The following article is from Kevin Myers at the Irish Independent. And it really does express a magnificent independence, a sense of moral outrage that one can be forgiven for thinking had all but disappeared from Europe, spent in the moral masturbation of attacking Israel and the US.
Among the more interesting aspects of the case, which the author raises, but whose implications he does not explore, is the fact that the girl in question got 90 lashes for being raped, and an additional 110 lashes for speaking to the press about it. There we touch on honor-shame issues; and we also touch on the enormous leverage the West has — if it would only use it — on the Muslim world.
EU inaction breeds contempt in a dictatorship of floggers
By Kevin Myers
Tuesday November 20 2007
There are some things — no, many things — which I do not understand in this world. But, what I find most incomprehensible of all is that the following story has not made world headlines. Without more ado, let me outline it.
An unnamed Saudi 19-year old woman — let us call her Fatima — has been sentenced to 200 lashes, after being gang-raped 14 times by a group of seven Sunni men in the town of Qatif. Not merely did they repeatedly rape her, but they also raped the male friend they found her with.
Her attackers received sentences of between 10 months and five years. The man she was found with in the car — we’ll call him Abdul– was sentenced to 90 lashes.
Why were Abdul and Fatima, both of them rape victims, sentenced to anything? Because they were alone in a car, and it is a criminal offence in Saudi Arabia for unrelated men and women to be in one another’s company.
This law represents the quintessence of sexual pathologies in Saudi Arabia. It embodies the pervasive fear that if two people who are not married are together alone in a car, they will engage in forbidden sexual behavior. No notion of self-restraint, no trust in the citizen — really the subject — to behave appropriately. Jealously — and envy — legislate.
So criminal, indeed, that even after being repeatedly raped, the two offenders were considered worthy of further punishment: 90 lashes each, which was increased to 200 lashes for Fatima after she had the temerity to appeal and to speak to the Saudi press about the horror which had befallen her.
There are many questions which result from this story. The first is the one I referred to in the opening paragraph: why is this is not a world-shattering headline?
Excellent question, and probably linked to the same forces that render British artists and political cartoonists, reknown for their iconoclastic assaults on all that is “holy” to become pussycats when it is a question of Islam. Intimidation. Britain, like so much of Europe and the rest of the West, has become a proto-Dhimmi state. This girl had the courage to speak to the press despite the pressure on her to shut up, but the press doesn’t have the courage to carry her words.
Of all the stories of abuse, torture and degradation which Islamic societies seem to specialise in, this is surely in a class of its own.
For you can call a 19-year-old a woman if you like, but to my mind, in any society, she is still a girl, and in the enclosed and repressive horror of Saudi Arabia, an utterly inexperienced one.
Rape is always an unspeakable crime, but it varies in extremes, and what happened to her and her friend is just about off the scale. To be sure, whether or not Fatima was a virgin is irrelevant; no amount of sexual experience in any way prepares a woman for such violation.
But in Saudi Arabia, there is this further consequence. Fatima is no longer marriageable: and in married life alone can a Saudi woman find a life.
And now she is to be flogged, 200 times. 200 times.
So let Fatima stand as the totem of one of the most evil countries in the world, one which is dominated by the insane Wahhabist sect; a land where children are taught to hate Jews and the West; where young men are so perverted by hatred that they can be sexually aroused sufficiently to rape a man and woman they find alone; a land which produced 18 of the 22 suicide bombers of 9/11; and which has spread a vast network of terror-cells across the world.
For the international Islamist threat has been intellectually fuelled by Saudi Arabia; as have, financially, the madrassahs across the world which promote jihad and suicide bombings.
Saudi feels contempt for us; and what does the West do, but placates, conciliates, permits: hence, the utterly ludicrous notion that at the London Olympics there should be a Muslim area, at the centre of which should be a 25,000-worshipper mosque.
So much for the Olympian spirit; but still, if the IOC ever introduces flogging, or gang-rape into the games, Saudi will be certain to get golds galore.
So, why do we and the EU have dull diplomatic relations with this dictatorship of floggers and rapists? Why did a government delegation meekly accept the sexual apartheid of a delegation of ministers to Saudi? Why do we accept their diseased, demented norms? Ah, goes the argument, because we have more leverage when we talk to them and accept their ways.
Rubbish. Utter rubbish. We want their oil and we want their markets, and the raped and violated teenage Fatima may be flogged by these savages with impunity, in order that we may retain our commercial links.
I’d take it a step further at least. We are afraid. They have contempt for us for good reason. The things they fear most about us — our freedoms, especially of speech — we “voluntarily” restrain for their sakes. Wouldn’t you have contempt for an enemy, much more powerful than you, who voluntarily sets aside his most effective weapons even as you declare war on him? As far as they’re concerned, the moral preening of the West — especially Europe — is a joke. We don’t have the courage of our own convictions. We are hypocrites.
And, if you wanted further proof — though God knows, none should now be necessary — that the EU is a hollow, meaningless vessel, the fact that Saudi Arabia feels free to flog anyone 200 times, never mind a rape victim, not only proves that this vile country doesn’t give a damn for the “core principles” of the EU, but it also knows that the EU will do nothing serious to defend those principles.
I heard a talk from an American rabbi who had participated in a “multi-faith dialogue” group at the highest diplomatic levels that took place in posh Monaco. The Saudi representative got up and began by insisting that Saudi Arabia respected freedom of religion… and no one laughed, no one challenged him, no one said, “Whom do you take us for… fools?” Indeed. He and his fellow Saudis do take us for fools, and that we most decidedly are.
There shouldn’t be a functioning embassy in Riyadh: Saudi airports should be lunar in their silence; oil-tankers should be immobilised in Jeddah; and the heathen barbarians running Saudi should remain in economic and diplomatic purdah, until they start conforming with civilised conduct, as is understood in Borneo, Peru, Greenland, China, India, Rwanda — indeed everywhere where Islamicists are not in power.
For, unless we stand up for Fatima now, we are mere whores, meekly waiting our turn to be buggered by the rapists of Riyadh.
This is a top-down solution, one that counts on the actions of governments who will be in serious trouble with their constituencies when the price of oil shoots through the roof. To be able to do this, we must break our addiction to oil.
But there’s something else we can do, much less expensive and, in some senses, much more effective.
Shame them. Write about this in our media. They gave that girl 110 additional lashes because, even more than sexual promiscuity, they fear publicity, they fear shame and humiliation.
Of course, for that, we need a MSM that has the courage to speak truth to vicious power. So far, they much prefer Bush and the Israelis. To ride the stallion of freedom, one needs civic courage. So far in this dramatic 21st century, our journalists, fearful of stallions but eager to mount their hobby-horses of anti-Zionism and anti-Americanism — have failed us miserably. Woe onto the free people whose journalists are cowards.