So Just How Long Do We Have to Continue Our Charade with Saudi Arabia?

I Could Scream: Examining the plight of women under Islam
Saudi ‘justice’ has a strange and exotic flavor. It must be an acquired taste.

A month ago, an Indonesian maid was left at the hospital by her employer. She had been beaten, tied up for long periods of time in the bathroom, not permitted to sleep in the house, and not given sufficient food.

     A 25-year-old maid who came to Saudi Arabia as a guest worker will leave behind most of her fingers and toes and part of her right foot when she is repatriated to Indonesia. In addition to the amputations, necessitated by gangrene, several teeth had been knocked out and she is in danger of losing an eye as a result of severe beatings.

The doctor who treated her on arrival described her condition as “critical.” Her employer was charged and arrested, his wife was interrogated and released.

Her case was so outrageously criminal that even Crown Prince Abdullah intervened, sending his Minister of Health to investigate, and having her transferred to King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center. Both the Prince and the Minister declared the situation “disgusting.”

That was then. This is now. Here is the latest report:

     All the principals in the case of an Indonesian guest worker who was believed to have been tortured have been charged in the case. Indonesian maid Nour Miyati who accused her Saudi employers of torture has been charged with making false allegations; the sponsor and his wife face charges of neglect, with the husband also charged with residence permit violations and the wife charged with assaulting the maid. [emphasis added]

Brutalization is not just a family affair in Saudi Arabia. The state is a willing and eager partner. And it can twist arms with a mighty force, especially arms with hands whose fingers are missing. On the one hand, there is the medical committee’s report:

     A medical committee set up by Riyadh Governor from a number of specialists from the Ministry of Health concluded that the maid suffered wounds and bruises to her body, “suggesting she has been the victim of violence and that the gangrene could not have been caused as a direct result of beating and that it probably was caused by an inherent disease suffered by the patient.”

On the other hand is the reality. Here is the new story:

     The maid denied she had been beaten by her sponsor and said the injuries to her hands and feet were because she felt pain and sickness and that the itching in her hands and feet was because of her excessive use of chemical detergents. She also said she did not ask her sponsor to take her to hospital until after her condition worsened. She also denied she has been tortured or tied or denied food,” the statement said.

And here is the outcome of this charade:

     As a result, the couple has been charged with neglect. The employer also was charged with violating the rules governing issuing residence permits for domestic helpers, and his wife was charged with assaulting the maid.
Miyati, for her part, was charged with making false allegations that misled the inquiry and led to the detention of the sponsor throughout the investigation before he was released on bail.

There has been no trial date set, though all three will appear in court as defendants.


Nour Miyati

Here’s what you’ll look like if you use those dangerous chemical detergents. Maybe she could sue Procter and Gamble?

8 thoughts on “So Just How Long Do We Have to Continue Our Charade with Saudi Arabia?

  1. “So Just How Long Do We Have to Continue Our Charade with Saudi Arabia?”

    Having asked the above question, I find it odd that you could not find room in this post for a mention of President Bush’s tete-a-tete with Prince Abdullah in Crawford a couple of weeks ago. I believe the price of oil was on the agenda. It would be most interesting to know your thoughts on that particular meeting.

  2. Zub–

    It’s nice to hear from you. I’ve never heard or seen John Stewart. Don’t have a TV, don’t want one.

    I’m sure the price of oil was on the agenda, Zub, but I don’t write about economics at the macro level, I write about them at the micro level: the individual citizen in Saudi Arabia perpetrating evil on other human beings. Muslim human beings, in this case.

    It interests me for three reasons: one, I find much in the hadiths and the Koran to support aggressive behavior toward kafir, and I am one of those. It concerns me.
    Two, Saudi Arabia claims to have eliminated slavery in the ’60’s while it is quite obvious that it has not.
    Three, this woman — and others like her — is a domestic servant and I have been a maid, too. It is tiring, repetitive work, even when one is paid well and treated fairly.

    I write about this woman from empathy and human concern. I’m not interested in your intellectual fencing. It’s almost as tiring and repetitive as house cleaning.

    As I’ve mentioned before, you need your own blog, a site where you can make these points as often as you wish, all day long…

    …lying in wait under the bridge just to jump out on occasion and make faces at people is not an occupation for a serious person.

    And, pray tell, what is this “price of admission” to which you refer? Consider it refunded.

  3. Naturally it suits your purpose to stare hard at the micro picture, and extrapolate everything from Saudi Arabia to Islam at large.

    What you conveniently avoid is the simple truth that in a freer, more democratic society than Saudi, there is a smaller chance of such abuses continuing, because somewhere a voice or a movement will grow against these abuses. I am sure all instances of abuse will not die out overnight, but it’s a question of reducing the scope of such events, and more freedom in that society could only help. India, Pakistan and Bangladesh have a big problem of acid throwing at females, and it was partly because of pressure from civil society that speedy tribunals and stringent death penalty laws were recently installed in Bangladesh against acid throwing. And yes, BD is a conservative Muslim country, but one that has had a functioning democracy since 1990.

    The point is democracy and pluralism at least provides an easier route for justice and the law to take their course. But looking at the eventual progress of freedom in Saudi Arabia brings you straight back to looking at that picture of Bush holding hands with Abdullah, practically begging him to lower the price of oil. Saudi Arabia is what it is, a client regime of the States. Whatever status quo persists there – tyranny and oppression – is even indirectly a consequence of Uncle Sam helping to perpetuate it.

    All of which is not to say that America caused that woman to be abused, before you misread my point and accuse me of trolling. My comment was mainly a response to the title of your post, but I’m afraid you didn’t see the connection.


  4. Naturally it suits your purpose to stare hard at the micro picture, and extrapolate everything from Saudi Arabia to Islam at large.

    My “purpose” in this blog is to expose the danger that Islamofascism represents for Western values and lives. Most the of the perpetrators of 9/11 were Saudis.

    Saudi Arabia is ruled by an evil kleptocracy which allows its citizens to project their impotence onto vulnerable, poverty-stricken slaves from (mainly)Indonesia.

    I am not “conveniently avoiding” anything when I blog. I’m writing what I want to write about. People read it or they don’t. They agree or they don’t.

    Looking at the evils in SA does not bring me back to contemplate Bush’s holding hands with that evil old man. It brings you back to that picture and it is you who needs to act on it.

    What is happening in the Middle East is the consequence of a lot of European history. America is cleaning it up, slowly but surely. A polity, like a person, can reach the point where enough is enough. We are at that point and if regime change requires holding hands, eh…who cares? You and the leftist fringe currently diving off the cliff.

    I don’t care: whatever it takes.

    Get your own blog, Zub. You have lots to say and there are many people who would agree with you. But you’ll change no hearts and minds in this small space. The people who come here and stay to read the comments are not going to be moved. At all.

    As Peter Drucker said “communication is the act of the recipient.” In other words, you have wasted time, breath, and bandwidth.

    BTW, it’s not just Saudi Arabia.

    Iran is run by the criminals.

    Iraq’s “comfort marriages” are wrong. Creepy. Shar’ia law often is.

    Jordan’s honor-killings must go.

    Palestine is a behavorial sink.

    Egypt is an explosion waiting to happen. Better there than coming over here.

    Any country that lives by shar’ia will not survive contact with freedom. Like pouring salt on a snail.

    I do not respect Islam, Zub. If that is your faith, you’re never going to like what I have to say.

    Which is not to say I respect the extremes of Christian belief, either. But they are not a direct threat to me or mine. As soon as they start threatening to blow us up or some part of Homeland Security begins to be devoted to their removal, I’ll take up that cudgel.

    Right now, it’s Islamofascism. And as far as I can see “Religion of Peace” is an oxymoron at best, a cruel joke on a billion people at best.

    Would you like help in setting up a blog? Why don’t you have one? Why do you consider the vocation of troll/site pest a worthy calling? Have you considered how poorly it reflects on you?

  5. Happy to learn that you care so much about a diversity of opinions on your blog.. by labelling people trolls etc.

    I guess you are only looking to preach to the converted in this place. The perfect echo chamber. Well good luck with that, no need to have a two-way conversation with someone like that.

  6. Zub–

    You seriously need a remedial course in “dialogue.”

    1. Dialogue does not happen when one of the speakers performs mind-reading and claims to know the motives of the other:
    Naturally it suits your purpose to stare hard at the micro picture
    How do you know what my purpose is without asking me? I then went on to state my purpose and concern, which was not your purpose or concern. I’m not interested in Bush and Abdullah holding hands…Bush held hands with his daddy at the 9/11 commemoration, too. He does that with old men. Big deal. It’s not my conversation. Find a place where they want to discuss it. I don’t. I want to discuss the debased treatement of domestic workers in Saudi Arabia.

    2.Dialogue is not possible when one speaker makes sweeping conclusions and jumps in logic, inferring things that are not there:
    and extrapolate everything from Saudi Arabia to Islam at large. That didn’t happen.

    3.Dialogue is not possible with someone who makes contemptuous responses:
    What you conveniently avoid…etc.Happy to learn that you care so much about a diversity of opinions

    None of those statements are conducive to dialogue. They are manifestations of trolling.

    Why would you come into an arena where the ideas expressed are not congenial to your thinking?

    What would ever make you think that showing up and shooting from the hip would change minds and hearts? Or is that your purpose?

    Grow up.

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