Saturday, December 1, 2007

Mad World

(Proving the point about '80s synth titles. I mean, "Everybody Must Get Stoned" is just too danged obvious)

I recently discovered Doug's Dark World. Here is a recent post.

We'll start with the Saudi Arabian gang rape story, with a preface:

A point I should make here is that my opinion of the Saudi regime has nothing to do with Islam or the Saudi people. If Arabia’s tribal rulers had been a Hindu, Christian, Jew, whatever…the western powers would have propped them up with weapons and looked the other way all the same. This isn’t about a region being backward because of its religion, it’s about propping up a medieval criminal gang because they have something we want.

On to the story:

A woman and an unrelated adult male were out on a drive. This is illegal in Saudi Arabia. They were kidnapped by two men, driven to a remote location and gang raped. This is also illegal in Saudi Arabia. The authorities arrested them all, and tried and convicted them for their crimes. The woman appealed her conviction, the case hit the press, and all parties concerned have had their sentences increased. And as breaking news, the woman apparently has confessed that she was indeed having an affair with the unrelated adult male she was illegally consorting with, making her crime even more serious....

I don’t have a problem per se with Saudi Arabia, in fact I’ve met some charming Saudis in my time, but I don’t plan to visit. I do have a problem with the west protecting this anachronistic undemocratic regime while pretending to stand for democracy and justice and human rights....

[T]he western press seizes these basically everyday news events, and spins them as global stories because they have great “shock” value, ie it’s really easy to use them to portray the Muslim cultures involved as “barbaric.” In fact outraged emails about these are likely circulating as I type, such is the way of the world. What they leave out is that in many of these cases, on appeal the original harsh sentence was overturned. In fact there seems to be a clear pattern in the Islamic world that a harsh sentence is imposed for the original infraction in order to satisfy the religious hard liners, then on appeal a creative way to void the conviction is found.

And then we go into...well, we'll save that for the next post.

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