The Root of All Saudi Anti-Women Violence Is the Belief That Women Are “Property”

“There is not one law in Saudi Arabia that regards violence toward women as an illegal activity”: what’s really behind Saudi’s domestic abuse problem?

albawaba news

Poster from Saudi Arabia's first anti-domestic violence campaign
Poster from Saudi Arabia’s first anti-domestic violence campaign

Saudi Arabia has introduced a campaign aimed at tackling domestic violence against women in the kingdom. The King Khalid Foundation funds the campaign, which is a royal, family-run organization with clear ties to the Saudi government.

The campaign ad portrays a face-covered woman with only her eyes showing, one of which is bruised. The translation of the Arabic message of the ad reads: “What is hidden underneath is much bigger.” However, the sentence should refer to what is hidden deep inside the laws of the kingdom and not under the facial covers.

The campaign is disconnected from the main reason behind domestic violence. Domestic violence in Saudi Arabia, unlike in other parts of the world, goes far deeper than just a social issue, it is the problem with the law itself. In Saudi Arabia, men grow up knowing that abusing your wife, sister or mother is protected by law. In terms of religion, men in Saudi Arabia, and some other parts of the Muslim world, are being taught in school that hitting your wife is one solution to her disobedience. Clerics are also outspoken about such rulings on TV.

The famous Saudi preacher Mohamad Alarefe, said on LBC channel:

“Allah created women with these soft and fragile bodies because they use their emotions more than their bodies and that’s why you find men discipline their wives with beating while women discipline their husbands with crying.”

He continued, “the point of the husband hitting his wife is not to cause pain but to get obedience.”

Clerics emphasize the fact the women have to obey their fathers, brothers and husbands as part of their religious duty.

On another occasion, when asked about women leaving the house, Mohamad Alarefe said:

“There are two cases for women leaving the house, the first case is if the husband told his wife not to go somewhere, like the market because he ‘hates’ her doing that and she leaves to that place then leaving is forbidden and not allowed. The second case is if she leaves to a place that her husband does not hate and approves of and that it was difficult for her to take his permission because he is in prison, or a captive, etc. then leaving is permitted.”

In terms of law, there is not one law in Saudi Arabia that regards violence toward women as an illegal activity. As a matter of fact, women in Saudi Arabia are minors under law until their death, making it impossible for a woman to make any decision on her own without the permission of her guardian.

This means that even if a woman is “radical” enough to disobey her guardian or reject his abuse or decisions, she has got nowhere to go. She cannot file a complaint or leave the country or do practically anything without her guardian’s permission, which in most cases, ironically, is the abuser himself.

Therefore there is no reason for a man to restrain himself from abusing women in his family. He knows that he has the power to abuse her, hit her, stop her from working and stop her from getting educated while having the law and religion right there behind him.

The ad in the new campaign is meant to define domestic violence in Saudi Arabia as being a social issue and divert attention from the government’s lack of laws that protect women. This campaign takes the responsibility away from the government and puts it in the hands of individuals themselves; women have to step up and talk about abuse and go to shelters, and men have to restrain themselves from abusing women.

This campaign tries to limit the cause to only being the women’s lack of knowledge of laws and regulations. It advocates the notion that the solution can only come by the participation of the women themselves. A comment by princess Ameerah al-Taweel’s, the vice chairwoman of the Board of the Alwaleed Bin Talal foundation, follows on a similar path:

“The main issue when it comes to abused women in Saudi is lack of knowledge. Some women who accept being abused don’t know their rights in Islam, and a lot of women who are suffering from abuse, don’t know their rights in our legal system. That they can report their case and they will be protected by the government.”

This notion presents the government as the “good guy” because supposedly they are promoting such campaigns and willing to help the women who suffer from abuse: a government that has “a legal system” that protects women from abuse and domestic violence.  The fact is under the legal system in Saudi, men can get away with their abuse, as the punishment for domestic violence is very minimal. Human Rights Watch World Report 2013 reported:

“In May, Jeddah’s Summary Court convicted a man for physically abusing his wife to the point of hospitalization, but sentenced him to learning by heart five parts of the Quran and 100 sayings of the Prophet Muhammad.”

The legal system in Saudi Arabia does not have the sufficient tools and laws that would deter men from domestic violence. In case of drugs and murder, the punishment is death penalty, which makes people think twice before committing such crimes because of the consequences.  Yet, when it comes to domestic violence the punishment is learning parts of the Quran and sayings of the Prophet Muhammad.

Such campaigns are ahead of their time because first concrete laws must be put in place. Then and only then can we start equating domestic violence to other social issues, such as drug use or child abuse or animal rights, that take place in the society despite the presence of related laws and regulations. How can we educate people about the harms of a social issue when the government itself is not considering these harms?

Women should refuse to be victimized into believing that such actions are part of their religion and instead ask for real changes in the law itself as opposed to superficially trying to solve such essential issues. They should hold their government accountable for this abuse. The solution to such problems can only be achieved with the kind of spirit and power that the Arab Spring had; by demanding change, protesting oppression and getting hurt for the sake of the cause.

 

By Mohamed Hemish

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Israel Preparing New Syrian Airstrikes, Warns Assad Against Retaliation of Any Kind

[If, after all the stink that has been raised over the previous Israeli aggressions upon Syria in the midst of the US/Saudi war to destroy Syria, Israeli bombers attack again, and Assad fails to retaliate again, then it will prove some level of Israeli control over Assad (SEE: When the Hummus Hits the Fan, Israel Will Choose Bashar al-Assad Over Radical Islamists).  Such a Zionist revelation, coupled with recent news of an Israeli/Saudi alliance, will also reveal the true Patron/Client relationship between the Fascist Shit-hole and the Arab royal dictatorships, who have been the traditional alleged “protectors” of the rights of the Palestinian people.  The Mideast monarchies have given hope that one day they would avenge the “Nakba” ethnic-cleansing of Palestine by returning millions of refugees back to their rightful homes. 

Such is the nature of the “Bizarro world” that we live in. 

Good always turns-out to be evil in the end.  The power of weakness is a Christian delusion.  When we are meek before the enemies of the human race, then the most bloodthirsty criminals will determine the vile nature of the next step in the spiritual/psychological evolution of mankind.]

 

Report: Israel warns Assad not to retaliate to airstrikes

Ynet

Israeli senior official tells New York Times Israel considering further military strikes on Syria to stop transfer of weapons to Hezbollah. ‘If Assad reacts, he will risk forfeiting his regime,’ he says

A senior Israeli official signaled on Wednesday that Israel was considering further military strikes on Syria to stop the transfer of advanced weapons to Islamic militants, and warned Syrian president Bashar Assad, that his government would face crippling consequences if it retaliated against Israel, the New York Times reported.

“Israel is determined to continue to prevent the transfer of advanced weapons to Hezbollah . The transfer of such weapons to Hezbollah will destabilize and endanger the entire region,” the official said in an interview.

“If Syrian President Assad reacts by attacking Israel, or tries to strike Israel through his terrorist proxies,” the official said, “he will risk forfeiting his regime, for Israel will retaliate.”

The newspaper noted that the Israeli official has been briefed by high-level officials on the Syria situation in the past two days and had contacted The New York Times on Wednesday.

The paper considered the timing of the statements. “The precise motives for Israel’s warning were uncertain: Israel could be trying to restrain Syria’s behavior without undertaking further military action, or alerting other countries to another strike. That would ratchet up the tension in an already fraught situation in Syria,” the report said.

Foreign reports claim Israel carried out a total of three airstrikes in Syria since the civil war there began two years ago. The first allegedly took place in January when a convoy was bombed near the Syria-Lebanon border.

The target was reported to have been an arms shipment to Hezbollah that included Russian-made SA-17 missiles – possibly “game changing” weapons in the conflict between Israel and Hezbollah. Damascus later conceded there had been an attack claiming the target was a military research center in Jamraya.

The second airstrike allegedly occurred in early May and was reported by US media. The target was an arms shipment from Iran to Hezbollah. Another strike was reported 48 hours later. According to Syria, the Jamraya military center had been bombed again.

Israel did not comment on the reports.

Thousands of Mehsud Tribesmen Kicked-Out of Army’s S. Waziristan Showcase, Now Demanding Their Right To Vote

[The entire Mehsud tribe was made to pay the price, because of Baitullah and Hakeemullah (SEE: 1000 Mehsud Refugees Run-Out of WanaPak Army Uses US Money To Build Road for Ahmadzai Wazirs To Run Mehsuds Out of Wana On).  This is true “ethnic cleansing” on a grand scale.  The Army took over the Mehsud S. Waziristan area and ran out the Mehsuds, before implementing their grand plan to create a model community for the Mehsuds’ adversaries, (the Wazirs), teaching locals (non-Mehsud) farming and carpentry skills, building new highways to connect the model community without people with the rest of the world.  The Mehsud refugees now want to vote.  It seems like they would be more interested in going back home.]

Elders of Waziristan demand rescheduling of polls

pakistan today

APP

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SOUTH WAZIRISTAN – Elders of Waziristan on Wednesday urged the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to reschedule elections in NA-42 in South Waziristan Agency.
In a press briefing, the elders of Waziristan, including Malik Jamal Mehsud, Malik Sher Bahadar Mehsud, Malik Bismal Khan Mehsud, Malik Ghausudding Muhsud, Malik Sher Muhammad Mehsud and Malik Javed Mehsud said that thousands of tribesmen have been deprived from exercising of their voting rights inadequate polling stations in Tank and Dera Ismail Khan. They said that there were only three polling stations for a population of 100,000 and 8,000 voters.
They said the Mehsud tribesmen have not exercised their right of franchise due to insufficient polling stations in their respective areas.
The elections were not held at the constituency in 2008 owing to operation against militants in the area.

– See more at: http://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2013/05/15/news/national/elders-of-waziristan-demand-rescheduling-of-polls/#sthash.7wDdihR5.dpuf