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Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Saudi professor to be lashed for meeting woman alone

Read this article, and was revolted by what I read. You do read from time to time that people have different cultures and social norms, but there must be some amount of humanity to all norms. Saudi Arabia has strict interpretations of what a female can do and cannot do (more controls on what she cannot do), but the bottom line is that freedoms that others take for granted are not available to her. In this case, a professor in Saudi Arabia is going to be in prison for 8 months and be lashed 150 times for the big crime of meeting a woman alone:

A Saudi Arabian man is to get 150 lashes and spend eight months in prison after he was caught meeting a woman without a chaperone in a coffee shop.
Muhammad Ali Abu Raziza, a psychology professor in Mecca, was arrested by the Kingdom’s feared religious police, the Commission for Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice. He was accused of breaking the Islamic injunctions under the Khilwa code, which restricts the independence of women. It stipulates that women must not meet men alone, other than relatives.

Now, there are many people who would say that this is the way that the society over there is governed and this is the choice that people have made, but that is nonsense. Just because some societies had the policy of apartheid does not mean that the world let that continue; and further, Saudi Arabia is not a democratic country where people have made this choice - this is a decision by the rulers to have such laws so that they get the support of the religious clergy.

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