Saudi Arabia: The Cover Up of Polygamy

I have noticed that in Saudi Arabia and even other places around the world where Islamic polygamy has been practiced it is usually tightly held if not outrightly concealed.  Polygamy continues to be practiced in Saudi Arabia.  I wish I knew the statistics of how many wives in Saudi where the man has chosen polygamy are all Saudi wives or whether there is a Saudi wife and wives of other nationalities.  Many of the families which I know where polygamy is practiced seem to have two wives where one wife is Saudi and the other wife is a foreigner.  There does not seem to be a pattern on which wife (Saudi or foreign) was the first.  However, in all cases of which I am personally aware, not a one of the wives are happy that their husband chose to exercise his entitlement of polygamy.

Polygamy is complex in so many aspects.  In most cases in Saudi Arabia it is practiced where the man has two separate families.  In some cases the children of the wives may know one another and mix.  There are other cases where the children have nothing to do with one another and are close and loyal to their mother whom they believe has been cheated and short-changed.

The wives typically have their separate lives and do not want to mix.  If there is a special occasion such as a birth, wedding, funeral or Eid celebrations, they may both be present.  Because of the occasion which will generally have many other women present, the wives will be polite to one another.  Yet they are probably quivering inside with multiple emotions for having to face the other woman with whom their husband also has a home, children and ongoing intimacy.

Many foreign wives choose to conceal that they are living in polygamy whether the polygamy occurred with or without their knowledge or consent.  Western women in particular have an ostrich coping mechanism choosing to bury their head in the sand rather than publicly face or acknowledge that they are not the only wife.  In their Western eyes, what the husband has done, by executing his entitlement to polygamy, is wrong.  The family members and friends of the man will not speak out about the man’s actions and choices adding their collusion and enablement into the mix.  In many cases, the wives may be the last to know that their Saudi husband chose to practice polygamy.

Does a Saudi man choose polygamy because he may be torn between two worlds?  The man is typically raised in a conservative environment and culture yet he experiences some of the Western freedoms either from his work or circle of friends in Saudi Arabia or he has either lived or traveled outside of Saudi Arabia.  Or the man may have been influenced by what he has seen or read in the media about the West and found himself yearning for something different?  The Saudi man will truly have two very different lifestyles and ways of life when he has both a traditional Saudi wife and a foreign (Western) wife.  Even when a man chooses to marry a woman from another Arab country or any country, he will still have two very different lives and lifestyles.  No two women are the same and that applies to Saudi women too.  So why does today’s Saudi man wish to have more than one wife?  Let’s face it, many of today’s Saudi men who have chosen polygamy are not doing so based on the requirements of how polygamy is encouraged and endorsed in the Holy Quran.


216 Responses

  1. They do it because they can, and because they are selfish and usually they are liars as well.

    Women also have a role in this. Some of they actively seek out already married men- usually older and successful ones, so they can get married, but also work and have children and not have to manage a husband full time. They care not what kind of ruin they bring on the other family. I know serveral people this has happened to. And often the woman stays in order to keep custody of her children, but it is heartbreaking.

    My sympathies are with the first wife, or any wife that didn’t know about the others. If they’re lucky they find out before children enter the picture and they can get out of the marriage.

  2. Saudis like any other men in the world. The difference is that western men can practice sex, adultery all the time when they are teens, matured, married. So, western men can jump from one woman to another any time they feel so. Their eternal excuse is, (I do not love you any more and I am in love with another woman, sorry). Some of them may sleep with more than 40 ladies during all his life (polyamory). Some of them run away and leave these women with babies. The only difference is that Saudis do not like to commit adultery, so they are obliged to marry another wife if they feel that they are stuck with the first wife. Because they are not selfish, they just give the first wife the chance to continue her life with him in her house under his custody. See how Saudis are more kind and responsible than western men? And now Saudis pay the bill for being kind and responsible. If they do the same thing that western men do to women which is being polyamory and run, no one will criticize them but some people have psychological complex from anything related to Saudis.

  3. From what I have seen, saudi men feel restricted about their behaviors with their saudi wives, their life is a bit burdened by some social beliefs they can’t ignore. accordingly, they behave in a certain manner so they dont embrrass themselves, shame their wives, and disappoint their society.

    Marrying a saudi is always an option to live with her the conservative side of the personality, whereas marrying a non saudi is a letout. A way to break the chains with a woman who wont condemn his actions, behaviour that negate what the society believes in. Polygamy is a solution for many men to make that balance between the two sides. In some villages, I have met women in who wear a veil inside the house because ‘culture’ proposes that, men on the other side are so conservative that they wont express their feelings because its a shameless act.. the list goes on I can fill pages of how traditions control many couples’ lives.

    I am not defending men, but I think they are a victim as much as women of some merciless traditions.

    There are other incentives like the so called uncontrollable lust! something ONE woman can’t really fulfill.. as they claim.

  4. medina,
    i have to disagree with u.i should admit that it happens that some western men leave their wifes, cheat on them and have more then one sexual partner during their lifes..however, some women do the same things as well..
    from your comment i have understood that saudi men dont do this which is obviously not truth..some saudi men do have one or many sexual relationships before marrige as well as after not with their official wife/wives..
    but the main point is that in western world this kind of behaviour is viewed as bad, unmoral, is discouraged and is condemned by society.
    whereas, in saudi there r plenty of ppl that justify and defend polygamy.
    this is the main and crucial difference between our ‘worlds’ rather then searching for those who wants and doesnt want to commit adultery as u wrote

  5. i want to add that i do understand each case of polygamous marriage is different from another..and if a husband and his wives r completely sutisfied with their marrige, i am not the one who can judge and tell them how to live (even thought i still have the right for my personal opinion)..but there r plenty of cases when wife cant leave marrige because of various reasons even though she is unhappy with the way things r..
    im peronally concerned about these women and my opinion is not connected with ‘psychological complex from anything related to Saudis’ as medina wrote above.

  6. Medina, that sounded almost racist. There are plenty of men in the west that don’t cheat on their wives. And you must be very naive if you think some Saudi men don’t have premarital sex or cheat on their wives. Practicing polygamy does not mean a man is not also cheating. Also, practicing polygamy just to have more sex is not the correct reason for practicing polygamy, and it really is just adultry because you can’t fool Allah. At least the west doesn’t pretend it’s ok.

    Saudi men often hold their first wife hostage to financial and child custody sitiations. The first wive would like to leave but he will keep the children from her. That is very cruel.

  7. Sandy
    “At least the west doesn’t pretend it’s ok.”
    So you mean its ok for the western men to do it? They cheat behind their wives and we hear about this all the time. Some have long term relationships while their first real wife do not know a thing about it. Do you feel sorry for those wives also? Or only for Saudi wives?

  8. @irina,
    Yes I admit too that some Saudis do have sexual relationships before marriage but it is condemned socially and there are 100 lashes secured by law for everyone makes a adultery, but in the west it is OK to have a adultery and to be polyamory. They have only one condition in the west which is not have two wives at the same time but you can marry 40 wives, one wife, each time, read about polyamory please and you will find that it is not condemned socially or by law.

    why racist? If my description of the situation in the west is considered racist, this article and all your comments are racist too. And I did not say that all men in the west cheat on their wives but you must admit that a big segment of American society does not know their fathers, why?! Truth is hard to bear sometimes. Face it to know yourself better before you point a finger to someone else. And yes it cruel to run away and leave a woman alone with her kids and shame on all those men who do such horrible thing to ladies and shame on all those who defend such men directly and indirectly. Let American ladies who are suffering from men there speak out because you did not live their experiences. If you think that you are the only one who knows about America and Americans, you are wrong; I have plenty of American friends.

  9. Marina
    Social mores are different between societies. We can marry more than 40 but at one time not more than 4. The truth of the matter is west cannot accept that we muslim can marry 4 although it is not prerogative or absolute right but it is subjected and qualified right. Because of this in many muslims countries there are laws which restrict the Men’s right although these law is challenge by many muslim men as unislamic but then again it is a belief on of faith.
    Not too long again prenuptial in Marriage is frown but to the western eyes it is ok forgetting that Muslim have prenuptial in their takzil marriage a long time ago.
    The west forgot that Islam regard marriage is a contract tus as long as care is taken to draft the contract abuses can be avoided although like all Asian Men Muslim Men are chauvinist pigs thus this right for the women has been slowly abrogated and that is sad. Please see the great marriage contract of the Fatimid era.
    To say Muslim do not have sex is true but this is not to say all born Muslims are muslims that include you Medina, Only god decide you are a muslim or not but we do pray fast and perform our duties but like Muhammad pbuh who pray until his feet is swollen a hadith told by Aisha he repeatedly says he is a Man, a Prophet no doubt but still a Man. Thus he seek forgiveness from God every time for his wrath is frightening but it seems you have forgotten that!!! I am do not agreed to the western ways but I fear to condemn them. I do not condone their lifestyle but I belief they will answer to God just like we do so let it be!

  10. @Medina,
    there r a huge difference between a law and seems like u dont understand this. if we dont have legal punishment for adultery, that doesnt mean it is ok over here for society. believe it or not, but mothers dont compete with each other on whose son slept with more women and fathers dont brag about how many kids and wifes their sons abondoned
    thank u for your advice to read about polyamory but i live in western europe (which is western world isnt it?)so im pretty familliar with laws.
    however, i must assure u that society do condemn, discourage, judge cheating on your spouse, leaving kids/wife..(polyamory)
    i dont really know where u get that misconception so i would rather tell u the same thing u did ‘read about polyamory please’
    furthermore,i dont quite understand why u say that someone here points fingers at saudi, its men or women.this blog is about saudi and it is not a surprise that this article is also about saudi rather then america or other countries..which u can be happy about that ppl find your country worth to discuss..frankly saying, ur the one who point figers..noone said that west is inoccent and perfect..each country has thier own problems but here we talk about simple as that
    @Sarah Md
    i am pretty sure that Sandy meant it other way around..i think she meant that the west does realise that adultery exist over there but she didnt say that it is viewed as good or ok..dont know where u read that

  11. Medina,
    A big difference in the US is that when a man and woman get divorced, is that they can share custody and he still has to maintain her. She can continue on with her life and hopefully find another partner, should she want. In Saudi, a woman has little chance of finding love or another spouse. She either has to stay married for support and/or custody of the kids.
    One other thing you mentioned, that most American kids don’t know their fathers is absolutely untrue! I have never met anyone who did not know who their father is! The only time I’ve heard of that stuff is on the Jerry Springer show.

  12. @Sarah MD,
    No that is not at all what I meant.
    I absolutely don’t admit that a large segment of Americans don’t know who their father is. Everyone I know, knows who their father is. You must be watching Jerry Springer and Maury Povich on tv. How many of your American friends don’t know who their father is?

    Medina if you read the Saudi newspapers there has been article after article lately about Saudi men who have run off and left their wives/babies in foreign countries without support. In happens in Saudi too. At least in the west the woman has the right to do honest work and feed her family if she has no one to help her.

    Some men and some women in all societies do these things. But this post is about SAUDI POLYGAMY which is why we are talking about SAUDI POLYGAMY and not the US and it’s norms.

  13. Just for clarification on Western Laws, since there seem to be confusion here. I will focus on the US since that seems to be where everyone points when talking about the west:

    – The Western law approach is that the human body is the property of its owner (i.e. the individual) and thus government should not limit the person’s control over it. This results in laws that does not criminalize consensual sex
    – Sex without consent is criminal, since your freedoms over your own body should not extend to others. This include cases of rape, forceful sex even on someone’s spouse, and sex with underage partners (a person that is not an adult cannot give consent)
    – Marriage is only a civil contract
    – A person even if married can have sex with others without becoming a criminal. However, under civil law breaking a contract can have civil consequences such as financial penalties, loss of custody of kids in cases of divorce, etc.
    – It is criminal to have more than one active civil contract for marriage.
    – Men do have civil responsibility for their children under the Laws. Courts regularly hand out rulings for men to pay for child support. This happens regardless if a person was married or not during conception.
    – If the marriage contract is dissolved, both parties can ask for damages. Some damages, like alimony, can last for life if one of the partners is more capable financially.
    – In all of the above Men and Women are treated equally under the law. Custody of children is given to the more capable parent.
    – Social norms in the West is that Sex is a part of human behavior. If you are an adult then you can choose your partner and you are free to experiment with many partners as long as you do not make commitments to one partner. It is important to note that marriage is not the only way to make a commitment in the West. You will be considered a cheat under social norms even if you are not married. Cheating is not something accepted in the West by any means, it is just not criminal.

    Under Saudi law:

    – All sex is criminal behavior. You can be lashed for it if you are not married and you can be stoned to death if you are already married.
    – The only time Sex is allowed is by getting permission from a religious authority
    – Marriage is a civil contract that decriminalizes the sex act. However, the issue arises in the discussion here from the fact that this contract is by default discriminatory:
    * The man is required to provide financial support for the family regardless of the abilities of the wife
    * The man can marry other women without a requirement to get approval from the other partner in the contract. The woman cannot do the same.
    * The man can dissolve the contract at anytime of his choosing. The woman cannot do the same. She will have to prove that the man is of bad character or does not provide for her properly in-front of a judge (a very tall order)
    * When a marriage contract is dissolved. The man receive favorable status on custody issues by law. The man will not have financial responsibility for the wife other than a very short period after the divorce. This is regardless of her inability to support herself.

    I do think there is cheating that goes on in every society. The issue in these discussions is that cheating is used like a smoke screen to avoid talking about the main topic. The issue of polygamy is specific to marriage contracts.

    I think we should discuss that instead of pointing fingers and argue who’s society tolerate cheating more than the other. It should be a given that no society accepts cheating.

    My position is that marriage is a contract. Laws should NOT favor one party in a contract over the other. Hence, I think contracts in Saudi are prejudicial by default.

  14. @Medina

    If I had to choose, I would much rather my husband has a mistress than a second wife. Luckily, I live in a society where I will not be confronted with this choice.

    If you think Saudi men don’t have extramarital sex, you are delusional. My Saudi husband laughed for ten minutes when he read your comment. If you think Saudi women don’t have extramarital sex, you are delusional twice.

    “The only difference is that Saudis do not like to commit adultery, so they are obliged to marry another wife if they feel that they are stuck with the first wife.”

    Actually, they like to commit adultery as much as anyone. Given an opportunity, they would screw around as openly as anyone. Their behavior in the West illustrates it quite well. And here’s another tip for you: feel stuck with the first wife? Divorce her.

    ” Because they are not selfish, they just give the first wife the chance to continue her life with him in her house under his custody.”

    What you really mean is “because they want to have a piece of every woman, they will keep the first wife in their house instead of letting her go free to build a new life.”

    ” See how Saudis are more kind and responsible than western men.” Really? Really? Divorce in Saudi is a lot cheaper and easier for the man than the West.

    Darling, do you know what happens when a western man divorces his wife? She gets HALF. HALF of everything. Not the pittance of three months’ sustenance or whatever you guys call it. HALF OF EVERYTHING. Even if she never worked. See how the western system is so kind and responsible?

    Also, while you’re at it, isn’t it true that Saudi divorce rate is 50%? Sounds like you don’t have much to brag about in the marriage stability department. So much for your comment that “we are not selfish so we don’t divorce.” Get off the kool-aid.

  15. I will ignore medina’s comment because it is totally fallacious.
    Sometimes I wonder if he is really just a schoolboy. Anyway, the only interest I find in his comment is the enormous ignorance and prejudice he and others display.

    I think there have been comments made on this thread which are vastly superior. I prefer to read and/or comment on those.
    I think the whole discussion here would improve immensely if people would just separate the idiotic and useless from the real interesting comments.

  16. Sarah MD

    Reread Sandy’s post…she said that “at least western men DON”T pretend it is OK”…how you got “so it is OK for western men” out of that, I don’t know.

    She is saying it happens on both sides of the ocean but the West knows it is wrong, says so, and recognizes when they screw up. And the society as a whole is not condoning it through polygamy…

  17. Medina…

    It is NOT ok to have adulterous relationships. MOST people will not excuse it or condone it…and although a man won’t get 100 lashes for it he will get dragged into court, can be divorced by the wife and then have to lose his family, home, have to support her and the kids etc. So he may not be beheaded but there is a legal way of punishing him if he cheats.

  18. Medina…

    You are quite wrong about having 40 wives and not being condemned socially. True one can be a serial marryer…but no one would look at a man who has been divorced 4 or 5 times as nothing wrong. He MOST DEFINITELY would be viewed by most as having something wrong with him that he can’t maintain a marriage. He would be viewed as damaged goods by a lot of people and most would think there is something wrong with him. Would he get lashed? No. But he would find it hard to find a woman to marry if he was honest about hs many marriages. The same goes for a woman. Believe it or not in the west the PREFERABLE method of marriage is one spouse for the rest of your life…sometimes things don’t work out. And it is not common to meet anyone who has been married more than two times…three is pushing it a bit…and beyond tht it is fairly uncommon.

  19. @wan,
    “To say Muslim do not have sex is true but this is not to say all born Muslims are muslims that include you Medina,”

    I did not say that all born Muslims are Muslims. And I did not even mention Muslims, I speak about Saudis. You can read my post again.

    I am not speaking in terms of morality but law. And I think the western countries enjoy democracy and their laws are legislated to meet people’s will. As there are many laws legislated for human rights, there is no law for punishing adulterers. Here, I can question your claim that adultery is not accepted socially although I believe you. So, the issue is not wether I believe what you said or not, the issue is that there is no law for punishing adulterers although there is democracy which can be understood as a signal that adultery is accepted socially. The other thing that caused misunderstanding as I think is that we have different definition of adultery. According to one of my Orthodox friends, adultery happens when one of married couples has sex outside wedlock but singles are not included in adultery definition even if they have sex. In Islam, adultery includes married couples and singles. So I think you misunderstood my reference to adultery in my post and you understood that I meant specifically the spouses but I actually refer to single men who have sex with women and then they run away and leave single women alone pregnant. This is the polyamory that I am speaking about. The single guy, who loves more than 40 ladies, one woman every three months, is the polyamory. Speaking about Saudi is something we used to have here and it does not bother me and it means actually that Saudi is an “issue” for some people here which does not necessary mean a positive thing.

    Last point, when someone refers to your post as a racist post, I think he points a finger to you. So, you should not blame me if I defend myself. Also, the article is about Saudi men and polygamy. This also can be understood as pointing finger to someone. And advice for reading something is not a bad advice if you think it is bad. We exchange culture here and knowledge through discussing culture. So it is very likely that one of us suggest reading some cultural stuff. And I appreciate it.

    I do agree with you that Saudi ladies have little chance to fall in love and American ladies have much better chances. But I would say also that custody for kids are secured also in Saudi too. I did not say the majority of Americans do not know their fathers. I said a big segment of the American society does not know their fathers and you can correct me if I am wrong and I will appreciate it.

    Yes Springer show is on focus. And one of my American friends does not know her father.

    sorry, your post is off the point that I am speaking about. I am speaking in terms of LAW.

    Please read my reply to Irina.

  20. Medina….

    The absolute best answer to you post is what Moq wrote…He hit the nail on the head.

    Adultery is punished not by beating or stoning but by the law…they hit a man in the wallet. Whereas Sharia might give them lashes or stone them, a man is “punished” by losing so much that is important to him and he has to keep on giving for years if need be…a pretty strong deterent to future adultery.

  21. @oby,
    This is what I am refering to:

    “Social norms in the West is that Sex is a part of human behavior. If you are an adult then you can choose your partner and you are free to experiment with many partners as long as you do not make commitments to one partner. It is important to note that marriage is not the only way to make a commitment in the West. You will be considered a cheat under social norms even if you are not married. Cheating is not something accepted in the West by any means, it is just not “criminal”. (Moq).

    HERE where “polyamory” plays with his tail. In saudi, law, such behaviour is a crime.

  22. Sandy
    ““At least the west doesn’t pretend it’s ok.”
    You said you didn’t mean that its ok in the west… but what did you mean by that statement? Do you mean that Saudis pretend it is ok? Adultery is not ok and is punishable. Marriage is not adultery. If one abuses polygamy then it is wrong. In the West because of their “free” law, it is ok for a married man to have relationships. (NN said she does not mind it). In the West it is an hourly fact for a man to have extramartial affairs – don’t the kids suffer from broken homes? And he does not have affairs wih one women but more than one. (Tiger Woods for example).

    So if you say that “At least the west doesn’t pretend it’s ok.”, and still they do it, then what can you say about that society.

  23. Sex is the norm in the west, it is seen everywhere. And one is expected to be a relationship as young as 12 and by 18, you are an adult so you are on your own. If one is not in a relationship at 12 , it is abnormal. It is quite alright to have relationship if you have a partner. it is not a crime to cheat on your partner. One can have 3 or 4 partners and cheat on all, They know it is wrong but its ok. Even if they have children and these children suffer, its not a problem. But to marry and have a legal relationship is not okay. THAT is a crime.

  24. @sara,
    our american friends feel offended and they got upset. I just wanted to show them that we can bite too. anyway, I am sorry if you felt offended and it is not our habits to bash people as you do here 24 hours, bashing saudis. so, today, I just wanted to behave like you. and I hope you got the message.

    aafke, your post was the only post that made me smile today hehe. Thanks.

  25. Sarah MD
    Misuse of polygamy is the same as adultery. Man cannot allow what Allah does not. Allah gave very strict guidelines on polygamy that many Saudi’s don’t follow. But because they can legally marry they do-pretending it is somehow morally right. That is what I meant- you are free to disagree of course but that is all I meant.

    Men AND women cheat in both cultures. Men AND women have affairs etc. in both cultures.

    BOTH cultures value marriage BOTH value faithfulness. NEITHER culture thinks its “okay” to cheat. Saudi criminalizes fornication and adultery. Western culture generally gives a much fairer treatment to the woman in the case of a divorce.

    I don’t approve of it anywhere. I do not understand why a thread on POLYGAMY in SAUDI turned into a discussion on western morals.

  26. @Medina,
    i really dont think that your advice about reading and gathering more info is bad and by any meaning insulting, as well as my advice for u:)
    i have to disagree again..the lack of governmental punishment isnt always the signal of social this case, it is the sign of the freedom of choice.which doesnt mean that choice is viewed as good

  27. Interesting post. A couple months ago I read a book co-authored by Osama bin Laden’s first wife. In it Najwa shares some about polygyny’s influence in her life and I found her thoughts interesting. She and the co-wives and children all lived together and she spoke fondly of OBL’s other wives for the most part.

    For the record, she said Osama approached her about taking another wife (I can admire this better than the ones who sneak around to take new wives) because he wanted to practice Islam fully and imitate Muhammad’s example. I think also he wanted to increase the ummah by bringing more Muslim children into the world. If I remember correctly Najwa chose one or two of the wives for her husband.

    She admitted that no first wife likes the idea of her husband taking another wife, however, I think these women have been taught (brainwashed if you prefer) to believe they must sacrifice their own wants for the sake of Allah and they believe they will be rewarded by God for enduring hard things such as sharing their husbands.

  28. Sandy
    “Misuse of polygamy is the same as adultery. Man cannot allow what Allah does not. Allah gave very strict guidelines on polygamy that many Saudi’s don’t follow.”

    Yes I agree on this point. This is what I meant by “abuse” whereas you used “misuse”. If they misuses the rules for polygamy, it is against them.

    Are you talking to me? Did I bash Saudis 24 hours?
    “I just wanted to behave like you. and I hope you got the message.” ??? Not sure if you are talking to me or to another Sara.

  29. @Irina,
    Very nice convincing reply.

    No wife has a brain will agree on polygamy. This is what my mum always says. The point is not to agree with polygamy, the point is that both parties, Muslims and westerners play on women and women are always suffering ): . Hanging men on oak trees is the best solution but I am sure many women will say NO. So the problem is partially caused by women who accept to be a second wife or cheated by a polyamory (sleep with him before marriage). If women do not accept such treatment, then, the problem will be solved.

    sorry, I do not mean you by the last part of the post. This part is directed to you only: (our american friends feel offended and they got upset. I just wanted to show “them” that we can bite too.)

    This part below is directed to American friends here.

    “anyway, I am sorry if you felt offended and it is not our habits to bash people as you (americans) do here 24 hours, bashing saudis. so, today, I just wanted to behave like you (Americans). and I hope you (Americans) got the message.”

  30. Yes, thank you, Medina, we got your message. You can play just as dirty as we can. Now don’t we all feel better? 😛

  31. Medina,

    You make “The West + The US” seem like we’re just a writhing Chex mix of sex organs.

    Surely a fair Allah who loves all his children equally would allow women to take 4 husbands and not men!


  32. there’s a jodanian speaker, called zaid ghazzawi, who suggests that polygamy, because it’s mentioned in the same verses that deal with looking after the orphans, should be practised with those women who are war widows in order that those children whose fathers have been killed can be cared for.

  33. @Medina

    I think you are misguided about the meaning of the word “polyamory”. Because I’m in a charitable mood today, let me educate you. Polyamory means being in several romantic relationship with fully informed partners AT THE SAME TIME. Having 40 girlfriends one after another before getting married is not polyamory. Having 50 boyfriends one after another before getting married is not polyamory. Having two girlfriends or boyfriends who all know of each other’s existence qualifies as polyamory. I think you are applying this term to anyone who’s had more than one partner in their lifetime, and that’s just wrong.

    @Sarah MD

    Abnormal to be without a relationships at age 12? Get off the kool-aid.

    “In the West it is an hourly fact for a man to have extramartial affairs.”

    It takes a very talented man to have extramarital affairs every hour. Most men are good only for a few times a week. Perhaps you’ve mingled with a contingent that has unusually open access to Viagra? Or is this another one of your stereotypes right there with abnormal 12-year olds without relatioinships?

    “Don’t the kids suffer from broken homes?”

    Don’t kids suffer from polygamy? Are you telling me children are unaffected if their father goes and gets another family?

  34. As usual these discussions go in circles 🙂

    First Medina raised the prospect that Polygamy is the answer to men not becoming adulteress. It has been established that all societies have cheats. Polygamy is not a solution for that, since 1) men can decide on cheating without taking the responsibility of a 2nd wife (2) even if a man can afford 4 wives, he still can cheat on all his wives if he wants to 3) a woman can also cheat and Islam does not allow her to be polygamist. Hence polygamy does not solve the cheating problem.

    We are back to the idea of Islam allowing a form of marriage contract that is in favor of the man. If someone has an answer to why such discrimination is beneficial to society with all its injustice, let him/her speak up.What I mean by beneficial is to solve a major problem that cannot be solved by a more just process.

    So far all I saw is finger pointing and claiming my society is more moral than yours.

  35. Actually from all I have understood about Polygamy in Islam, when the Prophet recommended it it was to benefit older women and children who had lost husbands and fathers during wars. In that sense, in a society where there was constant fighting raiding and plundering and a woman without some sort of benefactor/protector was left out for the wolves it makes some sense. In that context there was a benefit to women.

    It feel nowadays that men use it because they get tired of the first wife and want a little “variety” in the bedroom that is legal. How many of these same men who are all for polygamy if they were forced to take on older widows and those with children already and practice polygamy as the Prophet laid it out would still be all for it? I am guessing the practice would die out in a heartbeat!! I don’t think he intended it as a legal way of “trading up”.

  36. You’re right Oby. It was about taking care of vulnerable women not indulging a man.

    Men seem to view marriage as only being about sex when they do this. Have sex with multiple partners is an easy thing to do. Having an actually RELATIONSHIP with mulutiple partners is much harder. They never think much about that till they are well into it.

  37. Actually Sandy…

    You brought up something else that I was wondering about and that is: in a monogamous marriage it is difficult enough to have a real give and take relationship where one is there for the other, you are a true helpmate and counsel, you share hopes and dreams and mutual goals…how often do these best efforts go down in flames? Now try doing that four fold. I don’t believe it is possible. When a man cleaves to a woman he gives her himself and he trusts his heart with her. How can he treat or feel equally with four women at the same time? How deep and rich are these relationships? I don’t believe very much. In that context then polygamy is an insult to islam and not an enrichment, IMO. It wholly benefits the man and not the women or children. He can have four attempts at a deep emotional connection with a woman and if he doesn’t find it with other than one wife than the other three wives are being cheated out of their chance at deep and fulfilling love while he gets four shots at it. Not a way to treat a woman you allegedly love. In this way I think the ‘Western way of doing things is fairer…if he does not love her, divorce her and let her go. She may find happiness with another man who has been divorced and they can start a monogamous bond and she ususally has her own income so she can move forward in life with or without a man. In the Saudi system she has almost no choice so to stay in a bad situation and be supported is better than being on the street begging as she will be seen as damaged goods if she divorces.

  38. @Sandy/Oby,

    I think polygamy was not allowed for the sole purpose of the charitable act of taking care of the widows, the poor women, etc. The next bit of the verse in the Quran after allowing the 4 wives is the part that allows men to enjoy as many slaves as they can afford.

    The prophet and his followers indulged in enjoying women, either through marriage or though capturing slaves.

    Polygamy is based on the tribal behavior of the time (1400 years ago), where women were the charge of men and there for their pleasure. Trying to explain polygamy as charitable would be similar to saying taking women as slaves was merciful. Both should be left in the dark past where justice had a different meaning than we perceive it in modern societies.

  39. Medina

    The Firebrand
    “You make “The West + The US” seem like we’re just a writhing Chex mix of sex organs”

    Yes that is how I feel sometimes and it is not a good feeling. Only yesterday, I was reading something (by american), about western ads. These ads almost always have sexual subminal messages. Take a look at any magazine cover and you will see airbrushed hidden”sex” everywhere. I could not believe it and it was very disturbing.

    “Don’t kids suffer from polygamy? Are you telling me children are unaffected if their father goes and gets another family?”

    Someone above asked about the children suffering in polygamous marriage and that is why I bought it up in multiple relationship society. So your question is just going round the circle.

  40. The Creator’s original model for society was a couple.

  41. @susan,
    I love peace :-p

    Sorry to hear that but believe me, my most concern is women whether they are Americans or Saudis. I am not religiously oriented. I have several sisters and many nieces. So, I will never accept that one of my female relatives expose to polygamy by any means or under any circumstances. I will never also accept that American women get cheated or left out alone pregnant. I personally believe that women are treated globally badly because men are in power at home, mosque, church, government, etc. Build muscles ya “harem” and I guarantee that no man in this world will harm you. Men gained the control over women since Adam and eve. God created Eve from a “second class” rib. Why? Wake up, it is a man world, and build muscles to end your sufferings. You can be more powerful than men by two ways: economy and physical strength. I will just give an example, when Khadija was very powerful financially and supported by her tribe, she was a prominent lady in Mecca society. The prophet Mohammad did not marry any other wife than her. He got married after she died. And most of the women that he married did not enjoy the social status that khadija was enjoying. Do you think that a princess’s husband can marry a second wife? Just in his dreams. So, Saudi religious clerics fight Saudi women financially, they impose tight financial siege on Saudi women and restrict their mobility just to make them more weak and more obedient. These are their tactics. Regain the control over men and I think once women control the world, God may send a female prophet to the world and then your prayer will be accepted, woman can marry four men. you have a nice name; Jussayin.
    I like it, can you please tell me what does it mean?

    lol I can hear you grinning your teeth, Ms donator!!!. Polyamory or short term stand fans, they are both doing the same thing which is abusing women. Your charitable explanation made mud stickier. Anyway, thanks.

    NOTE: I dont support polgmay or fan of it. My point is that women are abused whether in saudi or america but in saudi, although they are more restricted but they are more secured than americans.

  42. Medina, so if we hit the gym and have big muscles, we women have a chance at controlling the world? Really? Aren’t there better ways to fight for control than by winning a fistfight? For the record, my husband would never think of hitting me and it’s not allowed in our spiritual beliefs anyway. (Isn’t a man beating someone weaker like a woman or child very bullying and cowardly on his part? Such a dishonorable thing — “Whoo hoo, I can beat up a weaker person and my holy book says it’s OK!” Really that is nothing to brag about.)

    I think by respecting and honoring others – men honoring women; women honoring men – we can overcome this abuse and taking advantage of others. If we love people as we love ourselves, we will be wanting the best for that person and not seek to take advantage and hurt them.

    As for security…I think this is Saudi code for “we will keep you safe by making you stay in your house hidden away from all prying eyes and I will control your life.” Eh, I’d rather take my chances on freedom. Sure, it’s more risky, but it’s more fun, too!

  43. The way women are treated/abused in Saudi has NOTHING to do with keeping them safe. It is all to do with keeping the egos and the fragile nature of the average Saudi male safe.

    Sad fact is, women in Saudi have much more to fear from the male members of their own family than they do from anyone else.

    The restriction on women’s rights shows just how weak Saudi men really are. They are afraid, terrified of having to compete on an equal playing field with women. Scared to death that if they have freedoms they will do the same thing that Saudi males have been doing for years.

    The funny thing is that Saudi women are up to the same things that women in the West are up to, they just are better at hiding it than their counterparts in the West. Somethings are a bit difference, the massive issue with homosexual behavior amoungst Saudi women doesnt really have a match in the West. These Saudi women, most of them, would not be engaging in this behavior in the West. They are just forced into it by the abnormal conditions in Saudi.

    The homosexual problem in the Saudi male is probably the same. Since the culture is so twisted, it forces people to do things they’d otherwise not do.

  44. Abu Sinan…

    What you write is absolutely true. In this book the author describes how homosexuality is rampant in KSA. He says it is due to the severe segregation and also the male dominated tribal attitudes…

    The book was fascinating and at the same time was a “cheerleader” type book for Saudi…it didn’t sugar coat things, but at the same time he really showed KSA problems and strengths and for me anyway, gave it a “heart” (if that makes sense).

  45. @Sarah MD .. you say
    “Sex is the norm in the west, it is seen everywhere. And one is expected to be a relationship as young as 12 and by 18, you are an adult so you are on your own. If one is not in a relationship at 12 , it is abnormal. It is quite alright to have relationship if you have a partner. it is not a crime to cheat on your partner. One can have 3 or 4 partners and cheat on all, They know it is wrong but its ok. Even if they have children and these children suffer, its not a problem. But to marry and have a legal relationship is not okay. THAT is a crime.”

    I don’t know where you get your crazy facts but kids as young as 12 are not considered abnormal if they are not in a relationship. Most 12 year olds are NOT in a relationship. 12 year olds and those younger and older can rest assured they won’t be forced into marriages either!

    Men and women in Saudi cheat and get away with it all the time. Overnight rental apartments are not just for tourists. It is also not the norm for westerners to have multiple sex partners or cheat on their spouses/partners. It happens just the same as it does in Saudi. The only difference in the west is that consenting adults are free to have sex if they want to. The government doesn’t interfere as these are moral and personal issues for the person, not the government. Most adults in the west have strong morals and remain true to their loved ones and families. If they are not happy they may divorce which in my opinion is much better than taking as second wife so that now there will probably be 2 unhappy wives who will make the husband unhappy. Women have the same freedoms and do not have to stay in an unhappy relationship.

  46. The fairy tale that god took a rib from Adam to make Eve is strictly Christian/Jewish, for a Muslim to believe it is bidah.

    People who think it shows ”male superiority” should read my excellent post on this very subject.

  47. So what is the real problem pointed out in this post?

    MoQ has said it a couple of times in this thread.

    The origin of the problem lies in injustice codified in laws.
    Humans are very sexual creatures compared to other animals, and the Islamic laws recognize that for men but not for women. Men can have up to four wives, and they can also have sex with all the female slaves they can capture/buy. That can amount to quite a number of available sex partners. Especially because the wives and slaves have no choice in providing sex.
    Women cannot have sex with anybody but the man who has ownership.

    Women are property. Nothing makes it so clear as the marriage rules in Islam.
    Is that just?
    No it is not.

    And it is totally out of sinc with modern times. This stone-age concept of women being property doesn’t fly anymore in modern more advanced moral thinking. Humanity has outgrown this unfair, unproductive, unrealistic primitive social structure.

    Now in Saudi Arabia, where the culture and rules are not natural but a result of religiously inspired social engineering, they made laws which hold on to this stone-age concept: Men are better than women, women are the property of men. Men have all the economic resources and can acquire more women.
    But you can’t completely stop the winds of change, a whiff of it reaches even into Saudi Arabia, and so the men lie, but those lies are welcomed by the social engineering disaster which Saudi Arabia is, because it supports men.

    Actually I think this concept of ownership of women is even older than the stone age, it is a remnant from the animals who were our ancestors. Like you see in Chimpanzees, the alpha male has full control over all females in his group. He asserts control by force. If human males think the can acquire more females, and even steal them from other groups (slaves) than we are still at a pre-Homo Sapiens level.
    If a religion actually writes this down in a holy book as a command by some imaginary god-person, than that group of humanity has closed itself off to the natural elevation of their moral evolution.

    Christianity/Judism have these rules in their holy books, but the people who believe in the Bible and Torah have still managed to move beyond such archaic unjust rules.
    It is high time people who believe in the Quran do the same.

  48. @Wendy
    ‘Most adults in the west have strong morals and remain true to their loved ones and families’

    I beg to differ, you may be speaking for the minority, but since we do not have statistics I guess we won’t go into the deliberation on quantitative data.
    But I would rather argue that ‘western’ married couples are synonymous with inviting other people in their marriages in a sexual manner and with open marriages, it’s not shocking to find a husband to be unconcerned about his wife’s affairs or vice versa but of course it is usually done at the approval of both parties and since they are consenting adults I guess it is neither criminal nor shameful acts.

    ‘If they are not happy they may divorce which in my opinion is much better than taking as second wife so that now there will probably be 2 unhappy wives who will make the husband unhappy’

    Again,’ western’ women are known to succumb to loveless marriages, for the sake of the kids, Oprah has in fact done extensive shows on women who stay in abusive, loveless marriages, for they are afraid of loneliness and/or raise kids in broken homes, so what the woman does is stay until the kids are of age and then proceed to rebuild her shattered life. Women are good at hiding unhappiness, and even beatings they endure from their husbands away from their friends and families. Even with the resources in place to help them cope with the trauma of a broken marriage, most prefer to stay. Further, most married women who are trapped, by either not having the means to maintain themselves should she opt to divorce and or subjugated by a cheating abusive husband will always turn a blind eye to her husband’s extramarital affairs, for the sake of holding to and making her marriage ‘work’.
    Believe it or not the notion that western marriages are a level up in terms of happiness and the bond is stronger is a myth; this is only an assumption by people who believe their own word.
    But on a different note, I sometimes think that cheating men are applauded and even rewarded, take for example the former president of USA, B. Clinton, the guy has made a mockery of his marriage, but looking at him now, he has an empire, owns millions of $, made from the speaking circuit and other endorsements, and still remains a top democrat in the country so much for ‘Cheating is not something accepted in the West by any means’.

  49. Look, I can dissect Kitty’s, Medina’s, and Sarahmd’s comments because they are ridiculous and completely wrong in every silly detail and every fascetious claim they make, but I don’t want to waist my time doing that because they are also completely off topic.

    The topic is: What polygamy does and how it affects people in Saudi Arabia.

    I wish people wouldn’t go off topic all the time. If Medina, Saramd and Kitty want to share their asinine delusions about American marriages they should do so on the debate page.
    And the rest of us shouldn’t encourage their ridiculous attempts to distract attention from the discussion on the topic at hand by responding.

    I have noticed this is the common tactic when such people are confronted with real truths they cannot deny or defend.

    I though after MoQ’s comment the debate would get interesting, but it didn’t. I added a comment to get back on topic but no Some other nutter comes in off topic and starts about American couples and information gleaned from watching Oprah.

    Back on topic
    My stand on this matter is that polygamy is a very outdated concept, predating Homo Sapiens, and that religion is trying to sustain this stone age Neanderthal concept. In Saudi Arabia successfully because the Saudi ”Culture” is artificial to begin with. Saudi Culture has not been allowed to develop naturally, Saudi people are being kept back from developing independent critical thinking, Medina is a good example, he shows his mental conditioning in every comment.

    A marriage contract in Saudi is unjust by default:
    *My position is that marriage is a contract. Laws should NOT favor one party in a contract over the other. Hence, I think contracts in Saudi are prejudicial by default.* (quote MoQ)

    Saudi law makes all women into slaves, and all men into owners, therefore all the power is held by men, and the primitive ”The alpha male gets all the females he can afford” concept is still alive in Saudi Arabia.
    The bad behavior shown by mostly men, but even some women, in the context of polygamy is the result of a whole society kept in bondage, and one half of society denied all rights, except the few which are related to proper obedient behavior of the slave, and which can be withdrawn at any time by the master.

    So why is it, that although the same injustice and enslavement of women can be found in the Bible and Torah, yet the Christians and Jews have evolved further and ignoring these parts now, while the muslims stay stagnant and don’t evolve into a more advanced mindset?

  50. Kitty…

    I might be wrong but your post screams “western convert” to me. Aafke is right…you are wrong on so many levels.

    ” But I would rather argue that ‘western’ married couples are synonymous with inviting other people in their marriages in a sexual manner and with open marriages, it’s not shocking to find a husband to be unconcerned about his wife’s affairs or vice versa but of course it is usually done at the approval of both parties and since they are consenting adults I guess it is neither criminal nor shameful acts.”

    OK…let’s argue it…where did you get your facts and data? A small minority might but the rest surely would not and if you think that is not the case you are sorely misinformed…If you are going to use Jerry Springer or Oprah as your source you might want to reconsider. These are reality shows…meaning that they put forth the worse things in order to garner ratings…is what they say true? Yes for a small amount…it is kind of like me using Robert Spencer to get my information about Muslims…would you agree that would be a true and accurate assessment of Muslims and would I get a true feeling by reading only Robert Spencer? Probably not. So I think that you might want to find some non sensational info.

  51. Aafke…

    I actually think Medina is a bit more of an open thinker than probably the average Saudi…and even then he still has a very Saudi way of thinking so trying to separate that out might be more difficult than we might think…BUT I don’t think that should give the Saudis a pass on modernization and human rights and upgrading into the 21st century.

  52. The post is about Saudi Arabia, and people lying about polygamous marriages, either because they are ashamed of being in one, or because they are to scared to confront their ”óther” marriage partners, and they know very well they have been being selfish pricks.

    So why is it that there are laws in Saudi Arabia which are so incredibly unfair to women?

    And while it’s got nothing to do with ”’the west”, which has long since developed a higher advanced mentality towards women, I think this comment by MoQ puts up a very good comparison between the two.

    *Just for clarification on Western Laws, since there seem to be confusion here. I will focus on the US since that seems to be where everyone points when talking about the west:

    – The Western law approach is that the human body is the property of its owner (i.e. the individual) and thus government should not limit the person’s control over it. This results in laws that does not criminalize consensual sex
    – Sex without consent is criminal, since your freedoms over your own body should not extend to others. This include cases of rape, forceful sex even on someone’s spouse, and sex with underage partners (a person that is not an adult cannot give consent)
    – Marriage is only a civil contract
    – A person even if married can have sex with others without becoming a criminal. However, under civil law breaking a contract can have civil consequences such as financial penalties, loss of custody of kids in cases of divorce, etc.
    – It is criminal to have more than one active civil contract for marriage.
    – Men do have civil responsibility for their children under the Laws. Courts regularly hand out rulings for men to pay for child support. This happens regardless if a person was married or not during conception.
    – If the marriage contract is dissolved, both parties can ask for damages. Some damages, like alimony, can last for life if one of the partners is more capable financially.
    – In all of the above Men and Women are treated equally under the law. Custody of children is given to the more capable parent.
    – Social norms in the West is that Sex is a part of human behavior. If you are an adult then you can choose your partner and you are free to experiment with many partners as long as you do not make commitments to one partner. It is important to note that marriage is not the only way to make a commitment in the West. You will be considered a cheat under social norms even if you are not married. Cheating is not something accepted in the West by any means, it is just not criminal.

    Under Saudi law:

    – All sex is criminal behavior. You can be lashed for it if you are not married and you can be stoned to death if you are already married.
    – The only time Sex is allowed is by getting permission from a religious authority
    – Marriage is a civil contract that decriminalizes the sex act. However, the issue arises in the discussion here from the fact that this contract is by default discriminatory:
    * The man is required to provide financial support for the family regardless of the abilities of the wife
    * The man can marry other women without a requirement to get approval from the other partner in the contract. The woman cannot do the same.
    * The man can dissolve the contract at anytime of his choosing. The woman cannot do the same. She will have to prove that the man is of bad character or does not provide for her properly in-front of a judge (a very tall order)
    * When a marriage contract is dissolved. The man receive favorable status on custody issues by law. The man will not have financial responsibility for the wife other than a very short period after the divorce. This is regardless of her inability to support herself.

    I do think there is cheating that goes on in every society. The issue in these discussions is that cheating is used like a smoke screen to avoid talking about the main topic. The issue of polygamy is specific to marriage contracts.

    I think we should discuss that instead of pointing fingers and argue who’s society tolerate cheating more than the other. It should be a given that no society accepts cheating.

    My position is that marriage is a contract. Laws should NOT favor one party in a contract over the other. Hence, I think contracts in Saudi are prejudicial by default.*

    Anybody like to comment on that?

  53. Good point, AA, but it gets worse.
    Now Ahmed is poor, ugly, and mean guy. He has only one wife, poor Fatima, a real saint of a woman.
    Well, one day Ahmed decides to do jihad against unbelievers but gets killed because he forgot to shoot first.
    Aahmed dies and goes to heaven. Fatima is so happy to be free that she has a heart attack and also goes to heaven.
    Both are now in Paradise.
    Ahmed gets his 70 or 72 houris for being a good Muslim, not to mention the wine and little boys (to serve? as promised in the Quran). Fatima, the devout obidient Muslim, the sweet, long-suffering abused wife gets……. gets…. ta-da (drums rolling, trumpets sounding…. (suspense building)… Well she get Ahmed for all eternity!
    Some reward!
    Is it just me or is there something wrong here?

  54. @Oby….

    I was neither responding to the whole post nor attempting to convert the article to the ‘west’. You can see my comment I specifically addressed it to Wendy. Of course I knew that it would be read by many, but I had no intention of doing anything of the sort. Wendy made some generalizations about marriages in the west, being strong, morally upright and happy, I don’t see it that way, since Oprah is a quite popular amongst women, and most of her shows are tailor-made for the average American women, I differed with Wendy on that, after watching her (Oprah) shows interviewing women who had or still with marriage woes.
    Look, it is an open secret that Oprah is loathed by a large segment of the American society, for who she is and what she has become, she knows it. But for you to compare her to Jerry Springer is hitting a new low, I’m sorry to say, call her any degrading name you can think of, but she is no female version Jerry Springer. She is by no means a news broadcaster, nor a news outlet, but she does address the social injustices in her country, through her medium, her talk show is rather huge with a huge woman following.
    I find it ironic that you should ask for data and facts, how does that work? So only facts are called on when making mention of American society, but generalizations just fly with Saudi society….no. I also doubt that Oprah has any intention of harming her female viewership in her country like you trying to imply, she really has done a lot for society, but I guess this is the thank you she would be receiving at the end of tenure.
    And please note…I have come to know Aafke as uncivilized, the woman is uncouth, and agreeing with her on anything is scrapping the bottom of the barrel, the lowest denominator. This is the same woman who told me she was revolted at me being with a Saudi, because of my race, she made no qualms about how sickened she was by the whole relationship.

    (If you still want to talk with me, reply me at the debate page……).

  55. Kitty see the debate page please.

  56. Jay, a couple years ago when I talked about this with my Muslim friend, he told me women in paradise got whatever they desired the most. Men, he said, just like sex so God made it this way for them.

    I asked my husband one time if he wanted to convert to Islam. Their heaven is rather nice … for the men.

  57. Kitty, please don’t make up things I never said That is a very nasty thing you are doing here. I am sorry for you.

  58. Ah, but Susanne what if a woman’s husband was a jerk in life and made her life a living hell…can she request what she desires most?….that he gets NO houris In Heaven and only gets to THINK about it… wouldn’t that be delicious payback????

  59. Oby, ha, ha! Actually that’s what I have argued before except on a more positive note. What if she requested her husband be faithful only to her in heaven. Heheheh. Your “delicious payback” is even better! Love that! 😀

    I think the 72 houris as perpetual virgins are a young man’s fantasy and no more.

  60. Wendy,
    “I don’t know where you get your crazy facts but kids as young as 12 are not considered abnormal if they are not in a relationship.”

    I am not saying this. This is America saying.

    “The only difference in the west is that consenting adults are free to have sex if they want to. The government doesn’t interfere as these are moral and personal issues for the person, not the government”

    This is what I mean. As long as they are consenting, it is ok, no matter he has a wife and other mistresses. Is that moral? or fair? Is that not hurting the children, the society, the real wife? So Americans are all moral people as you say? I cannot understand the mentality. You can be intimate with a whole lot of women (if consenting of course) but you just cannot marry them, just have relationships.

    “Most adults in the west have strong morals and remain true to their loved ones and families. ”

    Had a good laugh at this one. Look at the statitistics.
    Half of all American children will witness the breakup of a parent’s marriage. Of these, close to half will also see the breakup of a parent’s second marriage.” (Furstenberg, Peterson, Nord, and Zill, “Life Course”)

    HALF! so they are all morally sound people whose children will not be effected. You must be deluded to think that they are all true to their loved ones. Even people at the top of the ladder are at it.

    Among the millions of children who have seen their parents divorce, one of every 10 will also live through three or more parental marriage breakups. (The Abolition of Marriage, Gallagher)

    Forty percent of children growing up in America today are being raised without their fathers. (Wade, Horn and Busy, “Fathers, Marriage and Welfare Reform” Hudson Institute Executive Briefing, 1997)

    You can read the emotionally damaging statistics to children here

    You say “If they are not happy they may divorce” – Yeah sure why not. So easy as taking candy from a baby. Its people with ideas like you, that are more damaging to the society. And I am thinking that you said what you said just to spite the Saudi society without thinking what damage you are causing to your society.

    Women in Paradise can choose whom she wants to be with. Besides that men and women do not look like how they look on earth. And for the women there is no such jealousies as you see here. Those traits are earthly ones. Your story is pointless – only a effort to bash Islam – again.

    I agree with Kitty here. Oprah is the most powerful women in America and she would not put false information out in the public just for ratings. If anything this will pull down her ratings. She got to where she is by telling as it is.

  61. SarahMD, take all your fallacious comments and long rants to the debate page since they are out of topic, and tell us why do you think why polygamy and lying about it is justice and a good idea.
    That is the topic here.

  62. Sarah MD

    Please read my comment to kitty on the debate page…Oprah is a great gal and takes on many challenging issues…she is also in the business of making money. As I told Kitty…I love Oprah and most of America does, but she is not the end all of facts in America,

  63. aafke…

    People want to talk about how wrong the West is in their morals and vice versa…the fact is is that both ways of cheating is bad…it damages the family unit and hurts the woman to the core leaving her vulnerable. In the West it is not illegal as the government believes it isn’t their business to regulate everyone bedrooms, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t frowned upon by soicety…it absolutely is and the act is serious enough to dissolve a marriage without much argument from the court BECAUSE it is considered such a breach of trust. I can’t believe people here are saying it is perfectly fine with everyone, They are sooooo out of touch with the reality of it. Polygamy is a legal form of cheating with the same consequences EMOTIONALLY. It doesn’t matter that it is “Legal”. One can kill themselves legally but that doesn’t make it oK or free of terrible emotional consequences for those left behind by the awful act of suicide. Just because polygamy is sanctioned in Islam does not make it free from emotional destruction. Hiding it makes it worse and exactly like western cheating…the western cheat doesn’t announce it either. The fact that man would hide the polygamy tell me he knows it is not going to be received well. And it produces the same result…suspicious wives. Whether it is legal or not…saudi or western…when the woman suspect the betrayal she is suspicious and it brings her to a level of insecurity within her relationship that she would not experience without the betrayal… the only difference in my view is that in the case of the western woman she has an alternative to living that life and accepting that insult. BECAUSE it is considered one of the things that are severe enough to break a marriage up when she goes to court the court will view her favorably when deciding the case…she will be the “wronged” partner and though it isn’t illegal it is considered morally wrong which is why the court will side with her. In KSA women don’t have that right to take charge of her life and decide if she wants to live with the cheater…in the West a woman can choose to ignore the cheating and live with it if they desire. Saudi women don’t have that choice. A western woman won’t lose her kids and she has a job usually to provide for them PLUS the man will be ordered by the court to care for those kids and the wife until the kids are adults…even if he gets married again the court views the FIRST set of kids as his primary responsibility and it is not diminished becasue he may have another family. The options are not there for saudi women…both methods of cheating are wrong, but in fact, I think it is more honest and fair to the woman to admit cheating is wrong and give her a choice of what to do with that information.

  64. @susan,
    I would love that women take control by peaceful ways but do you think that men are peaceful?!!!

    Some people when they discuss points here, they just remind me of the Netherland Kung fu team when they played against the wonderful Spanish national soccer team on the world cup final 2010. The problem is that the Netherlands Kung fu team pretends that they are playing soccer.

    Saudis have concerns that if they change their rules and system, moral corruptions will spread legally in the society, and as there are, family break up, born babies outside marriage, homosexual marriage in America, we will find these things exist in Saudi as soon as we change our system. So, Saudis say, you do not have a better law than us. You are abusing women in every single day there. So, just be quiet please and do not complicate our life, and we know better than anyone else what is good for us.

    024.023 (Surely those who accuse chaste believing women, unaware (of the evil), are cursed in this world and the hereafter, and they shall have a grievous chastisement). Ask for God’s forgiveness abu.

    oby, I think Saudis are not ready yet to book a seat for departing to the 21st century because showing off genitals on air is the boarding pass ticket to 21st century (I have been encouraged to use this style by an American fellow here, see you spoil me): ). So do not be in a hurry, we need time first to lose our values, chastity, morals and faith in God. Just scroll up and see the difference between Saudis who live in the “medieval era” and Americans who live in the 21st century in term of decent language that Saudis speak although they are under harsh criticism. And have a look at the language that Americans speak here. Americans speak mashallah a “Very decent language” because they are in the 21st century. I do not know what kind of language they will speak when they pass to the 22nd century.

    Oby, why not to take Oprah’s show as a reliable source of information about American men? While you are taking Islam from Osama bin laden? hummm
    Do not you think you are playing double standards tactic here? Why you jumped to a conclusion that kitty is a western convert? Are you discriminating against her? Oby, I can see your face blushing now! Hehe.

    Note. If a Saudi husband cheats on his wife and she can prove that he committed adultery, she can divorce him in a second and she can legally also stone him with a punch of people till he dies. What do you want more than that she can stone him because he is cheating on her?

  65. Hi,

    Your last para, where you concluded this information post is AWESOME!

    Yes yes, i see our Muslim brothers exercise polygamy on very selfish grounds. They are not following Holy Quran’s perspective.

    You see, there is a TEST for all these guys claim to follow Islamic grounds for polygamy or claim to follow Prophet PBHU… that … are their second wife, younger than first wife???

    In most cases you will see them going for young, attractive, unmarried, stable, independent girl. Whereas if they really were following Prophet’s footprints, they would have married, statusless(ya’teem), widows and older women who need new marriage to support them!!!

    But you will not find anyone doing this..they will reverse the cause for their own selfish motives and then claim to be as per Islamic and Prophetic lifestyle!!!

    But let them know that Allah knows what is in their hearts!!!

    Best Regards! & Thanks again for posting this informative post.

    Oh yeah they have to conceal and you know why? Even they themselves know
    that this is not FAIR for their families… If it was really according to Quran, why they have to conceal it at all?!!!

  66. I don’t mind going to the debte page and I do not mind discussing polygamy but what I do mind is that you did not tell Jay to go to thedebate page when he/she was off topic, instead you just replied to him! Only when one is discussing something you do not agree with, he has to go to debate page. Others can stay.

  67. Medina, Western people say the saudi women are slaves. The other day I went to a mall to find a sitting area for WOMEN ONLY. Tired women shoppers were sitting in this service. What luxury for the slaves. Also, someone I know, whose relative is in a hosptial says that the slave nurse is getting more salary than the doctor there.

    Well I could help to bring that up … I know I am off topic, but Medina, it is the western women who are the real slaves to the society. They are forced to dress in that manner because if they are modest they are called matrons. So they just have to show flesh to the public. It is their way. They say saudis are mediveal but it is them who wear clothes like cave people. They are hear to teach Saudi women to do the same and to follow their culture. For them it is all morally right. They have to do things to please others. They have to cheap ny posing naked in all ads on the billboards. And I know they will say, they do not have to do it, and they do it from their own choice. I wonder who they are fooling.

    Aafke, of course if a man cheats a woman it is wrong. No one said lying is justice and good idea. Polygamy was discussed before and it should be used the way Islam has intended. When the subject of polygamy comes, evryone thinks about the men’s advantage. What about the women? Don’t you think that it gives security and status to the widows, helpless women, orphans ..etc? I agree men abuse it and that is not right. They are more women than men, so would you prefer that those unmarried, poor woman become public property for the taking? Or that she live decent life?

  68. Look. Men and women are the same everywhere. Some good some bad. Some moral, some not so much. THIS THREAD was about SAUDI men and POLYGAMY. NOT about AMERICAN men. So when I say a lot of bad things on THIS THREAD about Saudi men I am talking about the ones doing polygamy and lying about it. I really believe most men and most women try to do the right thing and care for their families everywhere.

    My problem as I have said MANY times on various threads is THE SYSTEM. In Saudi a woman is at a HUGE disadvantage if things go wrong. She is not allowed to go take care of herself and her children if she has to. Now I am not saying it is ever ideal for a women to have to do this in ANY culture or country. BUT in Saudi, a woman gets stuck. She can’t get a job, or she gets locked in a house or not allowed to go to school- or sold off into a marriage she doesn’t want. My problem is with the SYSTEM.

    Also, once again this thread is about SAUDI men, POLYGAMY and LYING.

  69. @Sarah MD,
    Off topice but YES they are like slaves. Those women in the mall? They were ALLOWED by their MASTERS to go to the mall and can be stopped from going ANY TIME THEIR OWNER WANTS TO STOP THEM.

    The nurse in the hospital? Her OWNER gave her permission to work and can stop her ANY TIME HE WANTS,

    Western women dress all kinds of ways it is their choice. I don’t mind at all how Saudi women dress as long as it is their choice. The medieval SYSTEM is the problem.

  70. Sandy, I am talking about the luxury service provided to the slave in the mall. Oh the nurse happens to be an Asian, but slave nonetheless.

    BTW it is not so bad as you make it out to be. I know and I have seen many women shop with their friends (other slaves). They enjoy themselves with their kids in the park and we see it all the time. Certainly there maybe some men who are controlling but that can happen anywhere.

  71. @sara,
    While their defence is always, it is people choice. Why do not they also say that this is Saudi women choice because they are Muslims?!! Keep in mind that they are supporting same-sex marriage, legislating pornography and exploiting poor girls in Eastern Europe in a very nasty way. And they say well it is fine, their choice ): . I am really very sad.

    Why oby why why why why you are giving a blind eye to these horrible stuff to happen there ))))):::: and you want us to change our law to facilitate these horrible things to exist in Saudi and by the name of women rights ): !!!! You are a nice good lady oby, how to accept such things?!!!! At least Saudi women are SECURED by law and by their male relatives. Why do not you see that? Why do not you give a credit to Saudi MEN that they secure their relative women by not letting them become an easy target of horrible men?!!!! This is the POINT. This Saudi system is set up to kick out horrible men from reaching women. Yes I agree that it could be extreme sometimes because of zealous and extremist religious people but I am speaking in terms of principle, securing women is preferable.

    you did not get the point. We have two examples now: Saudi system and American system. Saudi system restricts women mobility while American system facilitates women mobility. See the results of each system. So we are discussing the results of both systems because you want us to change the Saudi system and adopt the American system as alternative. Logically, we have to discuss the results of each system because people fear any change and it is their right and the results are very obvious now. Saudi women are secured although restricted, American women are not secured although they are free. So why do not you give Saudi women the right to choose between these two system, which system is good for Saudi women? American system or the current Saudi system? All Saudi women here say that they advocate Saudi system. Why do not you accept their choice as you accept same-sex marriage?

  72. Medina, if the “Saudi system is set up to kick out horrible men from reaching women” as you stated above, how do you explain things like this?

    “Noura, who was thrilled to get her freedom back, told Okaz/Saudi Gazette that her father had “tricked her into going with him to a school for the eradication of illiteracy to receive her stipend for attendance,” where the marriage contract was completed against her will.

    She said she had not wanted to get married, “particularly to a man as old as my grandfather”.

    Shouan became depressed – until a grandparent told authorities that she was married against her will.

    Rahim said he did not cheat the girl or her family and asked for the marriage through a friend.

    “I did not hide my age and I don’t see the age difference as a problem,” he said.

    Rahim, who said he was sorry the marriage did not last, is looking for another young wife.

    “It’s frustrating to be single at this age,” he said.”

    (Let me wipe away my tears at this poor man’s loneliness.)

    Thankfully someone repaid the dowry price so the poor girl could divorce her EIGHTY YEAR OLD husband. Poor guy saw no problem with his being over 65 years older than his wife! And her family thought it was OK to marry her off like this? And this is good and caring for women?

    See? Security like this, many of us could do without. Freedom is a beautiful thing.

  73. Sara MD said, “Certainly there maybe some men who are controlling but that can happen anywhere.”
    But in Saudi Arabia the LAW the SYSTEM supports the man. And I hear from PLENTY of Saudi women the frustration they feel with their lack of freedom. The newspapers are full of it too.

    Compare the systems? No contest. West is the Best and the MOST Islamic. No compulsion in religion, no slavery and the law is for men AND women.

  74. Medina, yes it is always their choice. Now certain countires are banning hijab (I am talking hijab, not niqab). Why is it not their choice to wear hijab? Why do they stop them? Why Pope is allowed to cover his head? (I can say nuns, too)

    if you bring one sensationlized news and ask how do you explain this, I can bring thousands of cases of what “free” can do. What do you say about the man who trapped his daughter for years and years in the basement and had illicit relationships with her (yes with his own daughter) resulting in 6 or 7 children? What do you say about that woman who had 8 kids by an unknown father? Their choice? Don’t tell me that as long as they are not hurting anyone, its okay. Instead see how much it is hurting the children. Gays are getting married and adopting kids – that is legal but wearing hijab is a big issue. Which is more damaging to the society?

    Yes if saudi women are secured by the law, there will be some cases of abuse as we are not all perfect. But as Medina said, step out of the box and see what freedom has done and what security has done.

    Yees of course you will hear women complaining. You know one hears only complaints. EVERYWHERE. Hardly you will hear people praising something. It is the complaints that we will hear because they are louder. If things work, people will not talk; something good happens, people will thank God and they silently move on. if something goes wrong, thats when people startl complaining and making loud noises. Media just loves to exaggerate things. That is their job.

  75. Sandy
    West is the Best and the MOST Islamic
    I am still laughing……

    Yes sure, most Islamic with “Hellywood” spewing evil left right and center. See how they exploit women, see the evil, sexual tones of even cartoons and the subminal messages in their ads and mag covers, gay marriages, thriving porn industry, yes it is most Islamic. Open your eyes, Sandy, and be honest.

    Yes I know – debate page.

  76. @Sarah MD
    Mediai????? I think you are absolutely heartless. I PERSONALLY know MANY women who have suffered terribly because of their husbands/fathers behavior in Saudi and their lack of legal recourse. Some cases even went to court and it didn’t matter. If you really live in Saudi I can’t believe you don’t know people in these situations as well. Either your pride in makes you pretend it’s no big deal- or perhaps women don’t confide in you because they can tell how unfeeling you seem to be. Shame on you for excusing the abuse your sisters in Islam are forced to live under. It is typical in the east to put on a good “face” to pretend to the outside that all is fine and honorable. That is why so many get mad at me. I break the code of silence, and I’m happy to do it.

    I know women who have suffered in the US as well. But they were able to get free and move on with their live. It wasn’t always easy- but at least they could try.

  77. Sex is everywhere in Saudi, porn, prostitution, cheating on marriages, pedaphelia and homosexuality. What’s the difference, except Saudi’s pretend it they are somehow more special and don’t have any of these vices.

    Which countries have banned hijab?

  78. I agree with Sandy, In Saudi Arabia (this thread and blog is about Saudi Arabia) exploitation of women is institutionalized, sanctified by law, inspired by a religion which prefers men over women, and supported by an artificial culture.
    It is in essence unjust.

    The fact that there are places in malls set aside for women is not ”luxury” it is gender-apartheit, another injustice aimed at keeping women out of public life.

    Of course there will always be women with a weak mentality who prefer luxury and materialism for themselves, over reality and freedom and independence, and who are happy to ignore those women for whom the system doesn’t work out as well as for themselves.
    You will find weak and cowardly people everywhere.

    This does not take away from the literal fact that the laws in Saudi are incredibly discriminating, they make slaves out of all women, and therefore open doors to a level of exploitation, including selling unwilling girls off to very old men, of a level unheard of anywhere else on the planet.

    And nobody has answered the question why polygamy is such a good idea and why poeple should be allowed to lie about it.

  79. Sarah Md, those stories are terrible for sure and most everyone here would agree.

    Of course freedom has risks! I said that yesterday in my comment to Medina. When you have corrupt people, there will be those who take advantage, but isn’t that true in all places? This is why wicked fathers will rape their own daughters or sell their 14 year old daughters to 80 year old men? Corruption abounds everywhere.

    Thankfully here the law and public opinion are usually on the side of those being hurt/oppressed. I’ve not seen a lot of sympathy for those who lock up their daughters and have children by them.

    Oh, and I’m all for people making wise decisions so their children won’t suffer. Trust me. That’s my whole gripe with people bringing so many children into the world that they cannot afford or who grow up in war zones. And, yes, I believe rampant divorce is damaging to children. It breaks my heart to see families torn apart by divorce. Polygyny’s divisive nature would fall into the same category for me.

    Wearing hijab isn’t a big deal where I live. In fact I’ve never heard it mentioned at all.

    With freedom people have choices. Sure they will sometimes make bad ones, but they have to live with those consequences. When people are ‘secured,’ they have men make decisions for them and give them permission to do things. (Kind of like an inmate in prison.)

    Maybe I am wrong, but the *impression* I’ve gotten is that some in Saudi society believe women are not capable of making wise decisions concerning their own lives so they have men (who are oh-so-wise) there to do it for them. Hopefully those are only few or none who think this way. Again, that’s just my impression from reading blogs and such.

  80. Banning hijab is a subject which should be discussed on the debate page.
    Sarahmd, if you are so keen to bring up a wholly unrelated topic like banning of hijab you should put this on the debate page.

    I suppose you are trying this subject now to keep people from talking about the evil and primitive practice of polygamy which is the subject of this threat, same a Medina is trying to deflect comments from the topic by spewing bilge about America.
    Such a cheap way of trying to get out of a discussion.

  81. Susanne, don’t feed the trolls by responding to their off topic comments, tell them you respond on the debate page.

    Saudi is also trying very hard to make sure women are not educated to cope with the outside world by giving them a different, and substandard education to boys.
    I have been told by a Saudi that all subject in girls schools are taught differently than in boys schools, their books are different, and even though they may have gone to medical school they will have learned nothing about the law of evolution, which is the basis of medical knowlege nowadays. I have been told that their ”education” is aimed at keeping them incapable of standing alone in the world.

    If that is true this is another injustice done to women, like the primitive practice of polygamy.
    So who wants to explain why polygamy is just, is good for women and the children, and lying about it is ok?

  82. Oh, since the topic is polygamy….well, if it’s an honorable, prophet-like thing to do, don’t be shy! Announce that you are taking another wife and living like many good Muslim men of old. No need to lie or hide another wife or two.

    We only have to lie and be sneaky about things that we think are either wrong or will hurt others. So if polygyny is a wonderful gift from Allah that you choose to accept, tell everyone.

    Be proud!

  83. Suzanne
    I agree with what you are saying. There will be evil people everywhere. Maybe some men think like that about women but there are Saudi female lawyers, doctors, teachers …etc so they cannot be brainless. I know a couple where the husband asks his wife for advise – even on what he should wear for work. She even manages the home finance. On making decision, they have a meeting and discuss things and decide the best course of action.

    Just because I say my opinion, does not mean I am hearltess. Maybe you have seen and heard but as I said complaints are louder always. I have heard those too and seen, but I have also seen the other side. So its not like its all good or all bad. Same as the moral west.

  84. @susan,
    Yes I agree with you that such case is really sad. But see the principle, securing women. Please keep in your mind that we have some stupid zealous judges there. This case if it goes to another judge, he will not prison her, my supposition is explained by the fact that she is free now. Another point is that we used not to have fathers exploiting their daughters financially. It is something new in the Saudi society and I am sure they will fix this problem soon. I say we have problems like any other society but securing women is a preferable principle to Saudi women till now. I am not speaking personally. I just convey what I see in Saudi and how Saudis live their lives. so, I am as a person or my personal opinion is not important at all. The most important thing is what saudi women want and like to see.

  85. Polygamy messes up not 1 but 2 families, ruins 2 womens and their umpteen kids lives. all legally and morally right, just so the men can be moral upstanding citizens unable to control their behavior .. or so i’ve heard.

    If i discount everythingi have heard about polygamy and see with my own 2 eyes, here are the examples that have occured in my family .

    1. F’s dad had 2 wives , who couldn’t stand each other, thankfully the kids got on ok, the girls refused to be a part of anything polygamy ( i wonder why if it’s so great) , F hated to see his mom suffer and was so glad to leave home…

    2. My SIL ( f’s step sister) was married off at 17 and suffered abuse , just because she objected to her husband of 6 months taking another wife ( all legit by the way) !!! horrible physical and mental abuse andwe had to bribe the judge heavily to get her a divorce and out of his cluches… the 2nd one had no clue she was the 2nd either, came as a rude shock to her after her marriage 🙂

    3. F’s other loser brother married 2 women ( again without the consent of his first wife) , since they were both dependent on him he didn’t really care ofr their opinion, and had 11 kids and then dies, now no one wants to support the double widows and their 11 kids , no one wants to marry 2 middle aged women with many many kids either!!! no pious women following the prophets words and giving protection to widows and kids 🙂

    4. F’s step brother decided to go the sunnah route and marry 2 wives 🙂 3 kids later divorced the 2nd love match and married yet another, now he has in all 10 kids of which 3 are motherless since they stay with their aleady overwhelmed step mom’s andtheir many many kids. of course were this man to die these 2 legally married to him now women will be onthe street like the one he divorced, oh yes she got her money back and 3 months of paltry settlement , again no one to marry a divorced women and beleive me from what i hear there is no lack of trying onher or her parents part ..

    4 instances of poly gamy – all failures or close, as yet i’m to see one spouse pop up and jump with polygamic joy ..time will tell.

    the other 3 siblings + the 1 escapee sister from polygamy are all married, happily, morally upright citizens, with families, managing to control their lust in the west and in saudi and treat their wife with respect and love, oh an dhelp support the loser’s family – one who died, helped free their sis from an abuser…

    so basically in our case the polygamy is noble cause is a bunch of bull. and thetaking care of widows … ha ha ha .. i’m the one following the prophet — taking care of thw widows andtheir brood 🙂 atleast for that i’m guarenteed heaven guess…

    yes this is not what was ordained by the koran, yet this is what could happen when men are told polygamy is good. maybe we’re one heck of a dysfuntional family, but hey our men follow the sunnah to the letter.

  86. medina, you are in no position to know what ”Saudi women” want because you do not know. Since nobody has ever asked all Saudi women what they want, and even if they did, chances are high that they would not dare to speak what they really want in fear of displeasing their owner/master who can take away any freedoms they might have.
    So your comment is moot.

    Sarah md and Medina,
    Why don’t you answer the questions put earlier in this thread?
    MoQ talked about the inherent injustice in Saudi law, what is your opinion on that? How would you defend this injustice done to women? What is your defense for a system which makes slaves out of women? which denies women to make their own decisions? which denies women the right to a satisfying sexlife while giving men 4 wives and as many slaves as he can buy/steal/make? Which denies women the right not to be part of a group of sex-providers? which denies women to leave with their own children? Which denies women the means to make a living for themselves? Which denies women the right to amnage their own affairs?
    Please explain how such a system is not unjust to women.

    I put forward my opinion that polygamy is a throwback to animal behavior, and that more developed societies have evolved their moral consciousness enough to ignore the primitive bronze age passages from the bible and torah, which also condone polygamy and the taking of slaves and the raping of female slaves, both books also consider women as inferior to men, yet they do not practice this since a long time, and have laws to prevent it. Why do you think Muslims cannot evolve out of this primitive mindset?

  87. Radha, ”polygamous joy”

  88. Sarah Md, I’ve met some wonderful Saudi men on blogs so I have no doubt that many – probably most – are as you described. I hope you realize my gripe is with those few who do such things as we’ve talked about on this thread. I realize the sensational minority often get the attention and make me angry. Not the normal, loving ones. 🙂

    Medina, yes, I understand. Secured is what Saudi women know and changing the status quo is not always welcomed.

    I really am glad to see you write this:

    “The most important thing is what saudi women want and like to see.”

    That’s true. If they want ‘security’ over freedom, I should be perfectly fine with that as long as they have chosen. I wonder how many would choose the security of polygyny if they had the lawful options available in other countries.

    Why do you think father exploiting their daughters financially is a recent trend? Did fathers suddenly become less loving?

    If you want to answer me on the Debate page, it’s fine. I can follow you over there. Thank you.

  89. “But see the principle, securing women”

    This should give everyone an insight on how Medina thinks.

    In the process of protecting women, it is OK to take away their freedoms, treat them like children, etc. At the end they are SECURE.

    We do the same with children, we try to provide them an environment where no one can hurt them, we tell them what to do to keep them from hurting themselves, we make sure they do not mingle with the wrong crowds since they are not mature in their judgement, etc.

    All of this rambling about protecting women from Medina and SarahMD, can really be summed up by treating women like children that need to be protected by taking their freedoms away.

    Now to the main topic, with the thousands of words here I still have not seen a good explanation of why polygamy is a good option. The idea of widows need to be taken care by a man, assumes that a man is the life giver to women. If a man wants to be charitable, why can’t he just give to charity and not require control over the person who they are helping. The second problem is that Polygamy from the onset was used to enjoy women. If Islam wanted to restrict it to charitable given then a clear definition of that could have been given. The fact is Islam does not restrict polygamy except in the number of 4. Further the Quran included polygamy in the same verse as having sex access to slave women. That is a clear indication that a man can use it for pleasure.

    There is an issue with Islamic marriage contracts being discriminatory. I described these issues about 2 days ago. I know Medina and SarahMD will avoid answering these questions and just continue with the cultural finger pointing.

    I think the sane people in this discussion already recognize the tactics Medina and SarahMD take in avoiding the topic, because they have no logical answers…

  90. Human behaviour appears to be similar everywhere despite differing laws. It is not the law which establishes what is good–it is something we know in our hearts and can choose to act accordingly.

  91. @ Sarah MD and Kitty

    I don’t know where you get your ridiculous information about life in the west. If it’s based on a TV show then you’d better grow up and realize TV is about making money and that includes Oprah. Of course there are immoral people in the west just as there are in MENA countries but they sure as heck are not the norm. Children are allowed to be children. Little girls do not grow up learning how to serve and be subservient in the way that little girls grow up in most MENA countries and especially Saudi. We are taught right from the beginning to respect our bodies and that they are our OWN PROPERTY. We are taught that polygamy is wrong, being unfaithful is wrong and that is wrong to have sex until you are with someone you intend to spend your life with. What you see on TV is sensationalism and the worst of the worst. Good news does not make money when it comes to news and books and media in general.
    One thing western women have and that western women take advantage of is the opportunity to educate themselves about life in all it’s glory and with all it’s warts and they are encouraged to be their own person and not property of another and MOST women in the west would never tolerate a man who was unfaithful to them and they sure as heck wouldn’t tolerate another wife!!!! Most women would NEVER be unfaithful to their partners either. I’m sure there are as many Saudi women being unfaithful with either a man or a woman is there might be in the West.

  92. Sarah MD…

    If you are not married already will you be very pleased that your newly minted husband(when you marry) whom you thought had love and eyes only for you takes another wife? Forget Islamic law and the legality of it…how will it make you feel to know that the person you love is off making love with another woman…he is smelling her, touching her,enjoying her, probably whispering the same things in her ear that he whispers in yours? When he doesn’t come home at night and you know he is with wife number two (if you are fortunate enough to be wife #1) will you be able to be very happy and fine that he is caressing her like he does you? will it not cross your mind in the deep darkness of the night when you turn and he is not there and you remember “oh yes, tonight is HER night?”

    How will you feel when he has other children by this woman and now financially he has to take care of them too…finances that should have gone to you and your children? What if he feels like he prefers that woman or kids over you and yours and finds excuses to go there as often as possible?

    how will that make you feel about your womanhood? about the ability to keep your husband happy? about the fact that one woman (you ) were not enough for him. Will you be totally supportive of him sharing his inner most thoughts and secrets with another woman…things that you thought were to be only yours? But wait you tell yourself…he is only doing that for sex, right? His heart really belongs to you. How do you know for sure? He can SAY anything he wants to…how do you think he got her to marry him? He said the same stuff to her and she believed him too.

    Let’s say you are his number one love…and the other woman is not. Isn’t there some part of you inside that feels bad for your sister that she does not have the love of your husband like you do and she will be strapped all her life in a loveless match? If you are fine with polygamy and there is no bad side effects then you should want for her what you have. Otherwise, that would make you a selfish person, wouldn’t it?

    If you are secretly pleased to be his true love then there is actually some caring there about where you fall in the affection department. And ultimately whether you admit it or not your place (or any other woman’s place) in his heart is a crap shoot. Are you willing to take crumbs the rest of your life if you are not #1?

    The saudi system will not allow you much freedom to change the situation you find yourself in. In my world my man has to make a choice…and if he doesn’t chose me as #1 I have the chance to start my life over again.


    Do you agree with polygamy? If not why not? Will you practice it when you get married? Even your mother says it is wrong…how can you defend men cheating on their wives?

  93. @Medina

    A gilded cage is still a cage. A cage may keep people out but it also entraps what you are trying to protect. There have been/are Saudi women who have spoken out about wanting change. Why are you dismissing them? Don’t they have a right to live as they choose?

    As to polygamy I might be a minority here in that I don’t care if consenting adults want to be polygamous. I think families come in all shapes and sizes. However I do worry about the children and how it effects them. The key however is consenting adults. What seems to be the norm in Saudi is women who DON’T want polygamy but it’s forced on them.

    I really liked MoQ’s summary. Too bad no one wants to debate that.

  94. OnigiriFB
    MoQ’s summary was excellent. I’ve nothing to debate. He’s right.

  95. I agree with Sandy…I can’t add anything more!

  96. Radha, that was a very illustrative story about what goes wrong.

    I have one friend whose ex-husband (cheater and polygamous both!) won’t let her have custody of their daughter. He makes the daughter live with his current wife number 1. He lives mostly in another city with wife 2. Wife number one isn’t all that fond of the stepdaughter she has living with her. You can see how great that works out.

  97. Gosh Sandy…

    How that must hurt the ex wife! So the guy has been married three times? Why is the daughter not living with her father and instead a stranger (wife1)? I am I have that right?

  98. @aafk,
    “Why do you think Muslims cannot evolve out of this primitive mindset?”

    Because Muslims still have faith in God. All your questions above, I answered them earlier. See the principle aafke, the problem is that you want to separate our life and our culture and our faith etc, from any point you want to discuss and you want to discuss every point separately and turn a blind eye to the freedom’s results in America. No, it is all interconnected and interrelated. And every point should be studied and discussed comparatively and relatively with the situation in America. otherwise, you can not convince saudis to accept the change.

    I do not think it is less love. I think it is due to different reasons. Many Saudi fathers are in debt now because of the fall of stock markets, so they expect their daughters, sons to help them financially. Many Saudi fathers can not afford living expenses especially those who have many kids. Life became hard for Saudi people. So, some religious fathers may depend on a prophet saying that “your son and his properties are yours”. Also there is a verse in the Quran emphasis strictly that daughters and sons should be very kind and obedient to their parents. (17:23) Thy Lord hath decreed, that ye worship none save Him, and (that ye show) kindness to parents. If one of them or both of them attain old age with thee, say not “Fie” unto them nor repulse them, but speak unto them a gracious word. So, some fathers may depend on these religious texts and may misuse them and do injustice to their sons and daughters. And I think that is why the Judge put Norah in prison. I think all these religious texts were present in his mind when he sentenced her for prison. I hope my answer helps to clarify these point to you.

    I do not speak personally here. I will say it for the second time I am more open minded than you all can ever imagine. I just represent the point of view of the silent Saudi majority.

    I said before that I am against polygamy and I will never accept polygamy to happen to my sisters and nieces but for some people, polygamy is helpful to the society. I will share with you a personal stuff just to make things more easy to understand. my father has two wives. He did not want to marry any other woman than my mum but his brother (my uncle) forced him to marry another lady, he is a close friend of her father. My mum suffered a lot from this situation and he left us for awhile and he was just staying with his new wife. I suffered from this too when I was 11 years old and my father used to have me do things for her (cleaning her house sometimes, go shopping for her, and many other things) and this disturbed my study too. I know all these things and I know how much my mum and I suffered but now I see my brothers and my sisters from other wife and I feel happy when I see them. Yes it is suffering but my father helped this lady to have kids and now I am happy with my brothers and sisters. Polygamy is stupid and unjust at the individual level and in short term but at the group level it could be good for a collective society. Also in long term, you will have other siblings. Please keep in your mind that Saudi is a collective society in the sense that individuals sacrifice their rights to please the group goals and we used to share things socially. I said earlier that I am against polygamy but I will not criticise others if they are ok with it. It is none of my business and I will defend their rights. please understand that for some ladies, polgmay is sooo ok.

    Personally oby, I will never marry anyone.

    Note: Securing women does not necessary do injustice to them, if some stupid people go extreme in putting women in a horrible cage or prison, this should not be the case. I will never fly my birds if there are many cats around. That is the point. I love my birds more than I love myself. Keep them in a cage till they can fly safely. At first, put strict laws against sexual harassment and change people’s negative stereotypes and attitudes towards women who work in mix environment with men, then I can say yes no problem for saudi fathers to fly women, but with the situation now? I do not think Saudi fathers will accept all your arguments here. They would say that women should be protected by mahram.

  99. Why is sexual harassment a problem? Isn’t that against Islam? The fact is that it is men that keep it unsafe for women and then they protect women. If a woman wants to work, especially if she has children to feed she shouldn’t need to wait until stereotypes change. Would you be willing to be “protected” by force all your life? Really really think and put yourself in a women’s position. Is that what you would want? To be treated like a child who needs protecting? Why is it up to you whether or not to fly your birds? Your birds are just as fully human and smart and capable as you are- unless you raise them to be less. Why do you get to “own” birds? If Saudi fathers haven’t already made it safe for their daughters and GROWN_UP wives to go out SHAME ON THEM. What are they waiting for? I don’t think many of them are even trying.

    Saudi fathers are NOT protecting their daughters if it isn’t already safe to them to go out and drive and go to work etc.

  100. Notice the ownership terms in medina’s comment. Ex. My birds… ie my owned women. Further he is willing to defend the rights of men marrying 4 women, but not the rights of women to have a just marriage contract.

    Yes medina, you are just a bright example of an open minded progressive fella….

  101. @sandy,
    No, there is no strict law legislated against sexual harassment; I am speaking about Saudi law not Islam. If a lady goes out alone, and expose to sexual harassment, the society will put the blame on her in the sense that she “facilitates” the sexual harassment by being alone, by her walk style, by her dressing style, by speaking to unrelated men, by doing something considered unacceptable socially and against the social group norms blah blah etc. Wake up. There are no strict laws defining the sexual harassment and how it is. So, I am saying that negative stereotypes towards working women must change to gain more social support for working women first.

    “Your birds are just as fully human and smart and capable as you are- unless you raise them to be less”

    Big words but if you raise up your head, you will find that the Queen Elizabeth is a fully human smart and capable woman and she is not raised to be less because her personal security costs millions of dollars. So providing you with security never mean at all you are unable or stupid or a child, or mean that your father owns you literary as you are trying hard here to define it this way, it means you are a valuable person to your father, VIP who is always in need of personal security. So, I am using this Arabic saying, the birds example, just to make it easy for you to understand how daughters, sisters, nieces, mums are very important people. It means that fathers and husbands protect them as VIPs but it does not mean fathers own them literary even though we belong to our parents. My parents own me by their love, care and protection but people, who are not owned by their parents in this sense, are the foundlings and they have the right to say that they are not owned by their parents because their parents did not provide them with love, security, care and protection. So, personal security restricts VIPs’ mobility and they put them in cages for security to save them and save their lives.

    Here is a question; a husband and his wife could not have kids and they agreed that her husband marry a second wife. They searched for a second wife and the second wife accepted their marriage proposal. And now they live happily with each other and they have kids. Do you think that if I support their rights for polygamy, I am wrong? If yes, why I am wrong?

    Another question, two lesbians want to get married. Do you think if I do not support their rights to get married, I am wrong? If yes, why?

  102. Let’s take this question further:

    “Here is a question; a husband and his wife could not have kids and they agreed that her husband marry a second wife. They searched for a second wife and the second wife accepted their marriage proposal. And now they live happily with each other and they have kids. Do you think that if I support their rights for polygamy, I am wrong? If yes, why I am wrong?”

    Switch it around and say the husband and wife could not have children, but it is the husband that is shooting blanks. Does your law support the woman getting another husband.

    When you support discriminatory laws all your arguments become illogical.

    By the way Medina, I know you will not answer valid questions, you will just go on and on about how open minded you are or how we attack you, because we ask you questions that give you a headache :). An open minded person will see the other side of that argument. That is the definition of open mildness. Claiming something is totally different than earning it.

  103. Medina, thanks for your reply.

    You wrote:

    “Because Muslims still have faith in God.”

    Well, I still have faith in God, but I don’t agree with the wonders of polygyny. 🙂 How about we treat our spouses how we want to be treated, respect and honor them and put their needs ahead of ours, love and value and cherish them…why would we want or need to have more than one person to love like this?

    Thanks for explaining why some fathers act unjustly towards their daughters. It’s a shame that it’s the “religious” ones, huh? You’d think those who love their children would want the best for them regardless of their financial circumstances. But I guess this is the same mindset that makes some murder their own children because of rumors of dishonorable actions they might have done. I know this is a bit off topic, but it’s related somewhat. Same mindset. My life is better than my daughter’s and I don’t care if I marry her off to a very old man if it helps me. This is pure selfishness and does not demonstrate parental love. I wonder if having so many children due to polygyny or just mass breeding causes fathers to not care so much about some of their offspring. I mean how can one really have a meaningful relationship with so many children PLUS fulfill his obligations to up to four women at one time? Baffling!

    For the record, my spiritual beliefs teach us to be good to our parents also, but I don’t know anyone who would even think of her marrying an old man to be a way to benefit the family. Nor do I know any fathers who would want this for their children. Most fathers I know want the very best for their children and would sacrifice whatever it takes for their children to be well taken care of. Selling off a 14 year old to the highest bidder wouldn’t cross their minds.

    I’m sorry you and your mother suffered due to polygamy and I’m glad you see it as unjust to you and her. 😦

    If it’s too unsafe out there to let your birds out the cage, why not cage the animals who are trying to devour your birds? If Saudi men are wild animals, don’t you think you all have the wrong things caged? Let the birds out and ‘secure’ the beasts — in jail where those who sexually harass and rape others belong.

  104. Medina a couple of things stood out to me in your post… I am sorry that you suffered because of polygamy and that it also hurt your mother. I can understand how you are happy to have brothers and sisters as a by product of the polygamy and that is something good that came out of the bad. still, I don’t think it outweighs the pain that both of you had to go through. NOT that your brother and sisters should not exist…but if they did not you would not miss them or know them and wouldn’t know any different. You deserved your father’s full love and attention as did your mom. You suffered and didn’t have to…perhaps your desire to never marry has something to do with this early pain that you felt. There is no reason for men to marry more than one woman and as you yourself said, it causes suffering and deprivation…of financial resources (unless the man is quite rich) and emotional resources…what sort of example did your father provide to you as you were growing up on how to be a man? How often was he there and how often did he have to go away to be with his other family. I am not saying he is a bad man…I am saying that the polygamy system cheats women and children of their full emotional rights and at a minimum must cause jealousy. that is so unhealthy for a family and marital bond. It even cheats th men out of a deep one on one relationship with a woman…

    I can understand why you would say you must cage the birds if the society is not safe for them, but I agree with Susanne that it is not the birds who must be caged it is the cats who prey on them. That is like locking up all the innocent women in the USA instead of putting the predators in jail…it is doing things backwards.Until the system changes Saudi will not advance because they are only using 50% of their human resources…why not put the pressure on the men to mind themselves and behave in a more islamic way rather than in such a base human animalistic way as to harass women? And IMO it starts with polygamy…if a man can disrespect a woman through legal islamic routes that benefits him many men will take advantage of it. And that disrespect is institutionalized thru polygamy. HOW can a man feel bad for his behavior and the hurt it causes when it is halal? He is given the green light to hurt his wife…and don’t think it doesn’t hurt most women… there might be some that are OK with it, but human nature prevents us from being that magnanimous with our lovers. If that weren’t the case men would have no problems with woman taking four husbands.

  105. @Medina,
    If all adults AGREE to polygamy, I can accept it personally- but I still don’t think it is religiously valid. If a woman can’t have children, the couple can adopt. There are MANY children in need of a loving home. The Quran talks about widows and orphans due to war- not that a man has a right to children.

    I hear all the time how women should be patient, they will get their reward in heaven. Well, if a mans wife can’t have children, then he shoud be patient too. People don’t have the “right” to children. If Allah chooses not to give them to a couple then that is his choice. Marriage is about more than sex and children. Raising children is about more than “having” them.

    The gay couple. Again, I don’t have a lot of problem with what consenting adults do. Certainly in Orthodox Islam that is not considered valid religiously. But I have no need to judge it. There is no compulsion in religion,, Allah can judge it as he likes.

    Your Queen Elizabeth analogy doesn’t work. She is a proper adult. Some men have security as part of their job as well. Fathers in Saudi are not being “security” for their women. They are being their “owners”. Sometimes they don’t protect them at all. Certainly Saudi men haven’t made society safe for women. The owners control everything.

  106. Susan, I suspect that hubby has the same doubts that I do. Pretty women and sex, fine, but dozens of women all the time, all day, one after the other? The idea of perpetual elections and hoors everywhere kind of scares me. You have to understand that what men actually want is serious intellectual talk and meaningful relationships. Gotcha! That sounded really good, didn’t it?
    Sarah, Quote: but what I do mind is that you did not tell Jay to go to the debate page when he/she was off topic

    He/She? She? Now really. I have a beard down to my knees, lady!

    And my story wasn’t just “Islam bashing” but comic relief, mostly. You don’t have to take anything I say seriously (and you don’t!) because much of what I write is just inanity and poking fun at absurdity. How do you know that people in paradise will look like? How do you know that women in Paradise can choose whom she wants to be with? What is “the one” is taken” It seems to me that you know a lot, even more than most Muslims, but I cannot identify your sources. Many years ago, when I first started studying islam, I spent a lot of time reading Muslim website, and you wouldn’t believe the weird, stupid stuff one finds there. All I ask is that you be a little skeptical about these things.

    Anyway, I don’t like the way they are beating up on you. I may have to join you to watch your back. Also, I have a good imagination so you can count on me to come up with some wild stuff to confound your adversaries.

    One last question? Why has nobody mentioned Mut’a, Misyar or Nikah marriages? How are these any different from lascivious relationships or prostitution? Or polygamy?

  107. Radha.

    ” i’m the one following the prophet — taking care of thw widows andtheir brood atleast for that i’m guarenteed heaven guess…”
    Ha Ha Ha. Sad and funny at the same time.

  108. Jay…”The idea of perpetual elections …”

    Elections? damn are there politics in heaven? I aint going then. 🙂

  109. @susan,
    Thanks for being sorry but I am really happy with my sisters and brothers now. Yes there are millions of Saudis who love their wives and respect them, and love them the way you described it. Some Saudi men for some special circumstances marry a second wife. Some Saudi women agree for special circumstances to be a second wife or a third wife but the most important things and regardless of their special circumstances they are in full agreement of polygamy. Some Saudi fathers may mistreat their kids but this just show that Saudi society is not an angelic society. We are like any other society; we have the good and the bad. And I am sure there are many American parents sell their kids for money or force them to be used for money. So no one is better than anyone else, it is the nature of human behavior as someone raised it above.

    Yes I agree that we must prison the cats not the birds and I think I said that in my post. Before they prison the cats, no birds fly. This is the principle. Ask them to prison the cats and I advocate you.

    Thanks for being sorry but did you get the point of the collective society? I said that from the start, we are a collective society; individuals sacrifice their rights for achieving group goals. So, you do not need to tell me about how unjust polygamy is at the individual level although I appreciate your efforts. I lived that and I know how it is. My desire for not to get married has nothing to do with polygamy. Let us say theoretically that I love oby, and because she is married, I do not want marry any other lady. What about this analogy? It has nothing to do with polygamy but I find polygamy is a solution for us if women are allowed to have two husbands. Do not you think so?humm

    Oby, I loved to share a personal stuff with you just to make it easy for you to understand polygamy perspective in a collective society. My parents are not a topic here and I expect that you respect my candid movement for pushing the discussion further. So, please discuss the ideas ONLY, otherwise, I will not write a single word in here.

    Last point, yes I agree to prison the cats and fly the birds. You have my voice but cats are not fully imprisoned in America although you flew the birds and this will make me think twice about how can you prison cats?you should not blame me if i want a full security for birds.

    You just showed that you dislike polygamy even if the adults agree on it regardless of their circumstances while you have no problem at all with gay marriage. This just shows how you play double standards here. I conclude that people choice is no longer a valid standard in your argument.

    Some people here think that they can make a challenge by rephrasing my words, it just show how close minded they are.

    Are you brave enough to tell us how many girls you slept with in all your comic life? Be honest and speak up and let us know the saint jay from inside. Just a nod, many saints have been found guilty of abusing kids sexually and they pretend that they are wow people. Look at yourself in the mirror before you respond to me saint jay. you may find yourself guilty.

  110. @Medina,
    I said if all the adults agree its fine, though it usually isn’t Islamically valid. But it isn’t my business either. I did not rephrase your words- but you sure just rephrased mine.

  111. @Sandy, Saint Jay is running wild with his comedy routine. I think you should get back in your cage like the rest of the birds and be secure 🙂

  112. @sandy,
    I said you “dislike” polygamy even if the adults agree on it regardless of their circumstances.

    How it is not Islamically valid shiekh sandy?

    Sandy, are you a Muslim? And you live in Jeddah?

    If you are in Jeddah, do you understand what I am saying here regarding women security? or you are living in a villa and you have no idea about the situation outside?do you go shopping? working?

    Last point, I do not mean you by “rephrasing part” although you did it now. I said you dislike polygmay but I did not say you do not agree on polygmay.

    so, can we say now that Sandy agrees on POLYGMAY?! and advocates this right for women who agree on it?

  113. @Medina,
    I go out when and where I want in Jeddah. Just like I do when I am in the States or in Europe. I am a grown woman- do I not have judgement? I do not go to dangerous areas in any of these places. I have never asked my husbands permission. When I was a child I would ask the permission of my parents. But my husband is not my parent and he does not want to be my parent. In other places where it is legal to drive I drive myself. The only time I felt at all threatened was when I had a flock of Muttawa chasing me in a mall. Or simply just being on the roads because driving is so dangerous here.

    Not only that, because I am willing/able to go out, I am able to help with the household. My husband who works very hard, does not have to come home and take me shopping. Or go do the grocery shopping for the household. He does not have to take the kids to the doctor or the dentist. I take care of those things so we can spend our free time together. When the a/c breaks down, or the refridgerator- I arrange for a repairman and I am the one home to make sure things get fixed. And then I pay the repairman. In 20 years nothing bad has happened. I am not a stupid person. I ask around from family and friends who is an honest, legitimate repair person. And then I call.

    So how do you think my husband feels about this? He’s fine with it. It’s great we can work together and get everything taken care of. He is glad he has a reliable partner.

    I was perhaps unclear. I dislike polygamy the way I usually see it done. If agreeing adults can work something out, fine. It is not Islamically valid unless it involves war widows, or in some tribal contexts that some people might still be living in. It is not Islamically valid if it is for more sex, or for children. I really don’t care what “sheikh’s” say. They also say I can breastfeed a man and that then it is ok for me to be alone with him. I know that is not true. I am so glad we do not have clergy in Islam, and I need not follow those ignorant people.

  114. @ Medina and others 🙂

    Maybe I’m stupid but as far as i know there is no utopian society where everyone conducts themselves as they should… and i guess there never will. so are you saying Medina that the birds will have to be protected for eternity? and during that process you will take away their rights and freedoms in the name of ‘protection’.

    Also I think it creates such a huge distrust among society, at least IMHO. So the entire life you are being told that there are evil guys that you have to be protected from but when the time comes you are supposed to marry one of them. How can then a couple form a meaningful and deep relationship after years of hearing the above?

    Medina, assuming that what you say is correct, how does it make you feel as a man? Among the family you might be known as a good guy but outside? How does it make you feel that other men, fathers, husbands, brothers look at you as a potential danger that you pose to their female relatives. How does it make you feel that they think they have to protect their females from YOU, from YOUR harassment etc etc.
    Why are people assuming the worst? why not give the benefit of the doubt, assume that someone has got good intentions?

  115. @sandy,
    That is really something great and I am proud of you. I think if there is another sandy, my brother will be the first one who will ask her hand for marriage. I wish we have many Saudi ladies like you able to sort out these things. One of the other problems is that Saudi women do not initiate things and prove to their relative males that they can take the responsibility. They enjoy being dependant on their fathers and brothers to fix everything for them. Did you notice that? All my nieces can drive cars but they do not have licences yet. I do not know any school in Medina that can issue driving licences for women. Do you have such school in Jeddah? Sometimes I give them my car to drive when we go out for a family picnic. They started learning driving by this way. Do you wear thoub sometimes and roll the shomag around your face when you go out driving? hehe

    Well, it is great also that you give those women the right to be a second or third wife. I mean you agree on principle that polygamy is ok for some women and for some special circumstances, some women have no other options except polygamy to build a family. I believe that polygamy is not good for any family at all and I do not wish it for any lady. I believe that polygamy must meet the condition that God made for it which is Justice. I also feel sad that justice is defined in terms of ….. and accommodation, and food that the husband must secure for his wives but this is ridiculous. Justice should be defined first as follows.

    1-The husband should be able financially and physically and he can afford living expenses and provide kids with the same welfare that they can enjoy before and after a second wife enters their life.

    2-The husband must get a written and signed consent from the first wife states that she agrees that her husband can marry a second wife and she has no objection and this situation will not affect her psychologically or socially.

    3-The husband must get a written and signed consent from the second wife states that she has no objection and this situation will not affect her psychologically or socially after a meeting with the first wife and discussing their future life together.

    4- Anyone of the wives has the full unconditional right to divorce her husband whenever she feels that he is not just with her.

    I think this is the real meaning of justice that Allah referred to in the Quran.

    Regarding breastfeeding a man? I think it is made on purpose just to find an excuse for the government to shut down all fatwa sections at Islamic clerics’ websites and on TV channels and shut their mouths up. (:

  116. @ Medina. Thank you. And yes I do know what you are saying about the women who don’t like to do anything for themselves. But I also know Saudi women that do everything like I do and some of them more! The main difference is how they are raised. From childhood many women are TAUGHT to be dependant. Either that they are “lesser” and incapable- OR that they are some sort of “princess” or “jewel” that deserves only the best to be given to them and not earned. Why are people teaching their daughters things like that? They are not princesses or jewels- any more than the Filapena maid working in their house is. The women I know that work and help are those from families where they were encouraged to learn, whose parents supplemented their education, who were told they could do and be many things and taught them that things need to be EARNED and worked for. That’s pretty much all it takes. I would feel shame in front of my parents to tell them I sit home like a jewel while my husband does everything. I was raised to appreciate opportunity and education.

    Sadly no place will issue a drivers license here -to a woman that I am aware of. But at least your nieces are prepared for an emergency or if things change. And no, I haven’t dressed up to drive here- though I know it happens.

  117. I’ll tell you another reason many Saudi women don’t help more and want to be taken care of. They are birds in cages, in a country run by cats. They have a LOT of anger inside. And because they can’t really be out of the cage the only way to make the cats pay is to make them do EVERYTHING. Why should a bird help a cat? Why lift even one finger? They know it’s the cats who have forced them into the cage.

  118. Medina…

    I offended you and I apologize…I didn’t mean in any way to indicate that your parents were bad parents or not good people, etc. But since we have had a dialogue for almost a year your story did touch my heart and make me feel hurt for you and, by extension as a woman, I felt for your mother as well…that I can’t help. It hurt me for you that you suffered…I meant no offense to your parents and if I hurt you I am sorry.

    Medina…I DO understand the idea of a collective society..
    I lived it while in India and it caused a lot of trouble between my husband and. He wanted me to “get” it immediately but I was not able to because of my background. I eventually got a decent grasp on it and learned how to sublimate some of my freedoms for the good of the whole family. And I realized that they would do the same for me. So I understand it from a unique perspective with a foot in both worlds.

    As flattering as the two husbands thought is I find that one husband is more than a handful sometimes and I personally wouldn’t want to have to deal with two…no offense. 🙂

    I guess Medina unless there is war and a major shortage of men I cannot understand how polygamy benefits the “collective” society. India is a collective society and they do quite well without polygamy. If it is about having more children that is not a reason for man to have multiple wives…one wife can provide several children if he/she chooses. I simply don’t see a benefit for the polygamy except for the man.

    “Last point, yes I agree to prison the cats and fly the birds. You have my voice but cats are not fully imprisoned in America although you flew the birds and this will make me think twice about how can you prison cats?you should not blame me if i want a full security for birds.”

    I guess it is all how you look at society. I can walk down the street in a bikini and no one will assault me. I can go to a grocery store with no problems. EVERYWHERE I go no one bothers me Medina…and that is the same for most women. Men…average, everyday men control themselves and do not accost, touch, pinch bottoms, say sexual things, leer, salivate, grab, stare at my breasts, and any other form of lascivious behavior ever. And if it by chance happens, I am a big girl and can handle myself. I am teaching my daughter the same thing…as for the big things like rape etc…I t could happen to me or any other woman for sure and no amount of “caging” me up is going to prevent that if a perpetrator wants to strike. but what you don’t understand Medina is that MOST of the cases that one hears about in the West about rape/kidnapping of children etc are done by people that the person knows. Something like 98% of kids who are molested or kidnapped are hurt by someone they know…almost always the non custodial parent the same for rape of women…(if you want the exact stats let me know and I will find them for you). So the caging the bird theory doesn’t work…in the West, women are not at risk from strangers for the most part. These crimes are crimes of opportunity…so that is why they happen among known people. The West DEMANDS of men to behave and control themselves and so they do. I never worry about being accosted on the street. I am not saying it doesn’t happen and when I am alone in a dark place by myself I take extra caution just in case but it is by and large not a problem. Saudi is trying to prevent a problem and by doing so putting so much focus on it that it almost invites itself to happen.

  119. Medina,

    Are you brave enough to tell us how many girls you slept with in all your comic life? Be honest and speak up and let us know the saint jay from inside.


    I have been married for almost 40 years and have had had sex only with my wife. This is just probably due to the fact that for the first 20 years of my life I was scared of women. All brothers and cousins were boys except 1 (Jenny). Also I was raised in a very fundamentalist home – this may have been a factor (duh…). As a young adult I went out and kissed a few girls, grabbed a few things here and there but was still afraid of getting in trouble. As I look back, my timidness probably did save me from trouble or a bad marriage.

    On the other hand, if I were 20 again and know now what I know, I probably would be sleeping around (but carefully).

    Not a good answer but true. And I am not a saint, a just don’t have to include ‘adultery’ or ‘fornication’ in my list of sins.

    I can truely say that I have been blessed beyond anything I deserve. I was not rich or handsome, healthy or wise, but I found the best woman in the world. Not only is she a good wife, but also the most dedicated mother in the world. Once she moved out on me because she got really mad but after 6 months she came back (after I was sufficiently punished and repentent).

    I don’t know how it is for others, but my opinion is that marriage requires love, lots of dedication and unending patience. It is not bliss all the time, but it is wonderful to know that there is one person that will do anything for you and so you must be willing to do anything for her. You have to put the needs and dreams of your spouse above your own. That is Jay’s guide to a successful and almost always happy marriage.

    Now let me say that of all the things she does that irritates me is that even now, after all these years, she not only tells me what to do BUT WHY. It is never “John, take out the trash” but always “John, take out the trash because if you dont it will start to smell or because its full or something”. She does this with everything! It is never “go to the store” or even go to the store and buy milk” but “Go to the store and buy some milk so I can make a cake tomorrow”. I must confess that this habit of always explaining why I must do something irritates the heck out of me. A few times in my life I have made the mistake of interrupting her and saying “I know, I know” or “you don’t have to explain”. Bad move! Really really stupid.

    Anyway that is it. Also she doesn’t think my little “crusade” against Islam is a good idea or even a worthwhile actiivity.

    Well, thats it. Medina I can honestly say that I hope you have as good of a marriage as I have had. It may not be paradise but as far as I’m concerned its pretty damn near.

    You take care!


  120. Coolred,

    I may have missed or put the wrong letter there in “elections”.

    But that is funny! Elections in heaven. Vote for your favorite saint to be on the heavenly council. I really hope politicians don’t go to heaven, but if they go to hell it will only make it worse.

    I am so glad the erections are over. I can’t stand people in politics. They only care about themselves and their egos. Even if honest, once they get elected they change. I voted against every incumbent, republican or democrat, except one: Scarecrow Hull. Talk about luck, that lady ought to change her name to Jane Lucky Hull.

    Just to make sure we are not off topic, I am old enough to remember the 50s scandal of Short Creek. As a kid in Arizona it was big news. I still remember entering a room and suddenly adults would stop talking until I left. In those days the idea of polygamy (and rape and homosexuality) was not considered proper for young, tender ears.


  121. @kasia,
    You raised a very interesting point and it will take time to answer you although it made me smile (:

    Women often go for taking revenge.

    You did not offend me, you just offended the trust that we built for a year (: and I can understand why you did that and of course you will not marry a second man because you are already married, otherwise, I will think you are not ok (: so no offence as long as you act according to your social norms.

    I agree with your other points but we may have different perspectives about security due to cultural differences.

    Thanks for this explanation, you are a good man and you will be a friend if you listen to your wife’s advice and stop your “little crusade”.
    You take care.

  122. In the Netherlands we have unmarried mothers who are called BOM mothers, Bewust Ongetrouwde Moeder, translates something like, ”Consciously Unmarried Mother”.
    These are women who do want children but no men, so they choose to have children without a man.

    Any fertile woman can be a mother, men are not really necessary for women who are free and can look after themselves.

    No woman needs to sell herself and the other woman short by accepting the degrading role of second wife just so she can have children.

  123. medina,


  124. medina,


  125. Medina, No can do. There is something very wrong with Islam and Muslims.

    Medina, I will not mince words with you. You are part of an intolerant, violent religion. If you cannot see this in the Quran and hadith, you have not looked very hard. Read the articles above. Then look around you and observe the Muslim world, from Morocco to Indonesia it is a story of intolerance, discrimination and violence, and it is getting worse. Even the so-called moderate Islamic nations – Turkey, Indonesia and Malaysia – leave a lot to be desired in terms of human rights and in all of these we see a turn to the fundamentalist version of Islam? Why? Because that is the true Islam, the Islam of your dear prophet. They have the Quran and hadith on their side.

    Tell me, why is a lady is being tried for blasphemy? Is Mohammed god? But then again, Muslims don’t care about Allah, the only one the matters is your dear prophet. Or have you not noticed. Worse yet, consider the things this man did, as recorded in your own writings. Then you wonder why we, non-Muslims, associate terror with Islam. Guess who said “I am made victorious with terror”?

    I see no peace because Muslims refuse to assume responsibility for their actions and theology. Everywhere your religion dominates, it is increasing persecution of non-Muslims, and people like you look the other way. Shame on all Muslims. You come to the West and cry about any negative comment or insult, yet you raise not a finger to help those innocents that are persecuted by people that worship your god, your prophet and your Quran. Worse yet, you do not even ask why this happens. Obviously the first requirement to be a Muslim is blind, biased faith, and the second is to turn in your brain for a list of excuses to use instead.

    Medina, you seem like an intelligent person, so why do you let these things happen? Do you understand that your prophet did some very horrible things? Do you recognize that the Quran says vile things about non-Muslims? Do you think that these have nothing to do with the bombings, murders, and persecution that Muslims do?

    The old excuses – you don’t understand, out of context, that was then, others did it too – are getting old. I hope the West and the rest of the civilized world – China, India and Russia, wake up and treat Muslims with the contempt they deserve, just like you treat us. Maybe then you folks will wake up and stop lying to yourselves and us. This multicultural, PC stuff is nothing but a cover-up to excuse Muslims and others from the evils they do.

    Let me say this and I think even you will agree with me. Anybody that loves and respects a man that let a pregnant mother be ripped open for “offending” him deserves only contempt. Or maybe you think these words are too strong and that cutting open a woman is fine, dandy or maybe out of context.


    Islam is nothing but a sexist, racist ideology created by a man to support his own ego and lust. Tell me, since the topic is poligamy, do you actually know the story of Mohammad, his many wives, concubines and slave girls? A few posters here have talked about the “example of the prophet”. Does that include killing husbands and taking their widows as wives the following night? Hey, doesn’t the Quran say a widow must wait a few months to marry? Oops! I am sure that if anybody has asked why he broke Allah’s comman, the angel Gabriel would have landed on his shoulder in no time (just like Tinkerbell) to whisper a few more verses to add to the Quran, along with the other exceptions for your prophet. Sera’ que ninguem tem disconfiametro?

  126. @Medina

    I look forward to your reply. thanks 🙂

  127. Jay, you mean Rayhana bint zayd? When Mohammed married her (some say he didn’t and she was always just a slave) she had just been made a slave, he had her husband and all the men and older boys of the tribe beheaded, and the women and young children were made into slaves. Maybe the period of waiting doesn’t apply to slaves.

  128. Actually, when I read up on the subject, there were quite a number of women (all reported beauties) whom Mohammed married after enslaving them…
    Jewayra was ”captured” and made a slave, and Mohammed wouldn’t release her for ransom but offered her marriage instead of slavedom.
    Saffiyah, young, beautiful was a noble woman whose husband was killed and who was made into a slave…
    And of course Maria, the beautiful coptic slave, whom Mohammed may or may not have married.

  129. @Jay & Aake,

    Why do you have to raise trouble? The prophet and his followers were a generous merciful bunch. They only provided widows, underage virgins and slave girls with a good home and the pleasure of serving a man.

    Do not disturb those beautiful fantasies with facts….

  130. @ J, Aafke, MoQ –
    Do you not think that Medina and others live in pure fear of speaking against Mohammad and Islam and that even having thoughts that maybe the prophet was not a very nice man will put them into a terrible hell? What I see when I suggest to some Muslim family members that the prophet was not so nice I see absolute fear. I often think of the religion as a cult with brainwashed disciples blindly following along … out of fear. To tell the truth it scares the begesus out of me and the growth in fundamentalism is very frightening. I just can’t help but wonder how people can ‘worship’ a man like this but then how many Muslims bother to learn the facts.

  131. @Wendy,

    I agree. Islam is the undisputed champion of scaring people. It makes Catholicism look very mild. If you read the Quran and Hadith, you will find very detailed graphic descriptions of methods of torture in the after life. Some are related to specific sins. These get taught to kids from a very young age and instills ever lasting fear in them.

    If kids were to be exposed to such manipulation using such graphical descriptions outside of religion, the average person will call it child abuse. We give religions a pass on many acts that are immoral.

    Also, people from Saudi live in double fear as they also grow up fearing the system. There is an imaginary spy that will tell on them in every corner. So most have a fear even to think and/or express an opinion.

  132. I have heard from mothers how their kids come home traumatized from school because the teachers scared the living daylights out of their very young children with horror stories and description of hell, and how the children can’t sleep at night.
    Or how girls are taken to the morgue to see dead bodies and the of course get the lecture about death and hell and what will happen to them if they are not obedient.
    I read on Susie’s how little boys came home from school traumatized because the teacher let them play with a cute rabbit all morning after which he took it, slit it’s throat in front of them, made them watch it die and then trew it in the trash!
    All this to ostensibly ”demonstrate” halal slaughter.
    I am convinced that these ”teaching” methods have only one purpose, to break little childrens spirits and make them into fearful obedient subjects/slaves.
    That’s what Islam wants, everybody to be a slave, to god, to the men in power, to the religious elite. And in Saudi Arabia you see how they do it. They have been successful in making a slave out of every single woman in the country. If her mind isn’t broken she is still shackled by the laws and artificially constructed ”culture”. And they are exporting it all over the world in a kind of religious imperialism.

    This is something women contemplating marrying Saudi men and living in Saudi should keep in mind: this is the system they will be subjecting their children too.

    But don’t underestimate the Catholics either, they horribly tortured and murdered millions, especially women, in the witch hunts, and the hunts for other sects they decimated whole countries.
    In South America the Inca death cult nearly wiped out every nation around them with their daily bloody offerings to the sun. These excesses will be perpetrated by every religion once it becomes too powerful.

    There will be a time in the future when the majority of humanity will be released from religion, no longer in need to have their imaginary friends and will be able to think rationally and morally, and they will look back with horror at their past and the death, evil and torture people subjected each other to in the name of some invisible sky-daddy.

  133. A bunny????? That was pretty nasty to let the boys bond with the bunny and then kill it in front of them.
    And then throw it in the trash and not using it for a meal or any purpose… what is that teaching? Seems to me to be teaching a waste and irreverence for life. If we kill an animal it should have a purpose such as food or leather or something. I am a full grown adult and that would have traumatized ME! Besides do children really need to SEE a demonstration of how the animal is killed. Wouldn’t an explanation suffice? Kids are curious but to see it in all it’s bloody reality at 10…

  134. Oby, I think it was part of a strategy to kill their minds and souls, and the ”demonstration” was only an excuse.
    The mother called the school to protest and she was told she was the only parent to protest, but she doesn’t believe that, her son is traumatized after seeing the bunny killed and she is sure all boys are.
    I know the mothers whose little daughters were taken to the morgue and had woke up screaming at night for months afterwards protested too but no excuse from the school. They were probably very happy that they managed to traumatize the girls so thoroughly.

    I know a mother whose very young boy is traumatized by the religious teacher reading all the passages about torture to the little kids, complaining to the school has no effect. This is what they want, traumatized children who will hopefully grow up to be obedient scared subjects, willing to do whatever anybody in authority wants them to do.

  135. Hmmmmm….

    Aafke…Did this happen in KSA or elsewhere? Either way that is so awful. I am having a hard time wrapping my brain around that…what religion would do that to their people? God is supposed to be merciful, loving and kind…not some scary boogey man in the closet made to keep people all scared to death of stepping out of line. That sounds more like a political tactic…so perhaps KSA does Islam different than other places? (if it was KSA).

  136. Though to be fair the Catholic church did a lot to scare the pants off of people too in years gone by. Thankfully, the church has backed off of a lot of that fire and brimstone stuff in today’s time. My daughter’s religious ed books and class focus almost 100% on God, love, mercy, love your neighbor…and if you happen to sin…ask for forgiveness, repent, god is all loving and all forgiving and do your best not to do it again…that kind of stuff. They don’t talk about going to hell or any of that stuff…they have managed to bring up the bad things one can do in a very gentle way and how to back of off that without scaring the crap out of the kids. Probably a bit different from my parent’s generation. But even still, even then the focus was on YOURSELF and your sins not what everybody else did.

  137. Sorry I could not respond sooner. I am travelling at he moment (alone).

    From reading the comments, I came to realise that the west cannot fully grasp the mentally of the Arabs/Muslims and vice versa. In the West there is no sense of unity (in the same ways as with Muslims). For Muslims there is togetherness, there is collectivity, there is a sense that we should look after each other. The children in the house will live in the family house as long as necessary. In the West, children leave the nest at 18 and they are on their own and free to do what they want. Siblings are spread out and they hardly see each other exxcept maybe at weddings, funeral, or christmas or thanksgiving…etc. There is different kind of unity where they will help each other in times of distress such as when one is inflicted with some ailment or there is some natural disaster. But at other times, everyone is pretty much to themselves.

    The thing that people must realise about Muslims, is that we are a collective soceity as Medina has said many times.Families are close knit. Islam has that it its core. Events such as Hajj, Ramadhan and congrational prayers, bring this closeness even closer. Islam is about brotherhood. This is why even neighbors have rights. Muslims are told to look after other muslims in this unqiue brotherhood. There is even a saying by the PRophet (pbuh) that “each of you cannot be a believer until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself.” A Muslim will not like another Muslim to suffer, generally speaking. As a community we are supposed to help each other. We have a zakat system in which the money is collected to give to the needy. In this kind of environment, a Muslim will not think only about himself. He will think of the rest of the brothers/sisters in the community.

    So as you say, Oby, that wouldn’t I feel anything when my husband caresses, holds, talks …etc with another women, yes as a woman thinking only about myself, I will feel the same feelings as any woman will feel. Same as a non-muslim would feel if her husband spends his time with a mistress or mistresses. It is natural feeling. The difference is, the Muslim woman will not look at only her side but the nobler side of it. She is a sister who is a widow or an orphan or someone helpless. Would I be so selffish to think only about my self and allow my Muslim sister to be public property? What if I was that woman? wOuld I like it that my husband has a deisre to marry another woman (which is legal) and he is stopped from this and as a result, he will only be thinking about the other woman and then if shaytan has his way, would I like it if my husband goes about this illegally?

    Yes it is true that men marry misusing the rules of polygamy. This is not right. Polygamy is not about lust, it is about helping and there should no secrecy about polygamy as all marriages should be made public to avoid fitna in the society. Having said that, the marriage done in secret is still valid. A good Muslim man will discuss the matter with his wife and the good Muslim woman will consider the situation, looking at the rules and not at her personal pride and she might agree to it and also might even help look for a second wife. She might disagree if she feels that it is not the right reason and the good husband must respect her feelings.

    One cannot love each wife in the same way as each one will be different in nature (this is what makes a woman more exciting and men so boring!). One can love each one in a different way. We love each of our children in different ways but it is all love in the end. A man can love one wife for who she is, her charms, her ways of talking…etc. The same man can love another wife for who she is for the way she laughs, the way she makes him feel better …etc. Each wife will have her own characteristics and feel the love of her husband as unique love only for her. It is very possible. In the end that is what matters … to be loved.

    “How will you feel when he has other children by this woman and now financially he has to take care of them too…finances that should have gone to you and your children? ”

    Again this is the difference between how the western mind thinks and the Arabs/Muslims thiink. I would not think that money should have gone to my children. That sounds selfish to me. If the husband has to financially take care of the children of other wives, then that is his duty. Should I be greedy and ask that only for my children? I would proud and happy that he is able to support the children of his other wives and being fair.

    In fact the competetion is sometimes healthy. It can add spice to the marriage. Lol. A woman will feel more like a woman by being more charming or coquettish … etc.

    I can understand your thoughts and they are valid comments. I can see those thoughts coming from one who is bought up in that environment. I personally do not accept plural marriages for lust or just for travelling or studying ..etc but I can undrstand one for helping and supporting.

    Was there polygamy in my family, yes and it was for valid reason and it worked out fine.

    Jay, will reply to you later as it is past midnight now and still need to unpack.

  138. @Sarah MD – do you think Westerners don’t have close knit families? Do you think they don’t do charity work? I volunteer all the time in my community which is more than I can say for Saudi. Their volunteer activities in the community are practically non-existent and to think of helping a stranger or a woman volunteering to help feed the poor at a drop in center or even to think of a drop in center for those who are hungry or sick in Saudi ………

  139. I try to make out that women are intelligent and sentient enough to live their own lives, make their own decisions, and are independent enough not to need the supervision of some retarded male just because he has a beard and that little appendage.

    And then you come along…..

    Your comment is a prime example example of somebody who really does need professional care and supervision. So I have to admit that some women do need a mahram.
    Just like children require an adult to look after them.
    But I think you are a unique case, you need a mahram, but other women do not. They have a mind of their own, they can use it to think and act. So don’t push the mahram system on other women who have the ability to think for themselves just because you do not have that.

    For strong women, intelligent women, independent women, single women, capable women, the mahram/slavery system and polygamy is unjust and unfair.

    So be happy with your mahram and being one of a flock of sex-providers, but don’t force it on others.

  140. There is a fine line between community and co-dependancy. Where is it drawn?

  141. Wendy,
    I did not say that westerners do not do charity works. They do a lot of charity works and donate generously, esp in times of natural diasaters, they are quick to help the victims …etc. But the way West and Arabs/Muslims do it – that is what is different.

    About close knit family – no from my point of view, I do not think so. Of course there maybe some exceptions but what I know, read, saw, it is not as close as for Arabs.

  142. Having a “collective”- which really means TRIBAL society shouldn’t mean imprisoning half of the population.

    I guess it’s how you define “close knit”. It is true western men don’t own their women, so maybe that’s what is meant by “close knit.” I can tell you the “close knit” society leads to an incredible amount of two-facedness among the youth. They hide everything they do “wrong” from their parents. And parents are happy as long as the kids appear to be doing the right thing. They smoke, meet in mixed groups etc. but hide it from their parents. Not my type of “close knit”.

  143. This need of the communality over the need of the individuality is one of the characteristics of a medieval mindset. Like I said in an earlier comment. It is not something to aspire to. We can see from the past of Europe it did not lead to anything good. When the rights of the individual got acknowledged, and people got a sense of self you can see how the whole community, culture and science started to evolve in great leaps.

    Of course it was bound together with religion loosing it’s iron hold and other developments, but my point is that the mindset which Sarahmd so admires is backward, and keeps whole societies backward. If Saudi Arabia did not have to possibility to buy stuff, technology and knowledge they would have nothing, because they do not produce or invent nothing.
    Without oil money and global trade, if Saudi had to rely solely on it’s own achievements and inventions, there would be nothing in Saudi Arabia, everybody would still be living in tents with a herd of goats. Because such a ”close knit” static medieval society cannot grow or evolve or invent.

    Everything about Saudi Society is artificial, the culture itself is artificial, the technologies they have are imported are in essence alien, the fake façade people put up is artificial, anything goes in Saudi Arabia, only in secret, and half of the population is enslaved, even if they have been made to believe they are in a good situation.

    And the result of this artificial stagnation segregation suppression etc. is clearly to be seen in Saudi Arabia, people who turn to same sex relationships because they have no access to people of the opposite sex, people who drink, meet go to prostitutes but all in secret, or abroad. Men who trick women into marriage abroad and then abandon them (and their eventual babies) as the holiday is over, a corrupt clergy who sanctify religiously condoned prostitution contracts like misyaar or ”travel marriages”.

    Or as Sandy said: children who lie to their parents and the parents being satisfied as long as they look good. Not my idea of being ”close knit” either. My idea would be being honest and open and trusting towards your parents.
    ”Close knit”? Like slavery? I bet all women are close knit to their owners: they are bound by slavery. That is a ”close knitness” I can happily do without.

    And Charity? Where is the proof for so much charity in Saudi Arabia? How is it possible that there are so many insanely rich royals in Saudi Arabia (and their satellites) and at the same time so amny Saudis living in abject poverty? Dying of heat in summer and cold in winter? How is that possible when there is so much money in Saudi Arabia and everybody is so ”charitable”???
    In other oil-rich countries in the Gulf all the people are doing well and have a decent living, because the oil wealth is spread out more fairly across the population. This does not happen in Saudi Arabia. And it is clear that those who do get the oil money have no intent to be truly ”Charitable” and share the money (which should belong to everybody anyway) with those less fortunate.

  144. I agree with what you wrote Aafke- but I do have to say, the Saudi people do tend to be very charitable. It’s part of why we have so many illegal aliens here. People will give them money to live a better life than wherever they come from. Generally though, their charity takes the form of money. Which is good but not everything. In the Jeddah floods of one year ago- a lot of the educated youth here, in the wake of an ineffective gov’t response took it on themselves to chronical and post online what was happening as well as gathering and delivering supplies themselves. And the women were participating as well. I”m hoping it’s a good sign for our future here.

  145. Yes, I know of some very warm acts of charity, and it was heartwarming to see how people came together to help the victims after the Jeddah floods.
    And of course they got attacked for ”mingling” by the religious people. It is incredible how this segregation nonsense kills every good action. I cannot imagine how you can do anything with this segregation curse hanging over anything.
    That makes it all the more admirable.

    But still, how come there is so much poverty? In a country which has such a very large income? At least the people in power and with control of most of the money can’t be very charitable.

  146. Actually Americans are more charitable than they are given credit for…

    People who go to church give regularly..some churches have to tithe 10% of their income. This goes to run the church but also spread to charitable causes like the poor…food pantries…paying people’s bills..Eg: One of my closest friends husband became ill and unemployed for three years…imagine three years! Her church helped them by paying the bills, providing food, even helping with the mortgage a time or two. He is now back on his feet working and back to giving 10% so that the church can help someone else.

    The government taxes us and uses a fair portion of that to provide social services…welfare and medicare. Welfare provides support such as housing food GREAT medical care etc…to the poor to help them…Medicare helps the elderly by paying ALL elderly a stipned per month…these are the two biggest programs in America and it is breaking the bank they help so many people.

    Add to that the taxes that the USA uses to give to countries around the world that will never be paid back.

    On top of all of that are the American people who donate very generously in a time of need either domestically or internationally.

    Overall Americans give a HUGE amount of money away either domestically or internationally every year.

    So Sarah MD you are wrong about your charity…2% zakat is great and very very admirable…but Americans give a LOT too so no one can ever say we are uncharitable.

  147. So Sarah MD you are wrong about your charity…2% zakat is great and very very admirable…but Americans give a LOT too so no one can ever say we are uncharitable.


    Off course, Americans and every good human being in this world give charity.

    In between its 2.5% Zakat not 2%. And apart frm zakat there other forms of charity in Islam – Fitrah, Sadqa too

  148. So many good comments.

    @Aafke, I like how you described segregation. It is definitely a CURSE, forced on the Saudi people by the religious clergy. After generations of living under under these conditions, young Saudis like Medina do not even recognize it for what it is.

    Regarding charity, I think SarahMD is just not educated enough to know that Charity is universal. Westerners give to charity at a very high rate. Either through taxes which are used to help the poor or direct donations, such as churches or organizations. I also want to add that charity is not limited to religious organizations. Two of the largest international charities are the Gates foundation and Doctors Without Boarders. Both of these organizations are not religious and they help hundreds of millions across the globe. It is also important to note that Western government encourage charity giving through tax breaks. This also has the side effect of providing statistical data. As an example Americans give on average 2.1% of their hard earned income to charity. And this is after all the taxes which partially go to systems like Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, assisted housing and Social security.

    It is a shame that anyone uses acts of charity to score points on how their society is better. It seems to be counter productive to use an act of kindness to shed negativities on others.

  149. @Aafke,
    I think the poverty is a result of many things. Poor education resulting in unhirable people. An economy based on cheap labor. A sense of entitlement instilled in the young, and lack of adequate government services. Encouragement to have families with unlimited number of children. Keeping the female half of the population prisoner.

    Everytime I hear of a money glut, I get so angry. I can think of a hundred useful ways to spead that money that would benefit society as a whole. But no… that isn’t what happens.

    Westerners are very charitable. I have a relative in Haiti right now helping with the dire medical situation. And get this. It’s a woman. Without permission of a man.

  150. 75% children will give birth outside marriage within 5 years in Britain:

    The town that marriage forgot: My journey to single mother central
    Knowsley has the highest proportion of children born outside marriage in Britain. The reasons are profoundly disturbing.

    Read more:

  151. @Sandy,

    I agree, people always forget to include donating time as charitable. I really admire volunteers who give so much of their time to help others. This sometimes includes risking their health and security to go to places like Haiti.

    Please, tell your relative how much we admire and appreciate her courage and dedication.

  152. Sarah MD – the “western world” is large and covers many, many countries, Nationalities and religions. I can assure you that close knit families are very normal and do exist in large numbers.

    On the charity thing – Saudis don’t know and understand what charity is from my observations. For starters the women are not free to go out and help others. Charity isn’t just about money. It’s about helping a child learn to read outside of the school system, it’s about cooking and serving meals to the poor. It’s about helping strangers who have less. It’s about donating blood, helping the handicapped, helping with and building ‘safe houses’ for women and children in need. It’s about getting your own self out there and doing things for other people on an ongoing basis. It’s a big deal in Jeddah now that people (mostly youth and ex-pats) are actually volunteering to clean up the streets. It’s not a big deal to volunteer and do charity work in the ‘western world’. How about making and sending clothes to people in refugee camps in other countries such as Palestine, Sudan, etc. etc.. That’s what charity work involves. People doing hands on things for other people.

  153. First of all concerning the charity part….Arabs in general are very generous with their possessions and monies what ever they may be. This is from the lowest in class to the highest. But that generally only concerns monetary or physical things…when it comes to charity of the heart…ask any housemaid, laborer etc in an Arab country how charitable his/her employer is about pay, days off, vacation, bonuses, freedom of movement etc not to mention physical abuse of some sort…then get a new perspective on charity.

    Most gulf states have a huge gap between the haves and have nots simply because they are all ruled by a ruling family or dictator etc that is funneling all the big money for themselves leaving the average citizen to scratch for a living just like the rest of the world.

  154. And that is how we in the west look differently at charity. Yes, money is given to charities and in a big way but a lot of charity work comes from the heart and hands of people – wealthy, poor, in between. It costs nothing to give oneself to a charitable task and to me that is very important because it says who a person is. They say charity should come from the heart and it is sometimes overwhelming to see a person who has nothing getting out there and offering their services because the only thing they have to offer is themselves.
    When a person has money and possessions I think it means nothing to them to give some of it away. I have seen some of my Sudanese in-laws taking their own meal and going outside to give it to someone on the street who has no food. I watched an in-law do this on a regular basis and she didn’t have much to feed herself with. That is called charity of the heart and that kind of charity means much more to me that seeing someone with excess giving some of it away without thought or concern for those less fortunate.

  155. @Wendy,

    I agree with you, but we cannot forget that the wealthy have a moral obligation to help the needy.

    Here is a great article about the efforts from Bill Gates and Warren Buffet in encouraging other billionaires to pledge 50% or more of their wealth to charity.

    They have already accumulated a long list. Now to support your argument about giving from the heart, Gates and Buffet have taken leadership in providing an example by pledging 99% of their wealth. Further, Gates quit his role as CEO and Chairman of Microsoft to dedicate his time and expertise to charity and encouraging others to do the same.

    What is even greater, is that all of this giving is not tied to any political system, religion or geographic agenda. It is giving for the sake of improving the human condition pure and simple.

    It will be great of we see such move from Arabic and Muslim Billionaires.

  156. I think a close knit family can exist in any society as both me and my significant other come from very loving immediate (and extended) families. While distance may affect the time a family is able to spend together, I do not think it changes how much family members care for one another. I think the biggest factor is how the parents choose to raise the children. If they are raised with an idea that they can talk to their parents about practically anything and that they are able to rely on each other for their needs when times are tough, then of course the family is going to be closer. This can be achieved in any society, whether collective or individualistic in nature, though family responsibilities are taken more seriously in certain cultures as opposed to others. IMO, the best scenario is one where the children are raised to be independent, but also interdependent (NOT co-dependent).

    As for polygamy, I think it is wrong and childish to cover it up, even if done for well-intended reasons. If the people involved in the polygamous relationship are happy, though, then I wish them the best. While I understand a man could love two or more women the same amount but in different ways, women could feel the same way about men. I personally feel torn between more than one culture, so do not see this as a valid excuse for a man to take two wives. Based on this way of thinking, I should be able to take multiple husbands since I am not Muslim (which isn’t right). Find someone who accepts all of you and loves you for who you are, and tries to understand both cultures you are a part of. Marry the one you love AND love the one you marry. Any man who chooses to marry multiple women because he feels “torn” between two or more cultures is a very weak-willed person, IMO. There was a time I was interested in two people from two different cultures. But you know what? I chose to stay with the one I was with. There was never the thought of being with them both at the same time because I find that to be wrong.

    (Please do not take the following example too seriously. I am just providing an opposing argument of polyandry vs. polygyny in societies. I am not for polygamy in either case, but just wanted to point out how either situation may have some positive aspects, though I am not personally in favor of either as I believe the negatives outweigh the positives.)

    Polyandry could also be seen as being beneficial to societies (when compared with polygyny). For example, what if one man helps a woman feel more protected and earns a good living whilst the other man is a good listener, helps around the house, etc.? With the number of people in the world rising at an alarming rate, polyandry could be a good form of population control. If both men take an active role in the children’s lives, does it matter who the birth father is? If it does, then there’s DNA testing. Also, since men typically make more money than women, it would allow the family unit to have more wealth than in polygyny, which means a better lifestyle for the family. When one man isn’t at home to talk to, possibly the other man would be home, so the woman wouldn’t feel as lonely. Plus, she would feel even more protected with two males around.

    On the surface, while polygamy (polygyny and polyandry both) may have perceived benefits, I think when it comes to personal relationships, very few people would be okay with their significant other being in a relationship with someone else at the same time. Additionally, the children may not get to see quite as much of one parent because of the need for the parent to spend time with the other family. If the families are living together, then what about meeting the sexual needs of those in the polygamous relationship? There are many other ways of looking after widows, the poor, etc. now than simply marrying another person. I don’t see why polygamy in either case is necessary at this point in history.

  157. Moq, I entirely agree with you and it is quite well known that some of the west’s most wealthy give huge amounts of money AND TIME to charity and could give even more. Can you imagine the good that could come to the world if the MENA country million and billionaires started to put out big time!!! I’m sure some do and I’m not putting the ‘wealthy givers’ down. I guess I’m going on about the TIME and SELF more because Islam speaks of charity and charitable acts but I don’t see or hear much about it. I do read that the youth involved in charitable acts in Jeddah are feeling sooo good and useful and that’s very important.

  158. I agree Wendy…

    Giving of one’s personal time, talents or gifts is great charity. they are willing to give time out of their lives that they can never get back to help others…even handicapped people can give back…someone with a talent to knit for example can make blankets for the homeless in a shelter! All forms of charity are important and count.

    73% of older Americans 44 to 79 volunteer…meaning they give of themselves and their time. I think that is huge! My guess is younger people don’t volunteer more because they are busy raising kids and working jobs etc…the older ones have raised families and have more time on their hands and do good for others with it.

    As for Americans not being close…I think that is not true…many Americans are very close to family in emotional sense if not physically…so much so that a new trend has started with kids moving home to mom and dad’s house. Finances are tough and a group mentality helps…but I think one of the biggest single factors why Americans are so spread out is because of employment. People move where their job takes them and often that is across the country. I don’t think people realize how huge America is…and it isn’t possible to just drive over and meet mom and dad for dinner. To drive from my house to my parents house which is 1000 miles away it takes me two whole days. That is driving at 70 mph on the highway the entire way for about 8-10 hours a day(with bathroom and meal breaks in there). The USA is 3000 miles wide from east to west…that means if someone wanted to drive across country like it described, depending on the route, it would take 6-7 DAYS. If they were to go to do that, that is someones entire vacation time. And it is costly to pile a whole family on a plane…so families are not physically as close as they might wish but a lot of it has to do with geography…those that are close often are together and tight knit.

  159. Distance is indeed a factor. Where I was living previously it took me 6 hours to drive to see my children and that was still on the very west coast of Canada!!! The USA and Canada are very large countries and most family members work, not just the men so that dictates where people live also.

  160. I don’t know what the topic shifted to charity. Wasn’t it Aafke who told me to go to Debate page because I was off topic and what is she doing here then, talking about charity doing her usual bashing. Debate page, Aafke.

    I think people did not get what I was saying. I am not comparing the charity of west and Arabs/Muslims. I was just saying that we are collective society – that was my point. I do not deny that West are charitable too and I did mention this above.

    Sandy, collective is not necessarily tribal. There are other Muslim countries who do not have tribe system but are still collective. That is the unity of Islam.

    Wendy, I was saying how we see the west. It could be wrong and it is same as how west see the saudi, Arabs, Muslims and the west could be wrong too. This is why I mentioned in the beginning that “west cannot fully grasp the mentally of the Arabs/Muslims and vice versa”. My subject was polygamy but people here picked parts of my comments to do their fault finding.

    Anything is is not agreable to Aafke is primitive. Her ways are the only “rights” ways.

  161. @Sarah Md

    There is something you said a few times that I would like you to expand a bit if that’s okay. Namely, you keep saying that:

    “They are more women than men, so would you prefer that those unmarried, poor woman become public property for the taking? Or that she live decent life?” or

    “Would I be so selffish to think only about my self and allow my Muslim sister to be public property?”

    What public property are you talking about? What do you mean?Can’t a woman just be a woman, herself, on her own? Or does she always have to have a male assigned to her? why in your eyes she becomes ‘public property’ (whatever that means) when she is not married? I get the impression that when a woman is not married she is a fair game or sth.
    could you please elaborate on that cause I don’t want to jump into wrong conclusions about what you meant by that. thank you!

  162. I talked about polygamy and women’s rights, you were the one who introduced the off-topic charity stuff.
    Look, my argument is that you probably need a mahram, so enjoy it. Just don’t force other women who are not feeble, who have intelligence and strength and independence to live under a slavery system.

    And when you are 40 and sagging after the birth of several kids, and your husband decides to legally ”upgrade” by buying himself 17 year old, you can enjoy the competition all you like but you will loose out from the newly acquired competitor who is 20 years younger, fresher and prettier than you are. You can try and be as charming and coquettish as you like, but the spice will be all hers.

    Until she gets legally upgraded of course.

  163. .” There are other Muslim countries who do not have tribe system but are still collective. That is the unity of Islam.”

    Ok. If your sure about that I guess the real defining issue isn’t tribal, but a slave-based society. After all half the population is owned by the other half. And please lets not drag Islam into that ugly business. And certainly not the “unity of Islam”. Muslims are killing, fighting and condemning each other all over the place.

  164. Sarah md, and you do make these comparisons in a sort of weird comparison that Muslims are better people then others. Or ”the West”
    Children are not kicked out of the house at 18. They are going into the next stage of their life, the next stage towards full adulthood.
    They go to study, for which their parents have worked and saved hard, they go under supervision of their parents, to an abode usually selected and made comfortable by their parents, they are supposed to work during the week, and in my country they go home most weekends to be with their parents.
    I certainly did. I enjoyed my student time, living alone, immensely. Working hard at college while I felt very secure because my parents were there in the background and I felt they were my safety net.
    It’s the best way to start adult life.

    This is part of growing up, of becoming an independent adult human being, which can fend for him- or her-self.
    If Muslim parents deny their children the chance of becoming independent strong individuals, then they are bad parents.

    There are many things a child should learn to become a fully developed adult human being, they should learn to think for themselves, to be self assured, they should learn to stand by themselves and stand for their convictions and ideals, they should be able to keep their house, clean and work and study of their own account. They should be able to drive a car. they should be able to defend themselves or others. They should be able to act in cases of emergency. They should be able to work on a budget and shop responsibly. They should be able to spend their free time responsibly. They should be able to communicate, make social contacts. They should have work discipline, and be on time.

    Now children have minds of their own, and nobody is perfect in every way, but these are the skills which a conscientious parent should try to teach their kids, because these are the skills an adult human being needs. Having these skills will also provide more safety for your child than anything else can ever do.

    Any parent who denies a child the skills it needs to be an independent survivor is a bad parent.
    And one of the most valuable things a parent can do is letting their student children start live on their own while still keeping an eye on them.

    So don’t think it’s a virtue if parents keep their children at home and feeble. It’s a mistake, it’s irresponsible, it is a gross dereliction of their duty as parents.

  165. Kasia
    Thanks for asking. Public property means that there will be people who will take advantage of her as she is not married. Again here the mentality is that a woman who has a status is naturally looked with respect. By status I mean that she is with a family. If she is alone, she is “without boundary”. Men usually take advantage of these kind of women. It is also possible that a women who has no means of making a living will take to the streets where she is more vulnerable. And this actually happens. The bible says : “The wife’s body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband. In the same way, the husband’s body does not belong to him alone but also to his wife. (1 Corinthians 7:4) So an unmarried woman’s and man’s does not belong to anyone and become public property. She would sleep around with men who would use her for his own pleasure. As for men, he sleeps around anyway!

    I did not start an off-topic with charity. I started with a paragraph leading to the topic of polygamy. I started this way to make it more clear in understanding what I was about to say concerning plural marriages. That is why I said that people just picked a part of it and made it a main topic.

    One reaches 40 with several kids and husband marries a 17 yr old? lol. She may not be in any mood to say no after that!

    “of weird comparison that Muslims are better people then others. ”

    If you have read what I wrote, you will not go jumping to defend your culture. I did say THAT IS WHAT people in the West do and we do not do that. Is there anything wrong in that. Is that a weird comparison? That is just a fact. People in the west do what they think is right for them and we do the same for us. Both of use cannot fully see eye-to-eye. That is what I am saying. If you think this is works for you, then good for you. We may have a different way, that’s all.

    So, if its not tribal then its slavery???? How did you come up with that? You keep saying “owning”. There is no owning, its a protection. Everyone in the Islamic society look after each other and that makes it slavery? And, Sandy, I am talking Islam and not the Muslims. Yes Muslims are killing and fighting, you ask yourself “WHY”? Because of slavery? Point your finger elsewhere, sister.

  166. @ Sarah Md

    Thanks for answering. However, i couldn’t disagree more. From what you said just now and before I understand that this is also your way of looking at things (correct me if i’m wrong).
    How can anyone possibly conceive that a free woman (not married, with no family) is a fair game, free for the taking??
    She will not become ‘public property’ unless she wants to.
    Why do you say: “she would sleep around …”.
    No, she won’t! unless she wants to sleep with men, but then it’s her choice. But she can make a different choice and not sleep around.

    It’s a really weird and disrespectful way of looking at people. If someone is alone then it’s okay to harass them or bother them (especially women) in any way??? Everyone deserves to be respected for who they are, what kind of people they are, regardless if they are married or not.

  167. Kasia,
    Yes it is a sad fact but as I said it does happen. I have heard of women knocking on doors for service (it is of course for some money). Because of this, unmarried women especially poor ones are targets. It is not that they make themselves cheap but they are taken advantage of. You are thinking from your point of view and I understand that.

    It is not the way I look at things … I am saying how it is. And I did not say that if someone is alone, it is “okay” to harass them. It is never okay. I said that is what happens. It is NOT okay but it happens. Same as it is not okay to fornicate but it happens. The people take advantage of these women are criminals. What kind of people are any kind of criminals? Do rapists not resepct their victims? Do murderers respect their victim? No – so it is the same here. Marriage is a protection.

  168. @kasia,
    sorry, I am very busy these days. I will come later to reply to some points here.

    By chance, I was watching a movie, HOSTEL II, two days ago. I recommend that everyone watch that movie to UNDERSTAND the context and the POINT of Mahram. when you are watching the movie, just think of Mahram and what I am saying about it. OK? I hope this will make you understand.

    Note: it is a horro film and events are exaggerated too much but regardless of the horror events there, the point of Mahram is very clear in the movie. pick it up.

  169. @ Sarah Md

    thanks for explaining cause I got a completely different vibe from your posts in a sense that you do think that women will become public property if they remain unmarried. So the only option to avoid that is to marry.
    I think marriage is not a protection, especially against harassment. You can be harassed even when you are married.
    I’ll ask you the same question as I posed to Medina. How does men feel about it? How do they feel about being looked at as they are potential vultures?

    @ Medina

    I really look forward to your replies. thanks!

  170. Everything wrong that happens in the West also happens in Saudi Arabia. Men and women married and unmarried sleep around. Women are abused, in their families and out of them. Children are born out of wedlock. There is prostitution. Men owning women does not protect them from any of this.

    But according to Sarah MD apparently men here behave the worst of any I’ve heard of. They can’t handle themselves at all if an unattached woman is around. Exceot, amazingly most of them manage to behave when they visit the west. So I guess they only disrespect Saudi Muslim women.

  171. Sarahmd a A woman who has been brought up by parents who have done their duty, and taught her what she needs to stand on her own, will have no problems being alone.

    Are you for real? You are talking to women who have lived on their own and are doing well. You are not talking to some morons who have never stepped out of the house unless under guard.

    I have lived on my own since I was 17, I have studied in London and Salamanca (Spain), I have traveled through Europe and beyond on my own, besides being devastatingly intelligent I also happen to be gorgeously beautiful, yet I have had no trouble with ”publicly” minded men. because I can deal with them as efficiently as I can deal with my own life. Besides, men in the west are a lot better behaved than men in the middle east.

    You are speaking here to a lot of women who know a lot better than you how women in the ”West” live because we are those women.

    If you are right, in that where you live men will not give a woman respect unless it is publicly known that she is somebodies property, then by your own statement you live in a very sick, indecent and perverted society.

  172. ”these kind of women” What ”kind of women”???? A woman who lives on her own is not one of ”these kind of women”, She is a self reliant, active, intelligent strong woman.
    It is the weak women who cannot do one step on their own, either because they are deficient in understanding, or because they have been brought up to be feeble who would most probably end up as ”these kind of women”. Women like you are ”these kind of women”.

    A strong self reliant woman does not need to sleep around because she is automatically weak and ”without boundaries”. Where do you pick up that nonsense??? Who tells you this utter crap?
    Women like you who are not capable of coherent thought and devoid of any strength of character and mind are the ones who are really in danger of behaving bad and irresponsibly.
    I have already agreed that you do need seem to need care like a small baby needs a parent.

    And don’t think you are defending your faith here, Everything, every bit of evil nonsense you spew here makes it more and more clear that Islam teaches Muslims to be bad parents, that men should despise women for being women, that Muslim men have no respect for women unless they are official property of other men. Islam allows men to marry 4 women and have sex with which ever woman slave they own that shows clearly enough the contempt to women which is inherent in your religion and which is wrong. It’s bad. It’s unjust, it’s evil.

    Your comments show us the evil lies and nonsense which are spread amongst Muslims about people from the West.

  173. Medina, so you think that the lowest, sickest, most despicable horror movies are actually documentaries about ”live in the ”West””?????
    Are you real?
    So it’s ok if I take the infamous ”Fitna” movie as a correct and comprehensive documentary about Islam????
    With people like you and Sarahmd I am actually starting to think it may be…
    If I didn’t know some Muslims who are actually kind and intelligent I would by now think Fitnah is a correct documentary.

    Really Medina, you are the one in need of a Mahram here. And the first thing she should do is make sure you don’t watch any bad, stupid horror or porn movies. There are movies which are definitely worth watching, but it is clear you cannot choose them.

  174. PS, a short and by no means comprehensible list of movies and shows you should watch:

    #1- Aliens

    #2- Buffy the Vampire slayer, all seasons
    #3- Xena the warrior princess
    #4- Whale rider
    #5- Miss Potter
    #6- The Matrix
    #7- Ghosts of Mars
    #8- Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
    #9- Chocolat
    #10- Emma
    #11- Erin Brokovitch
    #12- Barbarella
    #13- Underworld
    #14- Elizabeth (with Cate Blanchett)
    #15- Orlando
    #16- Kill Bill
    #17- Sliding doors
    #18- Mary Poppins
    #19- Million dollar babe
    #20- Chaos (french)

    After you have finished this list you will be allowed to talk about women, and mahrams.
    I cannot believe you go all moral here, and you yourself watch utter disgusting immoral crap like the hostel movies.

  175. Sandy,
    *amazingly most of them manage to behave when they visit the west. So I guess they only disrespect Saudi Muslim women.*
    Nice one 😈

  176. I think the POINT here that everyone is overlooking is that these very same men that women need to be protected from, who take advantage and use women when they come to another country particularly the west, mind their manners and don’t leer, touch, hassle, grope or take advantage of women. Why is it that when they are at home it happens? Is it possible that the men know that the women in the west have been raised to handle themselves and know that in general that sort of behavior is not accepted and furthermore is against the law and legal action can be taken so they behave themselves? In KSA it is allowed and no one will take action and women are not raised to take care of themselves so they need protection? The dynamics of the whole society allow it to happen…

  177. I know, totally off-topic!! But one of my all-time favorite movies is “Babette’s Feast”. It’s about living a life of piety and austerity, and the conflict that arises when some earthly pleasure might be experienced. I guess in some cases it could relate to certain aspects of Saudi society? 🙂

  178. Sorry Sandy…

    Went right past your post…I see it in Aafke’s response…that was exactly what I was trying to say…they are SELECTIVELY disrespectful and I think the society and the way they view women supports that knowingly or unknowingly…

  179. This whole thread has taken a turn I can barely comprehend. I didn’t know people could have such an absolutely low opinion of women as Sarah MD expresses. And men to who apparently are less evolved than animals. I have lived on my own. It didn’t make me “public property” or is that some sick Saudi man thing?

    I’ll tell you something. Every woman should know how to live on her own. It’s actually good for a marriage. My husband knows I don’t “need” to be with him because I am a child stuck with him. He knows I WANT to be with him. That I CHOOSE to be with him. that is a lot more flattering than being stuck with him. And for me, I know I have chosen my life. That I am not trapped by my owner (though actually technically that’s a bit true because of where I live).

    @Oby, good point, and if you scroll up just a bit we touched on that.

  180. Oby and Sandy, with this disrespect for women we are right on topic again.
    Because disrespect and misogyny lies at the root of polygamy and condoning lying about it, and everything else up to the systematic enslavement of women in Saudi Arabia.

    Sarahmd’s and Medina’s comments may be bizarre, but they show how a man raised in this artificial culture of misogyny towards women thinks about women (his own birds to be kept captive for their own safety because they cannot function on their own)
    And how a woman who is thoroughly indoctrinated, and hasn’t tasted the real sour grapes yet, accepts it (polygamy is male charity towards women and it adds a nice bit of competition and spice to women’s life, and a woman who is not owned by a man automatically and inevitably becomes a prostitute)

    They also show us what the real gossip is which is going around the Middle East about the all the Western countries, regardless of their very diverse cultures and habits.
    As such I think their contributions are valuable.

  181. More films Medina needs to watch before he is allowed to base the need for a mahram to all women on movies,

    – Desk set with Katherine Hepburn
    – Rabbit-Proof Fence
    – The color purple
    – The Joy Luck Club

  182. Sarah MD…

    I wanted to ask a question but it is a bit personal so if you don’t want to answer I fully understand and will respect that…

    Your English is very very good so much so that I am wondering if you were born and raised in the Middle East or if you have transplanted there. IF you were a westerner/non Muslim and converted/moved I am wondering how does one make that mental leap from a western thought of women being raised to be independent and not needing a mahram to changing to the thought process of the complete opposite. If you are raised there then your thoughts about it make more sense to me. Thanks

  183. Sarah MD said … ” Everyone in the Islamic society look after each other”
    That is clearly an untrue statement. If they were busy looking after each other there would be no need for a mahrem. Men and women could walk around freely without fear because everybody would be looking out for everybody else to ensure they are safe and secure and people do look out for other people in ‘the west’. And clearly there are a lot of people in Islamic society who are poor, unemployed, sick, etc. and NOBODY is looking after them.

    My opinion is that the majority of Saudi men are not as bad as they are portrayed by Saudi women and do not go crazy even in their own country. Women BELIEVE they will go crazy. I think they behave the same in or out of their country. If you are brought up to be a ‘nasty boy’ you’ll be that nasty boy inside or outside your country. I think most Saudi men are brought up to respect women and they do that in or out of their country.
    One thing I know for sure is that when I meet my brothers-in-law outside of Saudi they feel more free to give me a hug or shake my hand or whatever and that is not being bad, it’s being a warm and kind relative and they do not want to throw me on the floor and attack me when they hug me and I am very much respected!!!

    Women in the western worlds are generally strong, self-confident and extremely capable. They would put a disrespectful man in his place immediately. They would not allow nonsense. Women do not need a man to make them complete and whole.

    You know I bet all of those overnight apartment rentals throughout Saudi are not just used by families travelling together. I think they are used quite often by men and women getting together outside of marriage. Much easier to rent than a hotel room!

  184. SarahMD…you have a very low opinion of your own gender. It is hard enough to hear such demeaning talk about women coming from men but to hear it come from another woman is like hearing your own mother say she hates you and wishes you were never born or something. Just unfathomable.

    Ive been divorced nearly 4 years now. Havent knocked on a single door cause Im one of “those women”. Havent had sex with a man in that nearly 4 years either. Not saying I dont want too…not saying the “mood” doesnt strike now and then…just saying I havent cause thats they sort of person, woman, I am. I dont take it as a casual thing as Im sure a great many other women do as well.

    I repeat…your opinion of women is abysmal and Im just curious if you count yourself among that group of women that need a mans constant protection, guidance, services etc because if she doesnt have one…she will walk straight into a life of immoral degredation…and there is nothing she can personally do to stop it…cause she will now be “one of those women”.

    Very sad

  185. Medina…I use to like horror movies…so ran out and got Hostel when it came out. 10 min of the movie was enough to convince me it was a just porn with a little more set decorating.

    If you watched that sad excuse for a movie and then had the nerve to come on here and use it as some sort of …”i told you so” kind of rant…not only do you need a lecture on what constitutes “evidence” or crap…but you also need to lower your gaze cause that film was pure fitna.

  186. @Sarah MD,

    You Say:

    “The thing that people must realise about Muslims, is that we are a collective soceity”

    ” Public property means that there will be people who will take advantage of her as she is not married.”

    You contradict yourself so much in these arguments. You cannot in one comment argue that Muslims take care of each other, then all the sudden turn into abusers of women if they are not married.

    I really think you rely too much on slogans and simple arguments. It seems you are in a need of and eduction first before you go on making wide ranging arguments like the long ones you make here. You rely on simple slogans like “Muslims have Collective societies” provided to you by another commentator who is also in desperate need of an education.

    Sorry to be blunt, but the 2 of you present the worst picture of Muslim men and women than anyone else in this blog. The funny part is you are doing it in defense of Muslim. The result is you are defending systems like polygamy and the Mahram system. This is at done at the expense of painting Arabic/Muslim society as mean and inherently unfair. In your strange mind, Muslim and Arabic men are predators ready to bounce on the first opportunity to take advantage of the helpless women. Women in turn are weak and are so mindless that they can be victimized easily.

    I hope you reexamine your position and all the arguments you make here. Dig deeper than these simple slogans to understand better. I happen to think better of Arabic/Muslim societies and people. I think if the people are given the opportunity under a fair system, they will rise to higher standard of morals than what you describe.


  187. Moq…

    ” I think if the people are given the opportunity under a fair system, they will rise to higher standard of morals than what you describe.”


  188. MoQ said “I really think you rely too much on slogans and simple arguments.”

    I was just thinking something very similar. These pitiful excuses often sound very “scripted”. This is something I’ve noticed about the way Islam is taught here. The scripts are already there for you to learn. No need to think. It’s amazing how often I will hear people using the exact same phrasing of things. Even western converts.

  189. thank you Sandy. it did feel this way to me a few times when I was on different blogs etc but i thought it was just me.
    i too heard people both online and in reality speak using exactly the same phrases to argue certain concepts.

  190. Moq, Thank you for putting things so succinctly in perspective.

    One should not put two conflicting slogans into the same comment.
    All these people looking out for each other while the men pounce and rape any woman who isn’t under official ownership, while the women don’t have the basic moral strength to at least keep off prostitution the moment they don’t have a man ”guiding” their steps.

    Sarahmd, I am sorry that you will be incapable to keep out of prostitution the moment you are not under control of a man, but other women are. Actually most women in ”the west” are.

    Moq, It’s good to know you think Arab men could be capable of more moral conduct when given a better social system.

  191. @Sandy,

    These slogans are plentiful in the Islamic world and have been used for ages to sway the simple minded. Just a few examples:

    – Muslims fight against each other and others. To mask all of the issues of violence they come up with the Slogan: “Islam is the religion of peace”
    – Islamic societies curb freedoms… “Muslims have a collective society”
    – Muslim women are abused …. “We protect Women”
    – Girls married at young age …. “We protect their chastity and honor”
    – Muslims countries are under developed … “The Zionist plan is in action”
    – etc.

    There are hundreds of these auto programmed slogans that the clergy and governments have been using to turn the masses into unthinking robots. You see a clear example here of 2 robots just repeating what they have been told all their lives. The problem is they pretend they understand what they are talking about, instead of reading a book or two to try to learn what the real impact of such words.

  192. Yes there are countless scripts. I tune out now when it starts.

    I also want to agree with you. I think there are many Saudi men that would suprise Sarah MD with their decency, even if women were no longer owned by men. Some women would suprise her too- but definately I agree with AAfke, that she will always need a mahrem since she believes without one she is at risk of turning to prostitution.

  193. wow…quite a discussion has been taking place during my week away! I am still catching up on the comments which have been quite interesting to read.

    Personally each case of polygamy of which I am aware is definitely NOT in accordance with the sunnah and therefore covered up as much as possible and hidden. That also seems to be more the norm too in Saudi. Why???

  194. Sorry Carol, I have to disagree with you on the point of Sunnah. Sunnah is the sayings and acts of the prophet. From what we know through Hadith (not none Muslims sources), here are some facts which contradict the idea of taking multiple wives for the sole purpose of charity on the widows and orphans:

    – His first wife, he married because of her richness and connections
    – Hie married a virgin at age of 9
    – He married the wife of his adopted son which he encouraged him to divorce, since he was infatuated with her
    – He married a beautiful slave, who was gifted to him by an Egyptian Byzantine official
    – He married a Jewish captured girl on the same night of the battle where her father, husband and all male relatives were killed in battle.
    – There are more that can be added to the list, but you get the point

    Yes he may have married a few widows, but he also married women for their beauty and for pleasure. These examples are part of Sunnah as much as the others.

    Add to the above that the Quran did not specify how polygamy is allowed. As a matter of fact the verse that allows the marriage of 4 is the same verse that allows a man to have as many slaves sexually as he can afford. Again, this points to the fact that polygamy is allowed for the pleasure of men.

    I know for most Muslims these facts are hard to accept, but they remain facts no matter how the clerics try to sugar coat them.

  195. This is something I never clearly realized, it is so that the same verse allows men too also have sex with all the female slaves they own, it does make clear that the man’s pleasure (and the man’s only, no mention is made of the wishes of the poor slave) is being addressed here…

  196. @Kasia,
    There is trust among family members of course but if you cross lines, your family will start thinking bad about you whether you are male or female. So, as long as you are ok socially and behave according to the social norms, no one will have doubts about you but to cross the red lines? You will lose your reputation among people in seconds. That is what dictates people, the social pressure.

    Hostel II film was broadcasted in the Saudi TV channel, MBC 2 two days ago. So, I do not think it contains any sexual gestures; otherwise, they will not broadcast such a movie to Saudi families. Maybe the Saudi TV channel cut these sexual scenes? I do not know. The movie that I watched does not contain any sexual scenes. This movie is posted here for not criticising the American lifestyles, it is to give you a hint, to help you, to make it easy for you, to UNDERSTAND that we, Saudis have fear, we are afraid that our relative females may expose to such events if they travel alone abroad without mahram. GET IT? I hope so and I will pray for you to get it. saying it contains sexual stuff is just misleading information and a tactic to not answer my point.

    At the end, this film whether it is porn or horro, it is your cultural prodcution, so, do not blame me, blame yourself.

    Are you sure that you enjoy reading the comments above?! did you read and enjoy the personal attacks?!

    @sara md,
    do not feed the bad mouths plz.

  197. Saudi women need to grow up. They should stop thinking of themselves as helpless children who need protection. For heaven’s sake, just grow up and learn that you are every bit as strong as a man – not muscles but mentally and emotionally and you should be able to deal with life as your own person. For heaven sake, grow up!

  198. Medina, i understand you exactely despite the condescending language.
    If you want to talk about personal attacks: you call the women in your family ”Your birds”
    ”Birds” which have to be caged, ”birds” which cannot be set free because of the savages who will attack them. ”Birds” whom you own!!!!
    How more insulting and condescending can you get? You insulted every women on this forum.

    Look Medina, we are a society which allows people to express themselves, but not to commit crimes.
    I have traveled on my own and have not ever encountered anything like the porn/horror movie ”Hostel” which is just a sick male fantasy.

    You have a problem if you cannot allow women outside in your country because they will be attacked by savages.

    All your arguments still put all the blame and responsibility on the victims, the women. Not on the savage men who might attack them.
    All your arguments come down to blaming the victims.
    And your solution is not to make your society safe for women by judging and punishing the savages, but by locking up the victims.

    In the west we have evolved away from the mentality that if a woman gets abused or raped by a man it’s the woman’s fault, the man gets punishment.
    But all you do is propagating the mentality that women are the cause of the problem. The problems of your society will not be resolved until people who claim to be educated like you will recognize these problems and start working towards making the country safe for all it’s citizens.
    Women are 50% of the citizens of your country.

  199. @Wendy,

    No, women in Saudi are caged birds according to one of our commentators here. It is even worse than treating them like children. It is pure ownership. There are many strong women in Saudi that rise up against such treatment and are stronger than this Mouth piece of gender discrimination.

    All they need is an opportunity to show their abilities and strength. There will be a day when people like Medina will be looked at as dinosaurs who belong in the dark ages. Saudi will not remain in this dark age forever, change is coming whether the cage owners like it or not.

  200. Moq, you are right and things will change.

    Aafke is sooo right – I travel alone often and never have I encountered a problem. In all my working life since I was 16 I have travelled alone. Gone to restaurants alone and even dances alone. Never have I been molested. Aafke speaks the truth. No means No and even if a women finds herself in a compromising position (even as far as the bed) and she says NO and the man doesn’t listen and proceeds to have sex/rape her the man will go to jail. Nobody has a right to a female body including her husband unless she says yes. Even a husband can be prosecuted. Women OWN their bodies totally and NOBODY has the right to do anything to that body unless the owner of the body says it’s okay. That’s how it is in the ‘western world’ contrary to what others may believe.

  201. Oh, Medina, I take it you haven’t seen hostel 1. There it’s three blokes who get caught and tortured to death.
    Using your logic that means boys like you should be locked up too for your own good.

  202. @ Medina,

    you didn’t answer my questions at all 😦 let me try and rephrase it and I would really welcome a reply from you.
    Every single society consists of good and bad, there is no perfect one. By your own logic when will it be safe to set your ‘birds’ free? will that moment ever come? or they are going to be ‘protected’ by you and those who will come after you for eternity?

    you addressed the issue of trust only among family. I was talking about a bigger picture. You ‘protect’ the ‘birds’ not from your family but from vultures out there. You ‘protect’ them from other men out there. I’m asking you how low do you think of other men? And put yourself in their shoes. If other men think like you then again: How does it make you feel that other men, fathers, husbands, brothers look at you as a potential danger that you pose to their female relatives. How does it make you feel that they think they have to protect their females from YOU, from YOUR harassment etc etc.

    And how on earth can you enter a marriage, relationship and develop trust if you were brought up to believe that men are not to be trusted because they are savages waiting to harass you etc etc.?
    I don’t know if it’s clearer cause I repeated myself. it’s really hard for me to conceive how low you can think of others and their potential behaviour hence I’m asking.


    could i have a question in private please? i sent a message to you on your youtube channel. thank you!

  203. Ok. What I don’t understand about why this need for “protection” is only one way. I worry about my husband. I worry when he travels alone to a strange place he isn’t familiar with. I worry about his health, is he eating right etc. I worry about him on the roads of Saudi which are the most dangerous in the world. Many women worry about their husbands. Some worry that some woman could be seducing him. I mean if women are in such danger- aren’t the men equally so? Isn’t it just as bad a sin if the man is having unlawful sex as the woman? Why aren’t we worried about the men? Especially since Saudi men apparently have little self control. So they are in danger all the time.

    Anyway, I worry about my husband but would NEVER dream of caging him.

    And for that matter if the ONLY reason a person doesn’t sin is because they are in a cage- that doesn’t make them moral. Again with the Saudi need to have the right “appearence” of virtue, but not necessarily any real virtue itself.

  204. Also, I have to add, if a Saudi really believes women should be protected within the family- why are they bringing foreign maids into the country to work in their houses and “mix” with men? Every single man who cages his bird and hires a maid is a HYPOCRITE and we know what the Quran says about them.

  205. From all the comments that I read here, I feel that people are in complete denial of the reality or are blinded by ego. They make every effort to defend
    their culture and in doing so, they are in fact bashing Saudis and Islam either consciously or subconsciously. That is evident although some will do it subtly.

    Because of their blindness, they read my comments with rage and fail to see what I am trying to say. There is a lot of assumptions going on here.

    First of all, what makes you think that I am talking about SAUDI MEN and SAUDI. I am talking generaly about Muslim society. It can be anywhere on this earth.

    Secondly they assume that this earth belongs to them and what they do and are is the absolute truth and right. Who told them that?

    Thirdly, they assume that every women on this earth is strong like them. They are not capable of seeing the weak, poor woman, especailly Sandy who claims to be champion of helpng abused women in Saudi.

    Fourthly, they assume that everything outside of their culture is wrong and they are mighty ones who got it all right.

    Fifthly, they assume that anything that comes from the keyboard of a non-saudi or non-muslim has to be right. This is all too evident. And this is how blind they are.

    Sixthly, the personal attacks they throw at us are all okay because they assume themselves to be above the rest. So if its other way round then hell breaks lose.

    Last but not least, assuming that Saudis disrespect women in their own country.

    Maybe part of the problem is that I cannot express myself in English and I am misunderstood.

    Do not accuse or judge one without knowing him/her. I make comments previoulsy from from personal observations and experiences. You all have no right to attack anyone’s opinion in the way you are doing, espcially when you are all for freedom of speech or whatever.

    In this environment, is it even possible to have a fair debate? Ask yourselves that.

  206. Comments from Aafke are really nonsenical and most blind of all and it seems its coming from hatred of religion and saudis.Comments from Sandy are … i don’t know how to say it. I feel she, too, is against religion. She sits in KSA, moaning day in and day out. I really sometimes want to offer her relief and pay for her one-way ticket. When you mention this, she will defend it saying well my husband is not like others, I
    have been lucky, I do things myself, I call the plumber and pay for the service all by myself, I fix my own punctures while I drive the most dangerous road along Jeddah highways, I cannot leave because my family is here, and she goes on and on speaking against Saudi. I cannot see why she sits here if she is so unhappy. If she is such a champion for helping the helpless and she has a noble heart, I do not see it from the way she writes; I can analyse each of her
    comments and disect it and ask anyone if this sounds like someone who has a noble heart to help the helpless. She mostly concurs with Mq (so does Aafke) because thats what they can do. Get a life Sandy, be grateful while you are sitting in this country that you so hate, be grateful for the plate on your table and the roof above you, be grateful that you have it good and do not spoil your blessings by bad mouthing the country that is serving you.

    Comments from Mq, even though I do not always agree, are sensible and challenging and he writes from his own opinions and thinkings.

  207. Sarahmd, Women are strong, or they have the capabillity to be strong. If parents deny their children to grow to their full potential, ec strength, they have betrayed their trust.
    You keep telling us you need a mahram, without a man who owns you you would sink to prostitution etc. so yes, you are a weak woman. True.
    But looking at your comments your weakness could just as well have resulted from a bad upbringing than from a natural feebleness.
    We know that schools in Saudi Arabia try their best to keep knowledge and independent thought away from children, and especially from girls, they actively try to keep women in a weak childish state.

    You can see from the interview with Mamma Bee, that if a Saudi woman is allowed to grow naturally she is fully capable of traveling and studying on her own without inevitably falling prey to savage men.

    Both you and Medina make it abundantly clear that you are convinced women cannot be allowed to be free or independent because they will be beset by savage men out to rape them at every corner.
    So don’t blame us for taking you at your word and believing you and Medina: Saudi men are savages who beset every woman they think they can abuse.

    You can’t have it both ways:
    Either Muslim societies look out for one another and take care of one another, in which case there is no reason for women not to live a lovely free, safe and independent life.

    Or in Muslim societies men are savage cats and women are meat and need to be property, protected, covered, and caged to keep them safe from the savage cats.

    Looking at the world right now it’s the last scenario which is played out in Muslim societies.

  208. Now before I leave this thread or possibly this blog, I want to comment on some of the points. Again, I say that I am talking generally.

    “So the only option to avoid that is to marry.”
    Marriage is one option. A woman who is capable and can make a living by working, then she can protect herself. But for those poor women who cannot make
    a living, then yes marriage is the option. And by protection, it means also that she is not mislead into the “bad” soceity and face temptations. (This is also and especially for the men).

    “You can be harassed even when you are married”
    Absolutely right. But when a married women is harressed, who will be there to protect her, to deal with it, to offer assistance, to offer comfort, to assist
    her that it does not happen in the future, or if its a serious matter, go with her to files cases, be a friend to her …etc. Yes an unmarried women can have
    a friend or a family memeber to do all this but what if she does NOT? Do you see the difference? Maybe a strong, attractive lady like Aafke can swing her heavy bag of paintings at anyone, but what about the emotinal trauma, needing to speak out, wanting someone to stand by her. Not everyone is as strong as Aafke! BTW, a criminal minded person will not go for the strong, he will look for the weak, vulnerable ones.

    “I’ll ask you the same question as I posed to Medina. How does men feel about it? How do they feel about being looked at as they are potential vultures?”

    I am not a man but I think a man would think its protection from other men (who have sickness in their hearts) and not himself. And I would tell me to lower
    their gaze. If they see an uncovered woman, then she shuold think that this is someone’s sister, mother, daughter and would he like it if someone did something bad to them? Yes he can wish for them to be covered properly, too.

    “But according to Sarah MD apparently men here behave the worst of any I’ve heard of. They can’t handle themselves at all if an unattached woman is around. Exceot, amazingly most of them manage to behave when they visit the west. So I guess they only disrespect Saudi Muslim women”.

    Clear case of bad assumptions. Here is she assuming that I am talking about people in Saudi and also assumining that I am talking about ALL MEN. But I have seen many men in the west when they meet a women they will look for the ring on her finger and if there is one, he will have a different attitude towards her.

    And I have seen some women who want to play around hide their rings. So you see the ring makes a difference. All men are not instanteous women grabbers, be it saudi or western. Saudi may deal with western women differnely because she is someone from another culture and same would be true with a western men with a saudi women. Until they come to know one another closely.

    “In KSA it is allowed and no one will take action and women are not raised to take care of themselves so they need protection?”

    That is because your mind is only capable of assuming things. Maybe it is a result of finding faults with the country you eat from.

    “You are talking to women who have lived on their own and are doing well. You are not talking to some morons who have never stepped out of the house unless under guard”.

    Another assumption. All the women are strong and can stand alone. And all women are like her and others on this blog. How many poor and helpless ones are there? Are they all writing on this blog? If you can stand on your own then thats good.

    “Besides, men in the west are a lot better behaved than men in the middle east”.
    Yes this is why they all sleep around. Men are men where ever they are from.

    “You are speaking here to a lot of women who know a lot better than you how women in the ”West” live because we are those women”.

    Is that so? Are you assuming now that I have not lived in th West? But then why are you speaking about Saudi where you have NEVER lived? You are speaking to people who know more than you.

    “If you are right, in that where you live men will not give a woman respect unless it is publicly known that she is somebodies property…”

    Where did I say that men will not repect unmarried women or is that you wish that I had said that or another aaumption. Again, I say, there are men with
    sick hearts – not ALL. Where I live and even where you live, men generally will respect a woman except few with sick minds, got it? Miss Gorgoeous? The more
    assumptions you make and hatred you show, the more ugliness is visible. (Maybe it was too early for you to leave home at 17)

    “A woman who lives on her own is not one of ”these kind of women”, She is a self reliant, active, intelligent strong woman”.

    Yes ALL women are like that – as per you assumptions.

    “A strong self reliant woman does not need to sleep around because she is automatically weak and ”without boundaries”. Where do you pick up that
    nonsense??? Who tells you this utter crap?”

    You said that crap yourself cos I sure didn’t.

    Your comments show how you love to bash anything not your culture and that is pure evil and going against your own “freedom” of choice.

    “Sarahmd, I am sorry that you will be incapable to keep out of prostitution the moment you are not under control of a man, but other women are. Actually most
    women in ”the west” are”
    Another case of blindness. Hopeless!

    “Why is it that when they are at home it happens?”
    Who told you happens at home. I think you are misunderstaning – again. There are criminals everywhere – yes even in the west. Men are men and they do all what they do in which ever country. Who told you that those with sick minds do not do that in the west and who told you that they do so only in Saudi? Another assumption? Saudis may do it in Saudi or anywhere, same as westerner will do it

    “In KSA it is allowed and no one will take action and women are not raised to take care of themselves so they need protection?”
    Really? In KSA it is allowed? lol! I know of one women who took the man to court for “accidently tripping” on her.

    What difference does it make where I am from. My opinions are mine regardless of where I come from. English is not my language and that is why I feel that I
    am misunderstood by many here.

    “In KSA it is allowed and no one will take action and women are not raised to take care of themselves so they need protection?”
    Mahrem is at an individual level. Collectively the society looks after the society. Its like saying there is not need for the police in the west because everyone will look after themselves. Of course in the society itself, there can be bad people.

    “And clearly there are a lot of people in Islamic society who are poor, unemployed, sick, etc. and NOBODY is looking after them”.

    NOBODY? Sister I don’t where you are, clearly you are not looking.

    “My opinion is that the majority of Saudi men are not as bad as they are portrayed by Saudi women and do not go crazy even in their own country.”

    Yes I agree with the first part 100% but it is not Sauid women who make then look bad; it is the assumption of the west that make them look bad.

    My comments above can answer to your comments too.

    “Im just curious if you count yourself among that group of women that need a mans constant protection…’
    See, sister, just because you are strong, does not mean that all women are like that. I am sure alot of women will tell you that they need a man and that they
    do not want to be lonely. That is the nature of humans. I, too can say I am the strong ones but humans need a partner. I can say I can do much better alone, I can fix my own washing machine and pay the service man. At the end of the day, when you are alone and no one to share you happiness or worries,the lonliness hits you. You can speak to the service man, I guess, but its not the same.

    “You contradict yourself so much in these arguments.”

    No I do not see any contradictions there at all. Yes it is a collective society but as I mentioned before as in any soceity there can be wicked people. It does not mean that 100% all people in the society are saints. It is the duty of the collective soceity to protect and help the others.

    There is no contradiction here. But there is another assumption. Why are you assuming that women will be attacked ONLY from THAT society? Can people from outside not harress or cheat, or rape or steal or do injustice to the people within the society?

    The only way mahrem or polygamy paint a bad picture to you all is by using the bad paint brush. They seem like slogans to you because that is how you want it
    to seem.

    I have never in my comments said that Saudi men were evil and bad. Saudi men can be gentlemen and charming just as any other men out there and they can be evil and wicked same as any other men. Mehrem/Polygamy is set in place with the specific intent of safeguarding a woman’s honor, dignity, and reputation. Women can travel alone if the journey is safe. If she has a genuine need to travel, she may do so if she can be reasonably assured of her own safety. Mahrem is not there because of evil intent of the women but to protect her from the desires of those who have diseased hearts, from the assault of ANY rapist or ANY thief, to block any channels of evils.

    You can assume all you want but if can open your eyes you will see reality. Don’t read with blind hatred but see with neutral minds. We are, in the end, one civilization.

    Thanks and cheers.

  209. All,
    I know that not everyone on here has done this, but…
    CAN WE PLEASE GET BACK ON TOPIC AND QUIT HURLING INSULTS AT EACH OTHER???!!! Is this how you would want your children/future children to act? Do you really find this sort of behavior to add to the topic about polygamy? What are you trying to achieve here? And if it’s OFF-TOPIC, then take it to the DEBATE PAGE PLEASE!!!!

    I did not mean to offend anyone with my previous comments about polygamy. I was just pointing out that while polygyny (and polyandry, too, though this is not allowed in Islam- sorry; it’s how I feel on the topic) may have had its place in past socities, but with the globalisation of the world I do not see how it is necessary now. If you look at this link with sex ratio: , there is currently believed to be more males than females in the world population (105 to 100). Therefore, I do not understand why a shortage of men in one part of the world could not be overcome by marriage to other women around the world. There are many ways to give to charities and help those less fortunate nowadays, so I do not understand why polygamy should be seen as the only or even best option to help poor women.

    I do realise that marriage to foreigners is more difficult for Saudi citizens than for other nationalities, though, so I imagine law could influence this. I would be curious to know what the current male:female ratio in Saudi Arabia is, and how this affects the society in which polygamy is allowed. Does it result in many single males or in more males being forced to marry one or more women outside KSA? What affect does polygamy have on world statistics of married and unmarried men and women?

  210. Sarah MD

    You explain the point well it is just that we don’t agree in any way. I personally feel that you are selling Saudi women short as well as the men… In no other country is there this system of mahrem…that means that for whatever reason KSA has decided that the women in it’s country are more in need of “protecting” than anywhere else on earth. By logic that must mean that the men there are far more “dangerous” to women than anywhere else on earth. Certainly other Muslim countries love their women as much as KSA, certainly they value the Qur’an as much as anyone in KSA and would follow the tenets closely like any good Muslim. Why then is it only in KSA must there be the mahrem system? Why can other Muslim women throughout the world go without a mahrem? Has anyone ever taken a poll of Muslim women worldwide to find out how many are being hassled and raped by the men in their country to see if this Mahrem system would be a good thing to apply everywhere? Seems to me if men are so dangerous all women-not just Muslim ones-might need protection. In fact, it is a tribal attitude that is not required by Islam and that is why other islamic countries are not requiring men to “protect” their women.

    Saudi women are strong intelligent and capable IMO. If there are weak ones in the crowd why not make the mahrem system a choice??? That way the weak ones can have protection and those women like Sandy that are fully capable can take care of things themselves…then EVERYONE gets what they want. Write it into the marriage contracts if it needs to be enforced for the weak ones. What we are saying Sarah is that by institutionalizing the mahrem system you are taking any freedom of choice away from capable women and in effect saying they are too feeble to care for themselves.

    Of course there are bad men everywhere…I don’t think Saudi holds the record on that…but because they force the mahrem system they implicitly say “in our society men can’t be trusted and our women are feeble and we need to protect them”.

    How is it that women the world over are able to handle themselves and don’t need a mahrem but somehow in KSA the women are so much more in need of protection than anywhere else? Why not try an experiment and lift the mahrem for ladies that don’t want it, make it a crime for women to be sexually harassed like it is in the west that can be punished by law, give them the freedom socially to manage it themselves and let’s see what happens. I think it is absolutely possible that if a man is required to behave himself he will…by this I mean the vast majority not the few nuts out there that will cause trouble. While were at it how about putting the shame on the man that harassed the woman where it belongs rather than on the poor victim who was minding her own business? I guarantee that will shift the dynamic in the country…when the woman is not held responsible for being raped or harassed and the responsibility is put where it belongs which is on the perpetrator then there is a shift in how people view women…the reason women are needing a mahrem IMO (and I know it is ONLY my opinion) is because men are so afraid that anything that might happen to a woman will reflect badly on THEM and their honor…protecting women is secondary to protecting themselves in the eyes of others…Medina said it once a long time ago and I think that is very true. Honor is everything. But the thing is if the families honor wasn’t put on the women’s shoulders no one would blame the victim and men would have a greater incentive to behave because THEY would be perceived as bringing dishonor to the family by their bad behavior. Now the balance of power will be shifted and MEN will behave better because they will be the dishonorable ones if they hassle a woman.

    I respect that you don’t want to say where you are from…I asked you because your English is excellent and some of the idioms you use are western…that means either:

    1). you are a highly educated/well traveled person who was born and raised in the Middle East somewhere, but most likely KSA but has had a lot of experience outside the region…that being the case it seems as a woman you would not be so gung ho on the mahrem system since you probably have experienced life free from it. I believe that you said that you drove your car in Bahrain…I’m guessing that your mahrem or male companion drove it to the border for you.

    2). You are a westerner who moved to the Middle East after conversion to islam (and probably marriage) and now feels they have to protect the mahrem system at all costs. My question was because if you were a western woman who lived the life most of us western women are talking about then you had to make a very big mental leap in order to accommodate the validity and rationality of the mahrem system. Even most muslim women don’t advocate for the mahrem system.

    The way you arrived at your point of view for the mahrem system was of interest to me…as an educated woman who was raised in KSA it would be easier for me to understand why you feel it is so important…you grew up with it and it is “normal” for you. If you were a westerner who was free and now advocates for it that is a very different dynamic and you would have had to make some big changes in thinking to advocate for it. That would mean you and I started on the same side of the fence in terms of thinking for women’s rights, but somewhere along the way we diverged and I was wondering how one makes that leap…

    But no worries as I was not trying to beat you up…just figure it out.

  211. I am sorry Sarah MD that you feel that way.

    You have been on this blog for months, speaking myths and contradicting yourself in every turn. For someone that believes in every conspiracy theory and someone that argues rigorously that the solution to the problems of Saudi is to penalize the victims, you sure have a very thin skin.

    I agree with you, you should not comment on this blog, if you cannot take it. Spend sometime to focus on your education and may be some day you can make sense and be able to defend your positions. From what I saw so far, you are still in the early stages of developing your believes as evident by your under developed arguments that contradict each other. I do not think you should be ashamed of that, we all have to go through phases in life where we are learning. The issue you have is that you do not realize what stage you are on and argue for ages based on a very weak set of facts.

    A good example is your argument that women in Saudi are weak, because they were protected. So we have to protect them more by limiting their freedoms. I hope you see how circular that argument gets.

    Good luck to you!!!

  212. Strange one, you should try to understand that this perceptional of women as weak hapless creatures, so feeble in mind, body and moral backbone, that they are automatic prey to any man who wants to take advantage of them, is the very basis of the discussion as to why men are allowed to marry more than one wife, and a woman is not allowed to marry more than one husband.
    And why it is ok for the man to lie about the other marriages to his wives.

    Medina has made the low, subhuman status of women in his culture very clear, his women are ”his birds”.
    And as chickens are weak and stupid it is the right thing to put them in a cage, to protect not only their well-being, but also your property.
    And you don’t have to ask your chicken permission to add another chicken to the coop.

    I think this way of thinking about women is at the very basis of the argument stated in the post, and the current discussion is entirely on topic.

  213. Sarah MD,
    Apparently I hit a nerve with you (or several). Let me clarify one thing. I am eternally grateful to Allah for the blessings in my life. Blessings I have IN SPITE of Saudi Arabia- which views me as a piece of man’s property, not because of it. And who are you to stand in judgement of me? And why make fun of me because I am able to function independantly and because I try to stand up for Saudi women?

    I don’t see one thing wrong with my speaking up for Saudi women. The ones that suffer don’t have the opportunity to speak up. Why shouldn’t I? Should I pretend they aren’t in trouble? Should I pretend life is grand here for women? Sorry- I’m not going to stick my head in the sand and I’m not going to lie about it. I have seen first hand how badly the system of owning women works.

    All countries love their women. Most countries protect their women. Of course bad things can and do happen everywhere. In the west the SYSTEM is such as it protects the women equally to the man. In Saudi the SYSTEM lets the family do what they want with the women. In normal fuctioning families, she might lead a fairly normal life. In abusive families she is totally stuck. Western communitites have shown that for the most part men and women can behave appropriately when women are free. And there are laws to protect her if it doesn’t work.

    In Saudi apparently there is the belief- that you have repeatedly put forth here- that women and men canNOT behave, and so women must be owned by the men. Of course, that in itself is an abuse of women- and if she has sick men in her family she has infinately worse options than she would in the west.

    Their are weak men as well as weak women. What about them? You never address that. Men are victims of crime, suffer from sickness or mental illness as often as women. Who takes care of them? In your system these men get to own their female relatives. How does that work?

    Women in Saudi may be weaker than women in the west. But that would be because they are raised that way. Not taught what to do or how to take care of themselves. So society makes them weak and then “protects” them because of it. Just great.

    Also, your assessment of why a man in the west checks for a wedding ring is way off. Of course a man treats a married woman differently. There is nothing wrong with that. It’s not considered polite to invite a married woman on a date. It is polite to ask a single woman. And no- a date does not always mean disrespect and sex. And the woman has the right to make her own choice about whether she wants to spend time with the man.

    Sorry Sarah MD,
    Your offer of a ticket nothwithstanding I”m not going anywhere. You say what you like about my lack of nobility and your opinion that I am against religion. Glad your so confident that you can say such things about a fellow human and be secure that Allah agrees with you so there will be no consequences.

    You seem not to be capable of distinquishing that I am critisizing the system – not my life here, which is pretty darn good (again IN SPITE of Saudi- so no I am not grateful to Saudi, but to Allah).

  214. Aafke,
    I was referring to one people were specifically singled out and were insulted, not just a logical (or illogical) debate. I was also referring to the conversation about which country (and its people) does a better job at being charitable overall.

    I think women are treated like sex objects all around the world because this is how the men are taught to treat women. It happens in pretty much every place, although I’d say it happens with less frequency in some places than others, which I believe is directly related to culture and how men are taught to (or not to) respect women. In some cultures, I believe men are also perceived as sex objects just as much as women.

    I think if women want to be viewed as more than a sex object, it’s going to be a long battle. The best thing to do is for mothers to teach their sons to respect women irrespective of what culture in their society dictates.

    Additionally, people need to be taught that marriage is about more than just sexual attraction (although this is important). It’s also about companionship, etc.. Also, men and women CAN just be friends. I think people from ALL cultures need to be taught this.

    When sex is given so much emphasis and importance (which, IMO, happens in just about every culture including Saudi and American cultures), it makes it more difficult for two people to be just friends because of how highly societies value sexual relationships over friendships of people of opposing genders (or same gender for homosexuals). This leads to men (and women) valuing the initial attraction period over the lasting loving companionship that the relationship evolves into. I think this may also be a factor leading to polygamous relationships, serial monogamy, etc.

  215. Like Sandy, I had a very good life with a good man in Saudi Arabia. However I agree that the perception of Saudi society in general is that women not only need to be protected but that they are seen to readily as a source of temptation and desire. I’ve never seen anything like the watchfulness and readiness to pounce like the muttawa for fear that a woman is too enticing to a man. There also is more curiousity about the men and women because of the segregation and stringent rules. It does not promote a healthy and balanced environment.

    Back to specific topic, due to the restrictions placed on women in Saudi Arabia such as not as many choices or freedoms as the man, the man has more leeway to explore his options so to speak, which can include polygamy. On the surface one can say that the wife may have options if her spouse had chosen another wife, yet in reality a lot of women have circumstances which may force them to stay in such a situation, keep the circumstances very private and thereby continue to bury the head in the sand.

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