Those Saudis

They are so misunderstood.

I mean really – it’s a cultural thing to rape and basically imprison nonMuslim women who work for you. How can we not understand that?

Today in the Arab Times there is a story about the Shura council recommending that the US review the case in Colorado where a Saudi man, Al-Turki, was convicted of sexual assault on his Indonesian maid along theft of her wages:

Al-Turki, a former Ph.D. student at the University of Colorado, maintains that he did not sexually assault the woman, whose identity has not been disclosed due to the nature of the alleged crime, and has accused US officials of persecuting him for “traditional Muslim behavior.”

Daniel Pipes has kept up with the story that started in 2005. He notes that after jail time was set the US sent the Colorado Attorney General John Suthers to Saudi Arabia to “explain”. Excuse me? How did I miss that? Apparently he needed to explain that yes, the maid’s word counted.

“Under [Saudi] law, to prove a rape case, you need four eyewitnesses,” Suthers said during an interview at his office Monday[, Nov. 20]. “And they considered it inconceivable that an Indonesian maid was considered a competent witness in our courts.” Another significant difference is how civil and criminal courts mesh under Saudi law, making it possible for a victim or a victim’s family to come to a financial settlement when it involves a criminal matter. “They didn’t understand how that wasn’t possible here,” Suthers said.…

For all of the coverage the case has received, Suthers said Saudi officials seemed surprised at two aspects that had not been reported there. They did not know that two other women had testified at the trial as having experienced similar treatment. They also did not realize that Al-Turki did not testify during the trial. While that choice is a defendant’s right in an American court, it carries a different impact in Saudi Arabia, Suthers said. “In the Saudi system, the failure to testify is very significant. When somebody makes an accusation, you’re expected to respond,” he said.

Comment (by Daniel Pipes): It is hardly a new development that the State Department and the Colorado state government should give the Saudis such special consideration, but it remains outrageous. As Debbie Schlussel puts it, “Can you imagine the U.S. sending a state Attorney General to explain to Hitler why we allow Blacks and Jews to serve as witnesses in our courts and why enslaving and raping them for five years is a crime?”

It’s not clear why the Shura Council is back in on this now.

3 thoughts on “Those Saudis

  1. When I clicked the link from my google alert, I thought I’d gotten the wrong page. How does a rancher in the southwest (?) end up reading the Arab News? Nothing surprises me when it comes to Shura Law or US-Saudi relations. A friend of mine is presently being sued by a Saudi National. Her husband was on his way home from work when the son of the plantif fell asleep in his car, crossed the median of a divided highway and hit her husband’s car head-on, killing him. My friend is being sued because the family says that had her husband not been in Saudi, their son wouldn’t have hit him and would, therefore, still be alive. This kind of reasoning makes perfect sense in an Islamic Court. You might also look around a bit, a man in village near the Iraqi border was recently convicted of witchcraft.

  2. Yes, witchcraft is still alive and well in a lot of places throughout the world.

    The it’s your fault because if you hadn’t been there I wouldn’t have run you down reasoning is beyond witchcraft!

    I glance at the Arab news every day. Along with multiple other newspapers/blogs. It really is the only way to find out other perspectives. Based on comments/links I know I’m not the only one.

    Thanks for visiting!

  3. Pingback: Saudi Culture « I Think ^(Link) Therefore I Err

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