Saudi Arabia Punishes Women Rights Activists With Lashes. Lets Stop it Together.

By: Robert Thomson

March 10, 2009 a 75-year-old widow named Sawadi in Saudi Arabia was sentenced to 40 lashes and four months in prison for socializing with two men that were not related to her. The sentence also demands that the woman be deported after serving her sentence. This verdict of her sentence has been placed with mere suspicion, no real evidence.

How you ask did she get in trouble? She being 75 years of age had health issues and was momentarily unable to make it to the market. She then asked two friends (male) if they could pick up five loaves of bread for her and bring it to her home? One of the men was Al-Watan, the nephew of Sawadis late husband.

Saudi Arabias overly strict and often-cruel interpretation of Islam prohibits men and women who are not immediate relatives from mixing socially. It also bans women from driving, playing music, dancing and from watching some movies.

Back in November of 2007, Saudi Arabia punished a survivor of gang rape with 200 lashes and a prison term to boot. Thats right, not only was she gang raped by the men, but the court decided to victimize her more for standing up for herself and other women in Saudi Arabia. The 19-year-old Shiite girl was sentenced because she was in a car of an unrelated male at the time of the rape. At first the sentence was 90 lashes (Court saw this as merciful...I see it as pathetic!), but because the girl protested this, they more than doubled the punishment for her attempt to aggravate and influence the judiciary through the media, to teach her that women in that country must be subservient to men…all men apparently. Clearly Saudi Arabia is sending a message to all women in their country…to show women that if they speak up about their rape, they too will receive a severe and painful punishment that is beyond the torture the rapists had done to them. The things the rapist have done in this country pale in comparison to what the judicial system has done to 50% of its own citizens, women.

BBC news reported that Hillary Clinton was extremely upset about the 19-year-old girl being punished (victimized) after being raped and she stated; I urge President Bush to call on King Abdullah to cancel the ruling and drop all charges against this woman. Then she went on to say if she is voted into the Whitehouse As president I will once again make human rights an American Priority around the world. She was outraged by the sentence.

In July of 2009, Lubna Ahmed Hussein, a Sudanese journalist and she also worked for the UN Mission in Sudan, was having a relaxing dinner in a restaurant with 12 other women. Their dinner ended when 30 police officers entered and arrested them for wearing pants. Yes it was another pathetic attempt at degrading and demoralizing women. She was not wearing tight jeans or aerobic nylons but was wearing long dress pants. The police said this was totally against the Muslim countries strict Sharia law. Many of the women took their punishment on the spot of 10 lashes and $100 fine. Lubna instead took the road less traveled; she stood up for the women of her country, refusing to be victimized like so many women of the country. She saw it as a law that was inhuman, but if convicted would get 40 lashes for standing up to the courts. This put Sudans strict law under the spotlight of the media, gaining many unfavorable comments Im sure.

Perhaps you remember the case of the Sudan schoolteacher in 2007 who was 55 years old and was a British teacher that came to assist the impoverished nations children. The British citizen was charged with insulting Islam when she named a Teddy Bear in her classroom, Mohammed. That is the name of Islams highest prophet. Gibbons spent seven days in jail and was immediately deported before her sentence of 40 lashes was carried out, due to the British government intervening and putting an end to the foolishness.

Amnesty International says that, Governments are not living up to their promises under the Womens Convention to protect women from discrimination and violence such as rape and female genital mutilation.

If a country could find a way to see women as equals and allow them equal rights, it would instantly increase the productivity and commerce emanating from that country or in other words, it would make the country very wealth as compared to before. Equality of women is a benefit to all. Perhaps America does not want to take a stand on such issues because so much oil is exported from many of the countries that perpetrate these crimes against humanity or perhaps its because we in America need a woman president to put things back into prospective and in line around the world.

Im not just bantering on about something that cannot be changed. I know with enough pressure from around the world, we can make a difference, but it all starts with a single effort. The women in this article sacrificed the flesh upon their backs to the sharpness of a judicial whip. I know by writing this that my books Georges Pond and Wests Time Machine will be banned in many Muslim countries around the world, but what are sales of books compared to the chance of raising the level of awareness to the inequality and suffering of women at the hands of not just religions and governments, but by the men that control the religions and government. I took a stance using my skill of writing, and now I ask that you think about the skills you have and find a way to use them to help raise the awareness of the judicial system victimizing women in the Muslim world. Fight for womens equality. It all starts with taking a stand.

Please have a look at novels Wests Time Machine, and Georges Pond. PS I apologize for lack of semicolons and colons. They could not be read (were jumbled) from my Taiwan computer on US websites.

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Scott C. Waring wrote novels West's Time Machine

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