Monday, December 3, 2007

Saudi unconscionable

Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Saudi Arabia's treatment of rape victim unconscionable

The Jurist

Farzana Hassan [President, Muslim Canadian Congress]: "While staunch affirmation of human rights remains the mantra of the day, the world continues to witness violations both great and small of this noble human ideal. Recently, a Canadian Muslim woman also felt her human rights violated and took her grievance to the Human Rights Commission. Her complaint-- a uniform skirt that leaves her calf exposed which according to her devout belief and practice, constitutes a serious violation of religious precept. Although Ms. Muse has the option of wearing trousers to work that would satisfy the Islamic requirement for modesty, she finds the attire uncomfortable, especially in warm weather, as she feels she must keep her jacket on to further conceal the shape of her body.

Miles away from this controversy, in a benighted prison cell in Saudi Arabia, a nineteen year old girl awaits the implementation of a punishment that may very well take her life. She was convicted earlier this year of the “crime” of leaving home unaccompanied by a close male relative. To her utter misfortune, the woman was gang-raped during the ill-fated trip to meet her fiancĂ©. Yet, instead of receiving redress for the atrocity, she was awarded the brutal and humiliating punishment of 200 lashes along with a six month prison sentence.

Needless to say, such human rights abuses stand in stark contrast to Ms. Muse’s relatively innocuous and somewhat disingenuous concerns. Despite this, there is deafening silence over the outrageous sentence from the champions of human rights. The insidious worldwide alliance between the leftists and the Islamists appear to be lending strength to misogyny and medieval values.

Saudi Arabia's verdict on this young girl is unconscionable.

Not only is it harsh in comparison to the so called “crime”, it also places the onus of rape almost exclusively on this woman by bringing into focus her infraction of having violated Saudi law, thereby suggesting she brought vulnerability upon herself. Such messages reek of patriarchy and misogyny as the woman according to the verdict must be taught a lesson by serving a sentence and receiving a public flogging.

Saudi Arabia continues to implement a justice system that is medieval and archaic in upholding the most literal interpretations of the Islamic Shariah.

Yet despite its cruel manifestations, as in the case of the nineteen year old rape victim, there is an absence of public outcry from within Saudi society. The sporadic voices decrying the verdict have come largely from abroad, where journalists both Muslim and non-Muslim have expressed outrage over the decision.

What needs to be addressed is the very premise upon which the Saudi justice system is built—one that renders women voiceless, non-persons without freedom and socially marginalized. A society that criminalizes a single woman’s unaccompanied movements must review the social fabric of the society that prompts such unwarranted restrictions on her freedom. The strictures of a highly conservative brand of Wahabi Islam must be reviewed, allowing for more humane applications of religious norms. Moreover, Saudi Arabia ratified the UN Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) in 2000 and as such is obliged under international law to repeal and amend all laws that blatantly discriminate against women. It must introduce laws and public education programmes that uphold the essence of the Convention based on the equality of women.

While human rights activists contest Ms. Muse’s right to wear a long skirt at her place of work, they must of necessity also direct their energies to addressing the gross human rights violations within Saudi society."

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quraan burning

Planned Muslim Response to Qur'an Burning by Pastor Jones on September 11 in Mulberry, Florida

August 19, 2013| Dallas, Texas

Mike Ghouse
Text/Talk: (214) 325-1916

Mirza A Beg
(205) 454-8797


We as Muslims plan to respond to pastor Terry Jones' planned burning of 3000 copies of Quran on September 11, 2013 in positive terms.

Our response - we will reclaim the standard of behavior practiced by the Prophet concerning “scurrilous and hostile criticism of the Qur’an” (Muhammad Asad Translation Note 31, verse 41:34). It was "To overcome evil with good is good, and to resist evil by evil is evil." It is also strongly enjoined in the Qur’an in the same verse 41:34, “Good and evil deeds are not equal. Repel evil with what is better; then you will see that one who was once your enemy has become your dearest friend.”

God willing Muslims will follow the divine guidance and pray for the restoration of Goodwill, and on that day many Muslim organizations will go on a “blood drive” to save lives and serve humanity with kindness.

We invite fellow Americans of all faiths, races, and ethnicities to join us to rededicate the pledge, “One nation under God”, and to build a cohesive America where no American has to live in apprehension, discomfort or fear of fellow Americans. This event is a substitute for our 10th Annual Unity Day Celebration ( held in Dallas, but now it will be at Mulberry, Florida.

Unwittingly Pastor Jones has done us a favor by invigorating us by his decision to burn nearly 3000 copies Quran on September 11, 2013. Obviously he is not satisfied by the notoriety he garnered by burning one Qur'an last year.

As Muslims and citizens we honor the free speech guaranteed in our constitution. We have no intentions to criticize, condemn or oppose Pastor Terry Jones' freedom of expression. Instead, we will be donating blood and praying for goodness to permeate in our society.

We plan to follow Jesus Christ (pbuh), a revered prophet in Islam as well as Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) – that of mitigating the conflicts and nurturing good will for the common good of the society.

We hope, this event and the message will remind Muslims elsewhere in the world as well, that violence is not the way. Muslims, who react violently to senseless provocation, should realize that, violence causes more violence, and besmirches the name of the religion that we hold so dear. We believe that Prophet Muhammad was a mercy to the mankind, and we ought to practice what we believe and preach. We must not insult Islam by the negative reactions of a few.

We can only hope it will bring about a change in the attitude of the followers of Pastor Jones, and in the behavior of those Muslims who reacted violently the last time Pastor sought notoriety – We hope this small step towards a bridge to peaceful coexistence would propel us towards building a cohesive society.

Like most Americans a majority of Muslims quietly go about their own business, but it is time to speak up and take positive action instead of negative reaction. May this message of peace and goodwill reverberate and reach many shores.

Lastly, we appreciate the Citizens of Mulberry, Florida, Honorable Mayor George Hatch, City Commissioners, police and Fire Chiefs for handing this situation very well. This will add a ‘feather of peace’ in the City’s reputation. We hope Mulberry will be a catalyst in showing the way in handling conflict with dignity and peace.

We thank the Media for giving value to the work towards peace rather than conflict.


Thank you.


The people in Dallas are making an effort to understand and clean their own hearts first, when we are free from bias, it would be easy to share that with others. Islam teaches us in so many ways to "respect the otherness of others" and it is time we find simple practical ways of doing it.