-old child, the Met announced a £20,000 reward last July for information leading to the conviction of anyone who performs or abets cutting.

Under the 2003 Female Genital Mutilation Act, those involved could be jailed for 14 years. Yet the fact that no one has been prosecuted says much about the problems the police are facing.

“There are thousands of girls being cut in your country,” says Waris Dirie spokesman Walter Hutschinger. “We are sure it’s going on, and on a very big scale. Your law is one of the most comprehensive in the world, but it is useless if nobody will help to implement it.

“We have been contacted by girls from all parts of Britain – London, Cardiff, Sheffield, Birmingham, Liverpool, Reading, Slough, Milton Keynes, Crawley – anywhere there are big African communities.

“Many of these girls know they are about to be cut and are desperate for help, but they are even more afraid of what might happen to them if they come out in the open.

“One young woman wrote recently to tell us that she was about to be taken home to Somalia to be cut, and she was terrified because her older sister had died after cutting. [To avoid detection, the mutilation is often done in a girl’s native country.]

“She was thinking of running away – but she didn’t know where she could go or what she would do. The girl says genital mutilation has destroyed her family. We wrote back offering a meeting, but she has not been back in touch.’

During our investigation, we found similar difficulty finding girls willing publicly to condemn a practice whose “virtues” are impressed upon them from infancy so that they are effectively brainwashed into believing it to be an essential step towards womanhood.

Lali is so determined that other girls should be spared the misery she has endured since the cutter came to call four years ago that, last week, she bravely told us her story.

Continued.

¹Waris Dirie Foundation

Also see @ Broken Bodies – Broken Dreams:

Female Genital Mutilation

Female Genital Mutilation: Part 2

Female Genital Cutting

Documentary on female genital cutting H/T drdapo


Related: Fighting Female Circumcision & Debating It’s Religious Ruling

20
Dec
07

Iran: Top cleric says women without veils must die

More hijab madness in the name of Islam.

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Iran: Top cleric says women without veils must die

Tehran, 19 Dec. (AKI) – A top Muslim cleric in Iran, Hojatolislam Gholam Reza Hassani said on Wednesday that women in Iran who do not wear the hijab or Muslim headscarf, should die.

“Women who do not respect the hijab and their husbands deserve to die,” said Hassani, who leads Friday prayers in the city of Urumieh, in Iranian Azerbaijan.

“I do not understand how these women who do not respect the hijab, 28 years after the birth of the Islamic Republic, are still alive,” he said.

“These women and their husbands and their fathers must die,” said Hassani, who is the representative of the Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei in eastern Azerbaijan.

Hassani’s statements came after two Kurdish feminists in Iran were accused of being members of an armed rebel group and of carrying out subversive activities threatening the security of the state.

It is believed that his statements and the arrests could spark a fresh crackdown on women who do not repect the Islamic dress code in Iran.

Thousands of women in Iran have already been warned this year for their “un-Islamic dress” such as wearing tight, short coats and skimpy headscarves. Source.

H/T Doctor Bulldog 

19
Dec
07

Saudi Rape Victim Pardoned

king-abdullah.jpg

Saudi king pardons teenage rape victim

1 day ago

RIYADH (AFP) — King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia pardoned a teenage girl sentenced to six months in jail and 200 lashes after being gang raped in a decision swiftly welcomed by Washington on Monday.

Justice Minister Abdullah bin Mohammad bin Ibrahim al-Sheikh hailed the king’s “laudable instructions to grant the pardon”, in a statement carried by the official Saudi Press Agency.

The sentence against the 19-year-old girl had drawn criticism of the ultra-conservative Muslim kingdom from key ally President George W. Bush.

The girl, who was 18 at the time she was raped, was attacked at knifepoint by seven men after she was found in a car with a male companion who was not a relative, in breach of strict Saudi law.

The king also pardoned the male companion, the justice minister announced.

The victim’s identity has not been revealed but she has become known as “Qatif girl,” after the Shiite-populated area of Al-Qatif in the Eastern Province from which she comes.

In October 2006, a judge sentenced her to 90 lashes for being with the man — a taboo in the conservative Muslim kingdom which imposes segregation of the sexes.

She appealed against the sentence but despite her ordeal the court ruled that her punishment should be increased to 200 lashes and a six-month jail term.

The judges decided to punish the girl further for “her attempt to aggravate and influence the judiciary through the media,” a court source told the English-language daily Arab News.

The rapists were initially sentenced to one to five years in jail, but those terms were also toughened in November to between two and nine years.

A rape conviction carries the death penalty in Saudi Arabia, but the court did not impose it due to the “lack of witnesses” and the “absence of confessions,” the justice ministry said last month.

The girl’s husband praised the king for granting the pardon.

“This fatherly care and noble gesture will help (in) lifting the emotional and psychological stress and suffering that our family has been enduring,” the husband was quoted as saying on CNN television’s website.

“This is not something new because we know that the king was always generous in dealing with his people and the entire world,” the husband said. “This week, we have two holidays to celebrate; the Eid and this great news of the pardon.”

King Abdullah’s pardon came on the day that Muslims began the annual hajj pilgrimage as two million faithful set off from Mecca to the valley of Mina in Saudi Arabia. Source.

Good news to be sure. And how wonderful for her that her husband is so supportive.

Saudi king ‘pardons’ rape victim

Abdullah bin Mohammed al-Sheikh, the Saudi justice minister, told Al Jazirah daily that the pardon does not mean the king doubted the country’s judges, but instead acted in the “interests of the people”.

The girl’s sentencing had triggered international outrage.

“The king always looks into alleviating the suffering of the citizens when he becomes sure that these verdicts will leave psychological effects on the convicted people, though he is convinced and sure that the verdicts were fair.Source.

Heavy, heavy sigh. An 18 year old female who has suffered through the violent attack of a gang rape is ALREADY experiencing damaging psychological effects! Two hundred lashes after being raped, fair?!

Not in the civilized world!

But then again we are speaking of Saudi Arabia….

Previously: Saudi Arabia: Gang Rape Victim Receives 200 Lashes





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Scarlett Crusader

Est. October 13 2007

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Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray; and do Thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host - by the Divine Power of God - cast into hell, satan and all the evil spirits, who roam throughout the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.

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