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Saudi Rape Victim Sentenced

November 16, 2007

Often, I’ll see Muslims jump to the defense of declared Islamic states with statements that these states have low rape statistics.  Unfortunately, while those statistics may be low those very same statistics may be false.  The problem lies in the fact that statistics are formed on reported rapes.  I argue that these countries create a safe haven for rape by creating an atmosphere that would make it extremely difficult for women to report rape.

Take this latest rape case as an example: 

A Saudi girl that was victim to gang rape has been sentenced to 6 months jail and 200 lashes.  The 200 lashes are double her intitial sentence for being alone in a car with an unrelated male.

According to Arab News, the court said the woman’s punishment was increased because of “her attempt to aggravate and influence the judiciary through the media.”

The case has spurred debate amongst Saudis regarding the judicial system:

Reports of the story triggered debate about Saudi Arabia’s legal system, in which judges have wide discretion in punishing a criminal, rules of evidence are shaky and sometimes no defense lawyers are present. The result, critics say, are sentences left to the whim of judges.

The judges, appointed by the king, have a wide discretion in handing down sentences, often said to depend on their whim. A rapist, for instance, could receive anywhere from a light or no sentence, to death.

In this particular case, the court not only banned the attorney from representing her but have confiscated his license and called him up for a disciplinary hearing.

The new trial also nearly doubled the sentences of the men convicted of the rape.  Their sentences now range from 2 to 9 years.

You can read the whole story here.

This particular situation not only sets an example to other women who are raped to think twice about reporting it but it also threatens any lawyer that may have to defend a rape victim.  Beyond that it punishes the girl for calling media attention to her case, thereby making it difficult for reporters/media to report on such cases out of moral dilema.

So the next time we think about how these countries have low rape stats – I want us to also think about the safe haven these countries create for rape.

13 Comments leave one →
  1. master permalink
    November 17, 2007 11:55 am

    well what you are saying also fiction beause your comments are ” could be” or “would be”. a rape is not only a physical rape but also include other definitions from the point of being harrased. now tell me who knows better you or the law maker. if you know better then you should be knowing better, which country has more charges. so understand the underlying purpose n think what is the most security for women.

  2. November 17, 2007 8:16 pm

    “so understand the underlying purpose n think what is the most security for women.”

    The system that does not punish women for being raped. The system that provides the social services necessary to assist these women.

    If you keep arguing that violating the rights of women is okay because in the end it protects her .. all you do is support those in the system that grossly abuse her.

    What would you tell your sister or mother to do if she was raped in a country where women who report rape may be charged with zina? Do you think it would be in her best interest to report it?

    Even here in the US where women do not have to fear being punished for being rape, rape often goes unreported because of shame/embarrassment a woman might be feeling. Allah forgive us for the conditions that have been created for women in supposedly “Islamic” states. Islam gives women more rights and protection than any other religion and we allow men who call themselves Muslim to insist otherwise. Shame on us.

  3. November 17, 2007 11:06 pm

    Suroor has an excellent post on this kind of subject. Here is a link:

    Ya Haqq!

  4. November 18, 2007 2:49 am

    I can not even get my head around this subject. But I keep thinking it reminds me of people who say “she was asking for it” when referring to a rape victim.

  5. November 18, 2007 5:54 am

    Thank you brother Irving – It is quite a post!

    blueseaglas – thanks for your comment although it’s actually worse than she was asking for it – now she’s actually paying for it as well. Can you imagine what sort of emotional trauma she must be going through?

  6. November 18, 2007 6:46 am

    No. The whole thing is unbelievable. What is happening in our world? I wish there were something us little people could do.

  7. sarah permalink
    November 18, 2007 1:33 pm

    i quote “By sentencing her to 90 lashes they are sending a message that she is guilty. No rape victim is guilty” that is exactly what is happening. trying to instill fear into women of what will happen when they speak up about these abhorrent crimes being done to them. i don’t know what master is trying to say but no matter what the circumstances, rape is a monstrous crime and no one could ever justify an act like that.

  8. November 18, 2007 3:34 pm

    blueseaglass – there usually are action campaigns for such although this time I don’t see one. When she was sentenced the first time in march there was an action campaign with amnesty international. I’ll keep an eye out for it and post it if one comes through.

    sarah – I think master is a little pissed off that I am attacking these systems because he wouldn’t want certain aspects to change.

  9. Clare Madden permalink
    January 24, 2014 6:12 pm

    200 lashes for being alone in a car with an unrelated male. It’s interesting, isn’t it, that the man does not receive 200 lashes for being alone in a car with an unrelated female. At what point will men in Muslim countries be considered mature/adult enough to take responsibility for their own actions.


  1. Saudi rape victim gets jail time « The Social Watch
  2. Saudi rape victim gets jail time « The Social Watch
  3. Alert: Saudi Gang Rape Victim Facing Miscarriage of Justice « Muslim Recovery « Samaha
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