You’re a student in Saudi Arabia. You see an old lady in obvious medical distress. You decide to:
|(a)||Ignore the old hag and continue on your way.|
|(b)||Attempt illicit sexual congress with her as soon as the opportunity presents itself.|
|(c)||Take her to the hospital and make sure she gets proper medical attention.|
|(d)||Spend your life behind bars regretting your altruism.|
|(e)||Both (c) and (d).|
If you answered (e), you are correct, since the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice believes that your choice will prevent (b), which apparently is the expected behavior of all males in Saudi Arabia.
Take this case in point:
Nigerian Lands in Jail for Helping 60-Year-Old Woman in Riyadh
A new convert to Islam, fired with zeal to do a righteous act, had no idea that he would pay a heavy price for helping a sick woman, one that has landed him 50 days and counting behind bars.
The Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice found him guilty for committing a crime: Being in the presence of a woman who is not a relative (a so-called “illegal state of seclusion”).
Arab News tried several times to contact Ahmed Al-Jardan, spokesman for the commission, but phone calls were not returned. A written fax sent to the commission’s main center asking for comment was also ignored.
Ibrahim Mohammed Lawal, a Nigerian student of Islamic studies at Badiya Islamic Center in Riyadh, learned that his neighbor, a 63-year-old woman, was indisposed and needed medical attention. So he took her to various hospitals in Riyadh, including the Riyadh Medical Complex at Shumaisy, all of which refused to treat her. It was only after the intervention of Sheikh Fawaz, director of Badiya Islamic Center, that the Badiya Hospital admitted the case. Despite the charitable act Mohammed ended up in detention, accused of immoral behavior because he was neither married nor related by blood to the elderly woman.
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Speaking to Arab News on phone from his cell in the Malaz prison, Mohammed said that after the woman received treatment and after he returned to Riyadh after three days in the Western Region, he was arrested after checking up on the woman’s health. In the woman’s apartment were three other women related to her.
“I was glad to note that the lady was making steady progress,” he said. “While we were chatting, there was a knock on the door. When this lady opened the door, four or five Saudis, whom I had seen outside the building before, barged in. They accused me of being alone with the woman unrelated to me and suspected my intention behind this visit to her apartment.”
Mohammed said the Saudis identified themselves as members of the commission and took him and the three women into custody and later to Malaz prison.
But before Mohammad can go anywhere, he has to figure out why he is in prison and how to get out. Mohammed, who embraced Islam recently, said he was unable to understand the reason behind his continued detention.
“I wanted to do a good thing for a woman who was sick, and this is what I get in return,” he said. “I lost the support of my family in Nigeria, where my wife and children are upset with me — and here I am languishing in prison.”
Mr. Lawal has only himself to blame. He should have understood how harmful his behavior was. Although leaving the old woman to her own devices might have caused her death, this pales in comparison to the moral sinkhole that his lewd and lascivious behavior would lead us into.
Fortunately, the Religious Policeman never sleeps.
Hat tip: CG.
In a better world Lawal will come to his senses in prison, leave the Kingdom, renounce islam and return to beg the forgiveness of his wife and children.
Boy, is he in a mess now! Before he was a Muslim, he could have done this good deed and felt good about the whole thing. Now he gets sent to prison for the good deed, and if he decides to leave Islam, he will be under a death sentence. Take heed all ye who think Islam looks cool!
I wonder if any wannabe Muslims will read this and realize the utter insanity of this. It really goes against a good person’s better nature. Can a devout Muslim really feel good about ignoring the health and safety of an old woman?
But given that the muttawa would rather see school girls burn to death than be seen without their proper garb, I guess a truly devout Muslim would be okay with it, secure in their virtue.
So he took her to various hospitals in Riyadh, including the Riyadh Medical Complex at Shumaisy, all of which refused to treat her. It was only after the intervention of Sheikh Fawaz, director of Badiya Islamic Center, that the Badiya Hospital admitted the case.
Here’s the real source of his trouble. He shamed a hospital administration into having to spend money to treat somebody they didn’t want to treat. So naturally, somebody tells the Religious Police to nail him
What gets me is how his family disowned him. How backward are these people?
I have sympathy with this guy, and I will continue to have that as long as he doesn’t defend Islam. Should he do that, however, he’d lose all my sympathy, and I’d think he just got what he deserved.
This is a revelation. I understood that sexual immorality could cause a Saudi woman to be stoned or drowned in a swimming pool, but thought that Saudi men could do as they pleased.
I must admit that, as usual, I’m puzzled. In Western countries, with their powerful incest taboos, men don’t regard close female relatives as potential sex partners, and therefore may be left alone with them. Saudis, however, tend to marry their first cousins. Perhaps the phrase “close female relative” has lost something in translation.