Saudi Arabia: Guarding honor

In Saudi Arabia rape victims or their families seldom report the crime. They want to guard the family honor. But what happens to the victims? Girls who have lost their virginity will be regarded as worthless and without a future. Counseling for the victims will have to forgo in place of saving family honor.
Their has been a spree of brutal child rapes in Jeddah, as well as a serial rapist, but many families will not report the crime. This hiding of rape crime will only serve to support the rapists and make them feel safe to commit more crimes.

The police have investigated a man accused of abducting and raping at least 13 and possibly as many as 16 girls, at least one as young as eight, in a series of sex crimes going back to 2008. The man, whose name has been published in some of the Arabic press, has been identified as a schoolteacher and a married father of five children.

Police say DNA evidence, testimony from the victims that unanimously identify him, and several victims’ testimony that identify the prime suspect’s home where most or all of the rapes took place all link him to the crimes. It is believed the man took his family to a rest-house — a common location for vacationing or traveling Saudi families — and then made up reasons why he had to return to Jeddah, where he allegedly stalked and abducted his prey and took his victims to his home to commit the sexual assaults before releasing them.

The mother of a rape victim told Arab News on the condition of anonymity of the pain she went through when her daughter was raped.
“I was with my kids shopping in a major store in Jeddah. I left my children in the children’s playground at the center. I discovered later that my eight-year-old daughter had gone missing,” she said. “I knew my daughter had been kidnapped because there was no sign of her inside the shopping center,” the mother said in tears.
“I eventually found my daughter outside the mall in a very bad condition. She was brutally raped and had lost a lot of blood. She was in a terrible mental condition and in total shock.”

She said the father refused to report the incident to police because he did not want people to talk about his daughter and was ashamed of what had happened. Eventually, the family moved to another neighborhood.
The mother said her daughter suffered a lot and became withdrawn, adding that she was not sleeping properly, refused to play with children and was crying all the time.
Her father started to hate her and treat her badly, sometimes wishing that she was dead, she added.

Hanadi, nine, is another victim of rape and her family refused to report the case to police.
An overstayer lured her daughter to an abandoned house when she was on her way home from school. With the help of another man, he brutally raped the girl.
“My daughter managed to crawl for 400 meters before she reached home. She was bleeding and in shock,” said her mother.
“Her father refused to report the case to police to avoid shame and scandal. In his opinion, reporting the attack would damage the family reputation. We moved to another town and her father always sees Hanadi as a girl with no future.”

Sarah, one of the Jeddah rapist’s victims, was found  six months ago in an abandoned area after she was attacked. She suffered from psychological problems because of what happened to her. Her family refused to report the case but later relented when many others came forward to report similar attacks.
“We are from a known family and reporting such an incident might have damaged our reputation. My husband is working in a prominent position. We had the best opportunity to come forward when we found many other victims also reporting they had been attacked,” said Sarah’s mother.

Dr. Marwa Abdulal, a psychiatrist at a Jeddah hospital, said such attacks on children are considered extremely heinous crimes that destroy the lives of victims and their families.
The children will live in fear and they will suffer from psychological problems for a long time, she said, adding that victims may become criminals themselves in the future.


further reading:

Arab News

Arab news


65 Responses

  1. This case is not the first and it will not be last. ‘Saving face’ is about the culture over there. Still, if one is raped, most of time a female, it is seen as the victims fault, not the predator.
    Also, I think the legal system, under the strigent Shi’ria courts can make this troublesome as one needs witnessess, I believe four to charge someone with rape.
    There ought to be more reform in this matter in order for the Kingdom to be up to stuff with univseral human rights. I think this issue is much more imperative than ‘rgihts of women to drive’ frankly, but that is just my opion

  2. ‘I think this issue is much more imperative than ‘rgihts of women to drive’

    But it all falls under the same umbrella of universal human rights, doesn’t it?

  3. True, very true. But I think defending oneself in court as equal to men, especially in rape trial is more important than the ability to drive, frankly.

  4. Oh that’s awful. Truly, truly awful.

  5. It doesn’t matter which one is more important. They all fall under respecting a woman as a human being who is entitled to full human rights.

    I see it all changing very soon and women taking the wheel is the first step, they know that and that is why they try to stop it.

  6. Jacey…for some women…having the ability to drive is the only thing that will get them to court in cases such as this…because their men folk wouldnt be standing in line to be the driver in that case I would think. So, yes…driving and this are related…it’s all related.

  7. I hope there is a hell, and I hope there is a special place there, a lot hotter, for people who abuse children – and for those who do nothing about it.

  8. Where’s the “Like” button for Jay’s comment?

  9. I agree with Jay too.

  10. I Totally agree with Jay, i also think the people that do nothing are much worst then the abuser.

  11. @Jay
    Agreed and well said!!!!!!!!!!

  12. Now you see how important is that women can drive – what if father refuse to drive his raped daughter to hospital? what if he refuse to go to the police? Mother may have other opinion, but if she cant drive…she will see her daughter to die.

  13. It is truly shocking to read about such uncaring parents. Those poor children! How can parents be so cold and selfish! To care only about their reputation. And their job. And to reject a child which has suffered so horribly. To think a girl has no value.
    Such a cold and inhumane society.
    Their own children being left to suffer, without going after the bastards who abused them without giving help and support to those little children.
    But no… Important are reputation, family honor.
    They must have a very weird idea of what ”honor” constitutes.
    In my book Honor would mean looking after the interests and care of my child, and then going after the bastards who harmed my child with all means at my disposal, and damn what the stupid neighbors think, and damn the job.
    These parents never had any ”honor” to start with.

    Yes driving will be the beginning of change, of everything, even the value of little girls.

  14. To my knowledge and belief ,all rape cases must be reported and rapists must be punished accordind to Quranic Law in public.

    The parents who do not report to Police and discovered later ,they must also be taken to task bacause they encouragged the crime.

  15. if they are punished according to Quranic Law in public, the criminals
    (including Officials and Officers of the kingdom) will also be on caution.

    This is the only solution of such crime. But if Big Arabs are enjoying such crimes, this crime will never be extinguished fron the LAND.

  16. Yeah, dream on.
    You see how that works out.

  17. Saudis did sign the UN “convention on the rights of a child” in 1996. However, it has not implemented any of the provisions of the charter. Because it made the implementation of the charter subject to if it didn’t conflict with the sharia law.

    Why is there so little info available on child abuse in Saudi Arabia? Besides the fact that it is a closed society and because of cultural barriers, google doesn’t seem to pull out much info on this issue either. From the info i have gathered through saudi expats here in seattle, saudi royals are nasty brutal royal bastards when it comes to children. There seems to be child smuggling going on between Yemen and Saudi Arabia during the Hajj for begging and sexual purposes.

    I read a book sometimes ago by MK-ULTRA survivor, Cathy O’Brein. She mentioned being prostituted to King Fahd. She also mentioned the demand for blond haired, blue eyed children to be used as sex slaves by the Saudi elite. I have also heard about 9-10 year old girls who willingly travel to the saudi/middleeast to have sex with wealthy men only to return with massive amounts of wealth.

    What I am trying to say is that saudis are definitely entrenched in child prostitution/human trafficking. We must also remember that crimes committed by the elite are often kept under wraps unless the royals decide to humiliate one of their own by publicly exposing them.

  18. I can hardly read about of this type of thing. I want to track down the perpetrators and do unspeakable things to them.

    It wasn’t so long ago that a blind eye was turned to this type of thing in the US. My parents remember how everyone in our neighborhood knew who the child molesters were and just tried to protect the kids as best they could. Bringing the law in was rare.

    Now sexual perpetrators are listed on websites with photos, names and addresses. It would be nice to see this done in KSA. Specially when honor is such a big deal. Talk about being dishonored!!

  19. Harry….I highly doubt 9-10 year olds are willingly traveling to the middle east to be sex slaves…did they sit down with some adults (parenst by chance) and discuss the pros and cons with such a decision?

    My best friend in Bahrain is a guidance councellor in an all girls school in Bahrain…all though guidance councellor isnt actually a good description of what she does..its the closest thing I can think of. Anyhow…having known her for over 6 years I could regale you all with some of the stories she has worked on..discovering sex scandals among students in her school…between students, between students and teachers, between students and family members, between students and outside sources (black mailing friends of families, Bahrain officials, visiting celebrities, and yes….even members of the royal family…she saw a video on a 15 year old girls phone in which her own mother pimped her out to one of King Hamads sons…it was quickly taken and never seen again by the MIO and no charges brought against anyone)….so many stories that would make your hair turn white…and these are children of all ages. Not to say we dont have our own disgusting things done to children in the states…but for the most part we act agaisnt it…from my experience in Bahrain…its covered up and the perps are still seen as respectable humanbeings deserving of honor etc….and nobody talks about it.

  20. oh god coolred…I feel like throwing up! Awful! And worse still that no one talks about it or does anything about it.

    I have to ask…how many people do it thinking it is fine believing it is allowed in Islam (I PRAY very few) and how many are just degenerate disgusting men knowing that it is wrong and doing so anyway that get away with it due to societies overwhelming need to save face?

    I guess I am wondering if the religion facilitates it (legitimizes it ) or are pigs simply pigs?

  21. oby…I would say a little of both…but I do believe men (and mostly men are the perps here) take advantage of a segregated/nobody talks society that works in their favor that allows them to get away with such things.

    then again…pigs are simply pigs.

  22. I was actually pleased with one aspect of this case. If there was DNA evidence- likely that means some of the families must have come forward nearly immediately. I hope this is the beginning of a new trend of facing and dealing with the most horrible of crimes. Coming forward is difficult, and I think it’s a natural reaction to retreat- which is, of course why it’s been easy throughout history for sickos to get away with this crap. Their victiims are hurt and scared and not trusting of people. I hope this case can shed some light on how to appropriately handle these cases.

  23. Salaams Carol: I would like to know WHAT is the Islaamic punishment for rape or incest? MuslimMatters did a piece on childhood sexual abuse and many commenters asked the same thing, what IS the punishment? There doesn’t appear to be a specific punishment. Does anyone here know? Or do Muslim-populated countries have a civil addendum law?

  24. @Jacey+ Safiyyah: 4 eye witnesses for a raping even sounds obsurd..that is incorrect. There needs to be no witnessing. Rape is Rape. The Islamic punishment for rape is stoning to death. I wish the law would be used more often. That goes to show that”Islamic” laws in Saudi or elsewhere is not always the correct 100% real Islamic law.

    @Harry: “What I am trying to say is that saudis are definitely entrenched in child prostitution/human trafficking”
    Not all Saudis do these things. Why such generalised statements? Should we judge all Americans as being racists and pro-slavery considering history? Not at all.Sure there are some who still hold those views but not the majority.

    @Oby: “I have to ask…how many people do it thinking it is fine believing it is allowed in Islam ”
    Are you asking..about men raping young girls or anyone for that matter? and if they themselves believe it is allowed in Islam? Wow im shocked.. Is Islam that hated that you would go to the extent to think that Islam allows for this to happen?. Well the answer is no one in there rite mind muslim or not would think its fine and the Islamic ruling on rape is death by stoning. Hope that cleared up ure views.

    Lets no kidd ourselves that this only happens in Saudi. Everyone is acting as if their legal system in their country would handle it the best.. what better way then to kill the abuser rather then the usual ‘never long’ enough sentences that we here about in the west.

    We cannot blame an entire culture/society or religion for disgusting criminal actions..that’s being ignorant and unfair.

    Iv witnessed with my own eyes an australian mother turn a blind eye when her husband sexually molested their daughter and to this day she stands by her man.. this is not a saudi issue but a world wide issue.

  25. Australian law is against molesting a daughter. In Saudi there have been several cases of rape where the standard of proof against the man is treated as a Zina crime and 4 witnesses are wanted. No it isn’t Islamic, but it is Saudi. Of course if the case is against a woman- the standard of proof is lower. If she’s pregnant is it Zina no need for additional witnesses no need to investigate if there was a rape.

  26. I don’t think that Islam has much to do with this, I think this is culture. The culture of ”family honor” which is a completely different explanation of the word ”honor” than I am used to.
    Maybe you can argue that as Islam so clearly puts women in second place to men then that is the reason these girls have to do without counseling medical help and the protection of a vigilant law, police force, parental protection and actions against rapists, but on the whole I think this is more a cultural problem.

  27. Bella Vita…

    Sigh! For the millionth time I don’t hate islam or Muslims…

    I asked wondering if the PERPETRATORS justified sex with a child due to the regions affiliation with ayesha (arguably a child herself…therefore some might think it fine to emulate the Prophet)

    Interesting that Colored got my question exactly and you didn’t…maybe you are reading too much into peoples comments or are overly protective of islam. It is a religion and therefore open to questions or critique.

  28. @oby – ‘Sigh! For the millionth time I don’t hate islam or Muslims…’

    Just give it time…have a few more conversations with the Wahabbis that insist they ARE ‘Islam or Muslims’

  29. “The Islamic punishment for rape is stoning to death”.

    I don’t believe “rape” is mentioned in koran or the punishment for it. I believe “islamic punishment of stoning to death is based solely on hadith.

  30. Yes, stoning is in the hadith. And as far as I am aware of rape isn’t mentioned in the Quran. If you don’t count the tacit permission to rape prisoners of war and slaves.

  31. I have spent years watching Muslim women get attacked, beaten, ostracized, black mailed, lashed and yes, even killed….over, in some cases, the mere assumption that they have had sex…much less raped.

    It is rare to hear of such similar things happening to Muslim men.

    There is no reason to come up with a punishment for rape among Muslims because it is very rarely implemented anyhow….usually if we hear of a rapist being punished, more often than not he (usually a he) was not Muslim and was not Arab. On the odd chance that he is punished…his punishment is either extremely light (compared to the female or child involved) or reduced to almost nothing. In many cases his reputation is not harmed too much and he can go about his life with no black marks against his name. The same cannot be said of his victims obviously.

    Muslims will say, they are not following Sharia Law in regards to punishment of a rapist. Im not sure exactly what sort of defense that is because Sharia Law is a man made horror of a legal system that is squarely against women, non Muslims and nonArabs…why would you want to follow its precepts anyhow? It is often ignored in favor of a judges on personal biases anyhow…or the most extremely harsh punishment is given for the least deserving crimes…again due to how ever the judge felt about it that day. Sharia Law is does women no favor at the best of times…much less when she is the victim of rape.

    I have to talk personally on the issue of rape and pedophilia (same thing) here because as I watched women for years get punished as I mentioned above…I also watched as Muslim men did NOT get punished. Pedophiles and rapists in Bahrain were barely given 3 or 4 years in jail and quite often it was dropped and they were released after just one year. No vigilante justice was ever done against those men the same way it is often done against the victims (women and children)…Muslims say dont judge us by what a few do. Im saying…what few are you talking about? Show me any Muslim country that properly goes after and punish accordingly rapists and pedophiles…and if you can point to one…show me whether they go after ARAB/MUSLIM rapists and pedophiles to the same degree as nonarab/muslims. It is very rare indeed.

    I did not prosecute my own husband for the henious crime he did against my children. I lived in Bahrain for over 23 year and I know first hand what happens to rapists and pedophiles there, almost nothing, and I also know what happens to the victims…everything….so why would I even bother attempting bucking a system that is so arrogant and stubborn when it comes to punishing the very worst of its citizens when the end result would most likely be my own children receiving even more punishment at the hands of the community. I forced him to sign my divorce decree and sign over sole custody of all the children to me as well as all rights to their futures etc…in the Arab/Muslim world for the wife to “win” her children (much less all of them) in a divorce is almost unheard of …for a foreign wife to do so is nearly impossible. It’s like winning the lottery. He was sufficiently scared about his future (not worried about jail here mind you, he was completely confident that would never happen…no, more along the lines of his reputation among his friends etc) that he signed his children away with barely any fight.

    Now that is not to say nobody knew what he did. They did (eventually a lot of them did), everyong from regular men (friends or family) to ministry officials and eventually the highest placed judge in Bahrain…who, upon hearing the sordid story, made sure my divorce was granted without hiccups…but did not once ask whether I wanted to prosecute that animal.

    I watched for months as more and more people knew what he did, hoping against all hope that they would act agaisnt him. I wanted to see a little of that vigilante justice that is so often meted out in the Arab/Muslim world…but one after another they found excuses as to why they would rather just leave it alone then even so much as spit in his face…yet my children got torn apart by the same culture/community that couldnt even withhold their salams from that bastard of a father as a show of disgust. Whatever.

    Some of you might say, this is my personal account and dont use a broad brush to paint the lot of them…I say…show me some stories where the victims were defended and the rapists or pedophiles were taken apart by the community much less the court system on a regular basis…not a rare case here and there…or when the international communit got involved…and I will say there is in fact an enforced punishment for rapists and pedophiles in the Arab/Muslim world.

  32. I might add that the judge who I mentioned, even though he ensured my divorce went through…that was not before inquiring as to why I was receiving sole custody and all rights to their future…even knowing what he knew about my husband/their father, he still felt the father should retain some rights…he even mentioned my husbands right to being my daughters mahrem when it came time for them to get married. My best friend (who I have mentioned many times, Bahraini journalist) actually argued with him (respectively) that the father had given up his rights to fatherhood by raping his own children. Eventually the judge agreed…eventually….but not without some resistence…such is the belief that Arab/Muslim fathers must always retain “ownership” of their children despite what they do to them. My children’s future was in that judges hands and he kept me sweating while he thought about the rights the father was losing…rather than the innocence my children lost at his hands. Sweet.

  33. Oh dear Coolred, my heart goes out to you every time you mention your story.

    I too cannot bear to hear about child abuse cases. My father always had a rather blunt way of dealing with the people who harmed children, anytime he heard of such, he simply said, “they should be taken out to the yard and shot!”. His message was loud and clear. For the life of me I will never understand why such a tough stance isn’t taken all over the world to deal with people who do such things. Prison terms are useless. I do not believe everyone can be rehabilitated.

    It is unreal that the Saudi man who harmed all those girls was also a father himself as well as a teacher. I hope the authorities question his children and students to see if he harmed any of them as well. All of his victims must get the proper counseling post haste.

    As much as my heart aches for these children, my heart as a mother, must ask the question: Where were the parents? Were all of those 16 girls left unsupervised? (like the mother in Jeddah mentioned she left her daughter alone in a play area) I would say that 1/4 of the blame belongs to the parents and 3/4 belongs to the rapist. Parents have a responsibility to protect their children and if these girls were left to wonder alone in shopping malls at such tender ages one must ask what exactly the parents were thinking?

  34. 100% of the blame goes to the rapists.

  35. Aafke does the McCann case ring a bell?

  36. As a mother, I would never in my right mind leave my children anywhere unsupervised at such young ages as mentioned above. Hell, I wouldn’t leave them unsupervised until they were 18 unless they went with a group of friends. There is power in numbers.

  37. The horrific Bulger case also comes to mind. There are innumerable cases.

    In both the cases I’ve mentioned, of course the animals that harmed the children are to blame but the parents also shoulder some responsibility. A very bitter pill to swallow but true.

  38. 150% of blame goes to the rapists.
    And 95 % of the blame goes to a community which regards women and children as non-sentient property and yet holds them to be blamed and punished when raped. While the criminals get off with no or nearly no punishment.

  39. Rosemary…I have not yet been convinced that i do not share in the blame for what happened to my own children…after all…he raped and molested them for years right under my own nose…how could I not know or be blamed? Whenever i dwell on it for even a moment I feel sick and angry…but councelling has also taught me that as an abuser he did an awful lot to ensure his tracks were hidden extremely well and that detection went unnnoticed. He kept me unde a constant state of stress by focusing on all my failures, controlling every aspect of my life, and keeping a tight reign on everything I did…in order to take off the focus on him and his activities. Threatening my children with various punishments..the worst to them being my death…was enough to keep them quiet.

    My brain tells me I was not to blame…after all we are accountable for our own sins, actions etc…i had no part in his secret disgusting behavior towards my children…but my heart tells me I should have been more vigilent, more aware, more concerned. Hindsight sucks but sometimes it is the only sight we have. I will never be convinced that I do not have some blame though, simply because I was their parent and should have known. I should have known. I should have known. There is no excuse for not knowing that I can think of, that excuses me and lets me off the hook….I should have known….having said that…I do not accept for others to point a finger at me (or any parent) and blame them or place burden on them for the henious crime. Unless you have had to suffer this , been part of it, or been forced to realize your children have fallen victim to it….unless you are aware of the dynamics and grooming, the child parent relationship that is used and breeched with assumed love but is really hate for the self and hate for the child…unless you have been forced to face the monster head on and how can you dare point a finger of blame at anyone other than the rapist?

    Parents are too trusting at times. Even of the other parent. We hope and pray and assume that other adults love, cherish, and want to protect children, especially their own, to the same degree that we do…and cannot fathom how this darkness can overtake an individual’s soul, how the trust a child has for a parent, a teacher, an uncle etc can be turned into abuse and shame. We cant fathom it and naively believe that it is the unknown boogeymans out there that are the biggest threat to our children..the strangers…not the family members, the teachers, the kind next door neighbors. We are hands down suspicious of strangers and grab our children close when we walk past one…but give out tentative trust to those we believe have the well being of our children in hand.

    I pray that none of your children (if you have any) ever come close to this sort of tragedy…for not only will your lives be shattered…but you will be forced to stand in the my shoes and realize that, while I carry the burden of my own guilt, I do not carry any of his.

  40. Dear Coolred, my heart is with you, I mentioned that previously. Do not let your emotions cloud your judgement here. I have already mentioned I am a mother, read it above.

    I mentioned two well known cases where the children were left unsupervised. Similar to how the woman from Jeddah (above) left one of the 16 girls alone in a play area. The point I was raising is when the children are left unsupervised at such young ages they are much more vulnerable. We cannot leave our children among strangers and expect them to always be safe, I don’t care what religion is followed or what country we dwell.

    When child abuse happens between family members that is a different issue or shall I say a different monster altogether. It is the ultimate betrayal and I believe in most cases they make very sure as you have explained no one discovers the truth. No one can ever fault you for not knowing and when you did discover the truth you took action. Unfortunately not all parents do that, do they? As we read above in Bedu’s post some of them care more about themselves and their reputations.

    I have momentarily lost a child while out shopping and my heart nearly fell out of my chest. I lost her for 30 minutes. Plenty of time for anyone to grab her. It was completely my fault because I turned my back on her and she wondered off. Had something happened then absolutely I would share some blame. After that happened I swore I’d never let my children out of my sight again.

    I am not diminishing the guilt of the abductors or rapists at all nor am I attempting to place all the blame or guilt on the parents. Parents make mistakes (in this I am sure of because I’ve made plenty myself) but when we make deliberate decisions with the safety of our own children then we must accept the consequences when things go wrong.

    And I agree with my father: All rapists and child molesters should be shot. No judge, no jury. No damned four witnesses. The victim’s word is enough proof in my book. Take them to the yard and let them have it. No compassion for anyone who does such things.

  41. @Aafke: Agreed. The community is to blame if no one speaks out against the crime, blames the victim and lets the criminal walk. But this was not the point I was raising. I hope you read what I addressed to Coolred above.

  42. Correction; I misread: The young girl left unsupervised to play in the shopping mall was not from the 16 girls raped by the Jeddah man. Her case sadly went unreported for the sake of her family’s so called honor.

    How could they live with themselves after witnessing their daughter suffer so much?

  43. Rosemary: “We cannot leave our children among strangers and expect them to always be safe … “.

    An overwhelming cases of rape of children are done by so- called “trusted close relatives”, not by strangers.

  44. I’ve never seen an unstaffed play area in a mall. That said- I never left my kids in one either ’cause I’m super cautious

    The rapists are to blame for raping. Why don’t we castrate? That really seems like a good idea to me. Rehabiiltation almost never works- but as I understand castration actually does change behavior at a much better rate.
    Probably because generally men are making the laws and punishment.

  45. @Coolred:
    We have both personally been affected by these crimes, and i totally agree that a parent has NO part in the blame, when unbeknown to them a “trusted” family member, as Harry pointed out GROOMS, their victim.
    And its exactly that. the grooming is what is so unbelievable. These criminals have no chance of “re-habilitation” its impossible in my mind.
    The grooming is so sophisticated and well planned that not even a mother sees any warning signs. 10000000% of the blame is on the abuser/rapist/phedo what ever u want to call the animal.
    A victim once told me that her abuser was molesting her rite beside her grandmother who was sitting watching tv next to her and didn’t even realise what was happening. The abuser becomes so confident within himself and his victim that no one will ever find out since he has been warning her of possible outcomes if she did open her mouth. Thank god this girl did tell someone after years but it was a slap in the face when most of the family turned a blind eye and continued their relationship with this animal. This was a non arab..non religious family and they chose to turn a blind eye..but …
    What concerns me about closed society’s such as middle eastern countries is that the girls who want to speak out most probably cannot. Although in the west you don’t always get the wanted results but the environment is safe enough to speak out. The feeling of security knowing that 99% of society in general is backing u up is the escape u need to know that u can tell someone.

    It kills me when i hear of muslim men who have daughters and think of “honor” instead of “how dare he touch my baby girl”..where is the jealousy or caring that we see in other circumstances.

    Again this issue on a whole is not a Saudi issue but a world wide problem where girls are always pushed to be quiet and be ignored. I hope one day when i go to Saudi i will do my part in helping girls to speak out and not be afraid InshAllah.

  46. ‘Again this issue on a whole is not a Saudi issue but a world wide problem where girls are always pushed to be quiet and be ignored’

    1. I have not found in the US that girls are ‘always pushed to be quiet and be ignored’

    2. Boys get molested too, don’t forget about the boys.

  47. Sure there are boys and how can we forget (although not as heard of) but im talking about girls in this instance and i feel like world-wide there is an issue of girls being mistreated and not being heard loud enough. Wether its US or Columbia..girls are suffering around the world and just because you don’t know of a girl who can’t speak out or is being ignored in the US don’t mean there aren’t any …but i also said..western countries in general have a much more open society in which girls can at least express themselves better compared to the east..yet it does not mean all girls are heard. That was my point.
    But it is definitely a world wide problem otherwise why do girls suffer sometimes for years before speaking out? because they are manipulated by the abuser to no speak and are trained to believe if they do no one will believe them including parents..or loved ones.

  48. ‘just because you don’t know of a girl who can’t speak out or is being ignored in the US don’t mean there aren’t any …’

    If the girl can’t speak out in the US it has nothing to do with the ‘culture’ that doesn’t accept it.

    ‘I hope one day when i go to Saudi i will do my part in helping girls to speak out and not be afraid InshAllah.’

    InshAllah you will be better educated about sexual abuse so you won’t forget the BOYS. I’m willing to bet that boys in Saudi get sexually abused more than girls do and then they may go on to become abusers themselves. Also, fathers might be less likely to ruin their girls’ future ‘money maker’ (virginity)

  49. Never said culture had anything to do with western girls not being able to speak out…
    I wasn’t going out of my way to forget the boys out their Lynn a victim is a victim not matter what sex, im just trying to talk about what i can relate to. If i were in saudi ..first of all i will only have access to girls around me and second of all..who can i relate to most?..girls who have been through the same thing.
    It wouldn’t be bad if we all knew a bit more about sexual abuse..not just myself who by the way has lived through a similar situation to coolred…maybe u could give us some insight into boys being sexually abused as i don’t know much about the topic hence the reason why i didn’t speak about it. not because i wanted to forget about them as you pointed out.

  50. Here are some frightening statistics about child rape in saudi arabia:

    About 70 percent of children in Saudi Arabia suffer rape and sexual harassment at the hands of relatives and 30 percent from domestic helpers and strangers, a new study has found. This includes more than 40% of boys and 60% of girls between the ages of 13 and 17.

    Domestic violence in Saudi Arabia accounts for 22 percent of 5,600 domestic abuse cases reviewed by the National Society of Human Rights. Incest cases accounted for 20 percent for every 300 cases and verbal abuse against women is just “common practice.”

    Below is the link to the study findings:

  51. The following is the story about Fatima who was born born and raised within a strict Islamic family. When she was 15 years old, she was raped by her stepfather. The sexual abuse continued for the next four years. It was not until Fatima made friends online, with a girl based in the United States, that she finally told someone what had happened to her.

    You can listen to her story at the BBC website:

  52. Harry…horrible as those stats are…they cannot possibly show the true picture simply because they refer to a closed/dont talk about it society which makes true numbers impossible to even come close too.

  53. Agree, there are no reliable statistics about Saudi Arabia. Just don’t exist.
    Rape is very seldom reported so where would these statistics come from?

  54. ‘Again this issue on a whole is not a Saudi issue but a world wide problem where girls are always pushed to be quiet and be ignored’

    That’s what I took to be ‘culture’ that there is a worldwide culture of pushing girls….

    But, to be honest I am a girl, and perhaps I am just oblivious, but that just does not ring as true in my experience here in the U.S. Sure, I was raised with ‘Children were to be seen and not heard’ but that was ALL kinds, male AND female. lol

    I too would question those stats Harry. How could they possibly have statistics when most go unreported?

  55. Lynn, it wasn’t my experience to be “pushed to be quiet and be ignored” either. In fact I mingle and speak very freely to my older relatives and have enjoyed spirited discussions about all sorts of issues over the years and they seem to love and appreciate me. If I don’t make it to a family reunion, they ask my dad (or mom) about me. What can I say? I am loved! 😀

    And I’ve never felt like I had to go sit quietly in the background while the menfolk talk. Heh….maybe I am just a rulebreaker. That southern rebel part of me or something… 😉

    I do think in some cultures and maybe in past generations of ours it’s been that way, but it has not been my experience at all. I probably need to learn to be a bit less assertive, but it’s not as much fun. 🙂

  56. Susanne, got a little of that Scarlet O’Hara in you eh? She’s my all time FAVORITE!

  57. It was my mistake in not being clear when i said: ‘‘Again this issue on a whole is not a Saudi issue but a world wide problem where girls are always pushed to be quiet and be ignored”

    I was talking about the instance of rape and sexual abuse..girls are pushed to be quiet either by the abuser/society/family/their own self-doubt and are being ignored, because sometimes people don’t want to face up to the facts of such a disasterous thing happening within their own family. It was not said referring to everyday women.

  58. The Jeddah man who raped those 16 girls was NOT their family member. The media made no mention of any familial relations therefore I am assuming in this case there was no grooming. Based on what I’ve read I would hazard to guess they were abducted because they were in a vulnerable situation like being left alone somewhere. This will point back to the parents responsibility of their own children.

    I have no doubt in my mind that there are numerous cases of familial child rape of boys and girls here but like others have mentioned the likelihood of those cases being reported is very slim.

    I think this is definitely a topic that needs to be addressed within the educational system here in Saudi. I was always taught as a young girl what was and wasn’t appropriate touching in school and at home. The authorities also need to put more pressure on the parents and give them a stiff warning that they too could be punished along with the criminal if they intentionally do not report cases of abuse merely for the sake of guarding their honor.

  59. On Islamic Men & Madrassas & Little Boys & Open Secrets & Sexual Terrorism ….

    Throughout the Islamic World, men and women are taught to be vehemently opposed to pleasure, especially of the sexual variety. Men are raised not only forbidden to touch women, but to even look at them. Sex before marriage is not just a sin — but a criminal offense. It is punishable by a severe beating at best, and an execution at worst. But even in the most conservative countries (saudi arabia, pakistan, afghanistan) it’s also embedded deeply in the society.

    Socially segregated from women, muslim men succumb to homosexual behavior. But, interestingly enough, there is no word for “homosexual” in their culture in the modern Western sense. That is because having sex with boys, or with effeminate men, is seen as a social norm. Males serve as available substitutes for unavailable women. At issue is the matter of whether or not pedersty (where an older man entices or coerces a younger boy into sex), indeed child abuse, is tolerated to such degree that it is an open secret in the Islamic societies. And further, whether or not the islamic madrasas/schools are an exception to what is routine throughout the Islamic societies.

    The problem is that trying to recover from sexual abuse, and to recapture one’s own shattered masculinity, is quite an ordeal in a culture where women are hated and love is interpreted as hegemonic control. With women out of touch – and out of sight — until marriage, males experience pre-marital sex only in the confines of being with other males. Their sexual outlet mostly includes victimizing younger males – just the way they were victimized. A vicious cycle indeed!


    No word about what punishment her rapist got. I imagine it wasn’t death or prison since he was available for her to marry in order to get herself out of prison.

    So, no, it isn’t just Saudi Arabia. It IS Islam.

  61. Lynn, you know it’s her fault for getting herself raped. Men are never to blame. Women are bad, men are good. So why punish the man?

  62. grrrrr!

  63. Wafa Sultan writes in her book that when she was a doctor she encountered many girls who were habitually raped by family members. When their periods started and they conceived they were either branded as prostitutes or murdered, often by the same man who raped her for years on end.
    If they were lucky they were brought to the doctor to be aborted and/or ”reconstituted” as virgins so they could be married off. But treated like they were filthy crap. One woman came back a week later, very sick, because they aborted her without painkillers because that was too expensive.
    This is what happens in societies where women have no value and no rights. These are the societies Islam creates.
    The more I learn about Islam the more disgusting it becomes.

  64. Since CNN is considered by some as ‘shaky news’ I offer this alternative. I couldn’t find anything about this in Arab News or al Jazeera 😉

  65. I saw that story on CNN. Sad and sick. Her choice is to marry her rapist I or stay in jail ? Inhumane.

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