Saudi Arabia: Call Her Selma, “J”, Saudi Stepford Wife…She’s Still an Abused Woman

domestic violence

Abuse takes place in all places of the world.  However, most places do have a fair and just legal system in place if that abuse is reported.  While inroads are being made in Saudi Arabia, they are not being made fast enough.

This past week, Selma Ahmed (not her real name) was apprehended and arrested because she left with her two daughters to get out of an abusive relationship from her Saudi husband.  Selma, although not of Saudi origin, does have Saudi citizenship.  Monday, April 29, police officers came to her place of work and arrested her.  The charges are she and her two adult daughters had left the home of her husband without his permission.

Activist and photographer, Samia El-Moslimany, spoke with the police officer and he told her that Selma will be detained until she is willing to return to her husband’s house.  In spite of the fact that Selma fears for her life is she returns, the police officer put on deaf ears and stated that Selma will continue to be detained until she goes back to her husband.

According to the policeman, the “established procedure” is that Selma must first return home and then she can file a formal complaint.  Selma’s husband came to the police station and insisted she return home with him.  He attempted to force her and assaulted her in front of police officers.

Selma was transferred to Briman Women’s Prison in Jeddah.  The fate of her daughters is unknown and there is fear that the father may have forcibly made them return home.

Selma’s case is here and now and requires immediate action.  She should not be contained in a prison because she fears for her life from her abusive husband.  Now is the time for Saudi Arabia’s reforms in domestic violence to be put into immediate action.

Sadly, Selma is not my first exposure of domestic violence in Saudi Arabia.  Another case was “Saudi Stepford Wife.”  Saudi Stepford Wife was an engaging American woman married to a Saudi and had also obtained Saudi nationality.  She lived in the Eastern Province.  She maintained a blog which I enjoyed reading very much.  We got to know one another through our blogs which eventually led to email exchanges and finally a personal meeting in 2008.  I hosted her in my home while her Saudi husband attended business meetings.

By that time we had become pretty close and she shared her dark secret with me.  She was married to an abusive man and feared for her safety.  Her parents were elderly and she did not want them to know.  She also swore me to silence.

I rue that day.  If I could go back and do things differently, I would.  I would not have honored my promise to her.  Although I never met or saw her husband, my spouse met him when he came to pick up Saudi Stepford Wife from my home.  I’ll never forget my husband coming back in to the house with such a look of distaste on his face.  He looked at me and said “That man is a pig and gives his wife no respect.”

After that visit I only heard from Saudi Stepford Wife two more times.  Since she had shared her secret with me, she was telling me how she had plans to leave her husband and take a job in Jeddah.  Sadly, her plans never came to fruition.  She simply disappeared off the radar.  Enquiries revealed that she had suffered a bad fall and as a result, was afflicted with terrible brain damage.  She did not know who she was or even where she was.  No one was able to make contact with her.  Her husband made sure of that.  This is a heavy burden of guilt that I still continue to bear for in retrospect, I should never have kept her secret.

Last but not least, there is dear “J” , a Saudi woman, who candidly shared her experience with American Bedu readers.  Thankfully she was able to get herself extracted from her hideous experience and find true love.  Sadly though, she was taken too soon due to the insidious disease of cancer.  However, she left her imprint on many of us around the world.

Yes; I am aware of other cases of domestic violence in the Kingdom.  However, I am much more outspoken and forward with any woman who shares that secret with me.  At a minimum, any woman in Saudi Arabia should have the web site and phone numbers for the Kingdom’s new domestic violence program sponsored by the King Khalid Foundation.

 

nb Update:  American Bedu is so happy to report that thanks to the efforts of Samia El-Moslimany and her team of heros, Selma is now safe!  She has been released from jail and safe with Samia.  They are now searching for her daughters.  Please take time out and say a prayer that Selma and her daughters will be reunited soon.

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79 Responses

  1. Hello Carol! Thank you for posting this on your blog, it makes a big difference. I wanted to let you know that with Samia’s hard work and with the help of wonderful people, Selma was released the next day. The police station admitted they held her wrongfully. She is now staying at her friends house, and is consulting with lawyers to receive custody of her 13 year old who is with her, and she has two adult daughters who are still with the father, 20 and 21 I believe. I thank Samia for her ongoing efforts to help this woman.

  2. Samia is a hero and a trailblazer. You’ll see at the bottom of the post I had updated that Selma had been released.

    On Fri, May 3, 2013 at 4:02 PM, American Bedu

  3. I read the Saudi Stepford wife blog and wondered why she stopped. Sad story.

  4. Excellent article. Like the writer I too have regrets that I did not talk before. I like the progress that is taking place.

  5. Sorry, Selmas case is not very clear. However domestic violence must be solved by both parties as God has guided them in the Quran.

  6. I am so glad that Selma is safe. I actually just read Saudi Stepford Wife’s blog this week and am so saddened to hear your comments about her. It’s really too bad that there isn’t some way to find out if she is better and being well taken care of by someone who will not abuse her.

  7. Sami

    The Quran was written by man and there is no evidence to the contrary.

  8. I used to read SaudiStefordWife back in the day and wondered why she stopped Blogging… Knowing this info makes my heart heavy 😦

  9. I didn’t know that about StepfordWife either. However a gf of mine who was planning on leaving her (mostly emotionally) abusive husband) mysteriously died of a strange internal malady a couple of months before she could put her plan into action. Her family in the U.S. suspected her husband poisoned her – a very likely scenario, especially since he had infiltrated her communication – but could not get their daughter’s body which was hastily buried in KSA.

  10. I can’t stop thinking about SaudiStefordWife. My husband is from the same city as she is in Saudi. I enjoyed her blog so much … This story is so hard to take ! I will pray for her. Please people keep her on your Salat ! I don’t have word to express my sadness for her. Can we do something ?

  11. Every case of abuse I come across I try o help but it brings Back terrible memories of J in that situation. Yes she got out but even the thought of her suffering for a day makes me want to do vile things to her husband.

  12. Carol, do you know anyone who can check if stepfordWife is alive? Or even check on her children..her son must be about 6 now. I couldn’t sleep last night wondering about her 😦

  13. Salma’s Photo appears to be ficticious/fake. Look at colour her eyes. I think this case, just made up to degrade KSA.

  14. Sami you are wrong. My good friend Samia was hard at work all weekend long. She is a battered woman, and thank god finally stood up to her husband!!

  15. These cases are only a handful of the ones we know. I’m still so sad about losing the friend in Medina if Donna and I are thinking of the same person. Her death was really suspicious and she never had the chance to go home. SaudiStepfordWife was pregnant when she ‘fell’ and went back to the US where she had her child. I heard she is back in Saudi but really doesn’t remember much. Her husband had married on her before her accident and he didn’t mind locking her up at home with no food and no phone. I hope he gets his ‘reward’ for treating his wife that way. She never wanted to take the kids from him, she wanted to live in Saudi, support herself, and still let her children live in a home free of violence. For her sake, “Selma’s”, J’s and dearest ‘A’, it is no kindness to remain silent.

  16. @kinz, thanks for the update. I pray she is ok!

  17. I applaud all of these responses to my friend Samia’s heroism. I would also like to point out that when Omar Ibn Al Khattab, was caliph, he listened to the complaint of a woman who did not want to live with her husband (she wanted a divorce). He ordered that she be separated from him and when she showed how content she was upon separation, he ordered that she be allowed to stay away from the husband for good. “Peace” is better (last words from the Quran.)

  18. On the other hand … it is the same Omar who prescribed (interpreting Koran/hadith) that homosexuals should be thrown off a mountain top or the highest part of a building, until they have been satisfactorily killed and are dead.

  19. @Craig, maybe so..but do you know the bible (levity’s 18:22) says “when a man lays with a man, or a woman lays with a woman, they shall be put do death.” The Quran states they are doing acts that go beyond bad, never stating one shall be put to death. Though Sahih Bukhari does state they shall be killed, that is the interpretation Omar was speaking of, not the Quran. 🙂

  20. I propose that Samia lead an initiative for a dedicated day of prayer and recognition to women who are victims of domestic violence in Saudi Arabia.

    On Sat, May 4, 2013 at 12:52 PM, American Bedu

  21. Thank you Carol, for writing about this crucial issue that has simply been ignored or swept under the rug for so long. I am devastated to hear about Daisy. Further investigation into her current status seems absolutely necessary!

    I would love to collaborate with you 😉 on a Global day of prayer.

    Selma can now be identified, her name is Marriam Manalo. She is originally from the Phillipines, but has been a Saudi citizen for many many years. The success in freeing Marriam was entirely teamwork, and the first initiative of The Wanisa Sisterhood (https://www.facebook.com/TheWanisaSisterhood) a support community formed by Modia Batterjee and myself after my husband was sentenced by a Saudi court (and a traditional Saudi judge) for assaulting and threatening me.

    Marriam would not have been released with the speed that she was released if it were not for many, many fast acting individuals. The pivotal gamechanger in this saga was the dynamic and dedicated Saudi women’s right’s activist Khuloud Al Fahad (@khulods) Who with her 40,000+ twitter followers, was able, with one tweet, to mobilize public opinion that in turn pressured the Human Rights Commission to act with speed that they are unfortunately not always able to muster! Ironically, we were put in touch with Khuloud, who we didn’t know of previously, by YOU, via Reem Asaad…it just goes to show it take a village, or in our case, a sisterhood.

  22. Norma:

    The Qur’an:
    Qur’an (7:80-84) – “…For ye practice your lusts on men in preference to women: ye are indeed a people transgressing beyond bounds…. And we rained down on them a shower (of brimstone)” – An account that is borrowed from the Biblical story of Sodom. Muslim scholars through the centuries have interpreted the “rain of stones” on the town as meaning that homosexuals should be stoned, since no other reason is given for the people’s destruction. (The story is also repeated in suras 27 and 29).

    Qur’an (7:81) – “Will ye commit abomination such as no creature ever did before you?” This verse is part of the previous text and it establishes that homosexuality as different from (and much worse than) adultery or other sexual sin. According to the Arabic grammar, homosexuality is called the worst sin, while references elsewhere describe other forms of non-marital sex as being “among great sins.”

  23. @sami What happened to Selma/Marriam is not fictitious, and the photo is not fake (my eyes ARE green when I’m happy 😉 ), and most importantly the fact that this incident HAPPENED, does not degrade Saudi Arabia. Domestic Violence, corrupt police officers and abuse of power happens everywhere, in every country. It is our moral duty to stand up and speak out against corruption and injustice wherever it may be: “O you who believe! Stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to God, even if it be against yourselves, your parents, and your relatives, or whether it is against the rich or the poor…” (Quran 4:135)

  24. Yes…by all means let us pray for women who suffer from domestic violence. I know it helped me whenever I asked for help and someone would tell me…I will pray for you.

    If by pray you mean ask god to step in and protect/provide safety for that women in specific or all women in general then a quick look around the planet will show you that god doesn’t really take requests in that manner. Everything happens for a reason, remember…so those women are being abused as part of some Divine Plan and prayers will not alter the Plan unless that’s part of the Plan too. It gets rather confusing but end result…prayers are meant to make the person praying feel better without actually having done anything while the one prayed for is no better off.

    Get off your collective knees and do what god can’t seem to find time to do….and actually help. And by “your” I mean anyone that believes prayer actually is helping in some fashion rather than physical action.

  25. Good job, Samia and Sisterhood community. Bless you!

  26. I usually don’t leave comments. I don’t really know what to say … I just want to express one more time my worries for the case of Saudi Stepford Wife. I hope from all my heart that Allah will help her.

  27. Let’s hope something more tanigible steps in and helps her like the police or concerned citizens. Wishing on an Allah/God is like wishing on a star.

  28. Domestic abuse has nothing to do with religion. It has to do with human beings treating there fellow human beings with respect. Religions of every kind express this as one of their pillars. I think even most non-believers would agree we should do whatever we can to help the abused and punish the abusers.
    Getting out the information about the abuse is the first step to stopping it. Thank you Samia and Carol for this first step and your continued steps to help stop this in the Kingdom and elsewhere. Working to change the laws is where it starts and it will take the collective minds of all of us to help do that. I am glad you have given some places where the rest of us can go to help. I am a member of that sisterhood and hope I can do more to stop the abuse.

  29. Katcanfield…when you have a country such as Saudi Arabia that governs every facet of life…from the major to minor..based on religious convictions and dogma…then everything, even domestic help abuse…is centered on that religion. As I said, the slave mentality is still alive and well in Saudi…no denying that. Abuse of fellow human beings occurs all over the world…but in countries where life centers around a particular religion…then you can bet those abuses are religious based.

  30. Of course it does, Coolred38! But the point is it shouldn’t! Religions all stress the Good Stewardship of human and animals as part of their teachings. Some Muslims, and I do stress ‘some’, have forgotten this as part of their religion.

  31. Norma ortiz, on May 4, 2013 at 12:52 pm said: Craig, maybe so..but do you know the bible (levity’s 18:22) says “when a man lays with a man, or a woman lays with a woman, they shall be put do death.” The Quran states they are doing acts that go beyond bad, never stating one shall be put to death. Though Sahih Bukhari does state they shall be killed, that is the interpretation Omar was speaking of, not the Quran.

    However, one never hears of a christian killing a fellow christian for being “gay” or an “apostate”. Now that Omar dude also defined a “homosexual” as anyone who acts effiminate and thus should be killed :)- Go figure!

  32. Kat:

    You obviously have not read the religions from cover to cover to include supporting document. Religion reaches a stewardship of what is deemed good for the power point not anyone else through control, intimidation, abuse, murder, etc. Religion is an abusive system.

  33. Reaches should be teaches ,……..typing on phone.

  34. Craig Boleslawsky,

    The Mathew Shephard case wasn’t so long ago; and look at the state of Uganda when it comes to the persecution of homosexuals, and with the death of David Kato. Bigots are bigots, they’re differentiated in religion, but at their core their bond lays in their bigotry.

  35. Craig, You might want to research that statement. Oh, yes, there is evidence of Christians killing homosexuals and/or abusing them. Unfortunately, I have seen it first hand.

  36. Bigstick1, I am not as learned of religion as you, Master.

  37. Not a problem young jedi. 🙂

    Both theologies have spawned true followers and both are based upon the text. It is a learned hatred that is taught by both theologies and implemented into the populace. Pointing the finger at one bad event does not excuse the other party’s bad event. They are both bad. Any good that can be scratched out of the theology……very little, I assure you will never make up for all the bad it has done in the past,present or future.

    Deflection does not absolve the issues of discrimination nor abuse which is endemic of both theologies nor does it make one worse than the other.

  38. @Craig, I don’t know how we got here, simply google and you might want to reconsider your last comment.

  39. Getting the world to see the abuse is the first step to stopping it.

  40. Kat:

    Exactly.

  41. Until I can see what can I do concretely, yes, I pray Allah. I am on the other side of the World. From an other nationality and language.

  42. Norma ortiz, on May 4, 2013 at 12:52 pm said: @Craig, maybe so..but do you know the bible (levity’s 18:22) says “when a man lays with a man, or a woman lays with a woman, they shall be put do death.” The Quran states they are doing acts that go beyond bad, never stating one shall be put to death. Though Sahih Bukhari does state they shall be killed, that is the interpretation Omar was speaking of, not the Quran. 🙂

    Salam Norma,

    Like you said, Quran is silent on punishment for homosexuality. Also, like you said, there is a hadith which states “they shall be killed”.

    Therefore, you should know better that any hadith which is contrary to Quran carries no weight, whatsoever. We must know it as fabrication. Omar ra aka Stern Master (and by default Mohammed saw), committed a big time blasphemy and forgery when he used hadith to issue his idiotic ruling.

  43. Quran is not silent on punishment for homosexualitiy. In constrast, Quran set an example.

    Quran considers it as worse sin :

    “And (remember) Lut: behold, he said to his people: “Ye do commit lewdness, such as no people in Creation (ever) committed before you. “Do ye indeed approach men, and cut off the highway?- and practise wickedness (even) in your councils?” But his people gave no answer but this: they said: “Bring us the Wrath of God if thou tellest the truth.” (The Noble Quran, 29:28-29)”

    And what was Allah’s punishment for the people of this sinful nation? He destroyed them all!

    Homesexuality is going against the fitrah and nature – simple as that.

    Dato said : “Therefore, you should know better that any hadith which is contrary to Quran carries no weight, whatsoever. ”

    This is false and against Quran.

    “O ye who believe! Obey God, and obey the Apostle, and those charged with authority among you. If ye differ in anything among yourselves, refer it to God and His Apostle, if ye do believe in God and the Last Day: That is best, and most suitable for final determination. (4:59)”

    There are countless verses telling us to obey the prophet.

  44. I don’t see god punishing anyone, much less gay people, by turning whole cities upside down etc.. Unless, we assume tsunamis, hurricanes, tornadoes, and other weather disasters are gods punishment…in which case..shouldn’t he inform us before hand that those are indeed punishments..otherwise, what’s the point?

    God hasn’t done a whole lot of any mass punishment in the past two thousand years. Bored with all the hype and drama and went into hiding I guess. However, if he does decide mass punishments are required I suggest he start with religious institutions, the Catholic Church and all their pedophiles, the Haiya and all their bullies, and any other place that has religious leaders that abuse their power and commit corruption in god’s name. Gays should barely warrant a blip on the radar of things requiring god’s personal attention.

    Sheesh people…this god you believe in is such a disgraceful bully. Feels the need to punishe people for loving but lets the abusers of the world go on their merry way…until Judgement Day. Whatever.

  45. I remember when Saudi Stepford wife dissappeared. Only at the time when some information came about I remember it was that her husband beat her to a pulp, beat her brains to mush, and as she was still his property there was of course no punishment for him, and now he’s probably beating and abusing her every day.
    Disgusting!
    And all sanctioned by the invisible skydaddy. (just to support Coolred’s excellent comment) And by all means, keep on praying for the victims of abuse and see where that gets them.
    It’s such a weak-ass lazy excuse for not doing anything to actually help.

    Btw, one wonders why god sends earthquakes to punish the gays but always to places which happen to be on a fault in the earth’s crust.
    One would think these earthquakes would be in Amsterdam, where we have regulated prostitution, lots and lots of gays, gay marriage, and people are allowed to smoke pot. But Amsterdam is going on very happily and prosperously. And not a tremor anywhere….
    Ís God’s aim really that bad?

  46. this animal also is keeping her as his wife because most likely he is receiving some sort of disability benefits from her. she is a saudi citizen. right. otherwise, he has no use for her. sad.

    also, i would like to know of western women who were once married to arabs and divorced because of abuse, and the exhusband remarried arabs, do these husbands abuse their arab new wife also? are there stories anyone has to tell on this subject. seems an arab girl would have her family to protect her, where as, an american is alone.

  47. g…my abusive ex Arab husband married his cousin not too long after we divorced. From what I hear he is being “normal” with her (my oldest son sees him from time to time). Her family is very much a presence in her life..that could be why.

  48. Allah may punish whomever person or nation He wills whenever He wills. He may even let whomever He wills lead a ordinary life in this world, and punish him in the Hereafter. So do not seek punishment this world only. The Quran states:

    Each one of them We seized for his crime: of them, against some We sent a violent tornado (with showers of stones); some were caught by a (mighty) Blast; some We caused the earth to swallow up; and some We drowned (in the waters): It was not Allah Who injured (or oppressed) them. They injured (and oppressed) their own souls. (Surat al-Ankaboot: 40)

    Allah HAS warned of punishment many times but it is we who heed not to His warnings or reject them. “No change will be found in Allah’s way (rules)”. Everybody, who stands against His laws and rebels against Him, is subject to the same divine law.

    Does He not guide us to travel the world and see/learn from those nations who were destroyed before us? These rebellious nations were not punished at once. They were given chances and warnings. Take the chance and warnings while there is still time.

  49. Sarah:

    The answer is “no.”. Allah=nothing.

  50. Sarah,

    Re Qur’an Versus Hadith

    The issue is simple: Allah calls the Qur’an ‘Light’. And light does not need any source to show itself, including Mohammed or Omar or Abu Hurraira or Ayesha.

  51. Sarah, on May 6, 2013 at 1:32 pm said: There are countless verses telling us to obey the prophet.

    Quite an enlightened statement, Sarah :)- In other words, My Prophet Right or Wrong. No different than Germans worshiping Hitler and saluting him as My Fuhrer Right or Wrong.

    Supposedly, Allah/God/Bagwan/Mohammed/Jesus/Rama and other Skydaddies have given humans intellect to think and reflect and ponder. I am not sure they wanted us to carry out their edicts, right or wrong, without us first using our mental faculties to discern right from wrong. Especially when it comes to killing fellow innocent human beings i.e. gays and apostates.

  52. It makes me so tired to see how some people here are doing a negative interaction with others. Who are you to say there is God or not ? And how comes you dear to judge the people faith ?

    I don’t judge you ! My own mother is an atheist. I have no problem with that. This is a personal matters !

    I can understand that you are an atheist but I cannot understand why it’s so important for you to try to turn other people convictions ridiculous ?
    Prayers : “wishing on a star”
    Prayers : “It’s such a weak-ass lazy excuse for not doing anything to actually help”
    Or “Allah = nothing”

    It is how you want to help ? By criticize outside the subject ?

    Yes, I am praying because this act makes me connected to an amazing positive energy. The best energy to my heart. I do believe that will at least help me to focus on the situation and to receive help from Allah. Because while I am praying I do believe I am in front of him.

    Also, I spread the message of Americanbedu about this topic as much as I can. Yes this is important to “Getting the world to see the abuse is the first step to stopping it” as said Katcanfield. This is something actually helping here.

    Both are little things on my day to day life but this is all I can do for now.

    Maybe I will be never able to help more on that particular subject. I am not Saudi, not arabian speaker, I am leaving in North America … but I can pray and share this story around me in hope to touch someone who can actually help.

    If you have any idea to help more, please let us now ! Until there please stop infantilizing people who believe in God. Have some respect. If it’s not for other people or for the topic discussing here, at least for yourself.

    P.S : sorry for this long comment which is expressing my annoyance. Also, I am not a native english speaker so sorry for my mistakes of language.
    I will not continue this conversation further. I just want some respect in each part. Thanks for reading.

  53. I’m sorry to hear about this terrible case that you know personally, A Bedu.

  54. Nadjoua:

    No actually you help by getting involved such as writing the embassies, blogging about it, intervening and such.

    As far as infantilizing you well that you do to yourself in believing in fairytales particular ones that have a known history of destruction and harm. The fact is if you want to pray so be it but it is meaningless except to the person praying.

    Your faith judges people everyday and apostates/heretics are considered fodder to the fire so spare me your indignation.

  55. This post left me feeling incredibly sad. Does anyone know if Saudi Stepford Wife is okay??

  56. Prophet Muhammad (saas) came as a mercy to mankind so after him, mankind are given chances upon chances. This is in contrast to the situation before him when punishments were almost instanteaous and clearly noticable. This is why we do not witness such terrible disasters as whole nations being destroyed.

    Secondly, punishements do not necessarily have to be earthquakes. It can appear in the form of cyclone, tornado, famine, spread of virus, diseases, sickness, volcanic eruptions …etc.

    As you asked, they, too, mockingly asked : If you believe in such as god as you say then when will this punishment come? But sure enough they faced it in the dead of the night while they were deep in their slumber. They were deluded so are all those who ask the same questions. If God has decreed it, none can avert it. It is just a matter of time.

  57. Still Allah’s aim is off, we don’t have any cyclones, tornadoes, famines, vulcanic eruptions etc. You see, these things are really dependent on the geological make up of the place you are living.
    The only thing we have in Amsterdam we are not happy about is too much rain. But then our soil is super fertile and everything grow here, so I can’t call that a punishment either.
    It’s really unfair of God to only punish those people (for whatever misconduct) who just happen to live on top of a vulcano, or on top of a geological fault in the earth’s crust, or in ”tornado alley”, or in inhospitable desert areas….

    Doesn’t that make you wonder if it is really some gods playing around and doing nasty things to humans and animals, or is it just the normal stuff that happens in Nature.

    Or… you could take all this into account and come to the conclusion that for example, the Dutch, who live in the land of milk and honey, and certainly enough rain, and who are mostly atheist, and who had gay marriage since ages, and who are ok with gays, pot, sex, whatever, as long as you don’t hurt other people, are not really your god’s chosen people after all?
    And the people living in geologically precarious areas are just waste material, whom your god doesn’t give a sh*t about.

  58. Nadjoua, Well said in any language!

  59. Africa suffers serious famine…ALL THE TIME…god must really be pissed at them for something.

    Seriously you believe that?

  60. Sarah…

    Why would God use eathquakes, fires, floods, starvation etc. to punish people? Would it not be easier for him to flick his little finger and wipe out all those who do evil? Poof! Problem solved. Also, as someone above said why is it that God chooses particular punishments for a particular place? For example why does Japan seem to have a propensity for earthquakes while Africa seems to always be struggling with drought? Doesn’t it make more sense that people are afflicted with the “punishments” that are suitable to their area of the world? MIght it not have something to do with geology or weather?

  61. Nadjouah, I have no respect for people who pray for abuse to end. And do nothing else. It’s stupid.
    If one does a lot of real stuff, that actually might have any effect in the real world, then I do respect that.
    But I do not respect people who only pray to their respective imaginary friends for something to happen.
    And I don’t see why anybody should expect respect for something so silly, lazy and ineffectual.
    Everybody is free to fantasize about their personal imaginary friend, of course, knock yourself out.
    But there is nothing in the belief in imaginary friends which deserves ”respect”.

  62. “Prophet Muhammad (saas) came as a mercy to mankind …”

    Sarah, that is exactly the attitude that most upsets me about Muslims, even the good ones.

    Have you read the Quran and hadith? How can you say that your prophet “came as a mercy” when it is clear that he engaged in all kinds of vile actions against his neighbors. I am talking serious crimes that if done by some poor infidel would be condemned by Muslims in a heatbeat, but, because it was Mohammed, lets not talk about these things.

    Too bad we don’t have Asma bint Marwan’s opinion about your prophet’s mercy.

    The fact is that 99.99% of Muslims cannot be honest about Islam, its teachings and especially the horrible things done by their dear prophet. This is why they, even the moderate ones, cannot be trusted.

    As to this sad case of abuse, lets not forget what the Quran permits or even Mohammaed’ own example — not that Muslims want to consider these things. It not see a link between Islam’s teachings and what happened to Selma, the Stepford wife and so many other women is to enable the abusers. Then Muslims wonder why infidels are skeptical….

  63. Unfortunately, the lad is not going to plug the dyke with his finger forever. Netherlands is saved from floods and storms only by her dams and dykes. Most of the Netherlands are below sea level and if it wasn’t for all those barriers, she would have faced severe floods from all that
    rain and sea. I am glad that she is protected from such disasters for the good people of the country.

    Having said that, I want to add that calamities can be trials too as well as reminders. It is not always about punishments.

    As for Africa, one must really see what goes on there to understand their situation.

    Kuctuz need to change the mindset. Those same things have been repeated over and over again.

  64. kactuz, on May 8, 2013 at 12:44 pm said: The fact is that 99.99% of Muslims cannot be honest about Islam, its teachings and especially the horrible things done by their dear prophet. This is why they, even the moderate ones, cannot be trusted.

    Jay, there is really no difference between “extremist” and “moderate” muslims: The militant Muslim is the person cutting the head of the infidel while the moderate Muslim holds the victims’ feet to verbal balls of fire. :)-

  65. Sarah, thanks for making exactly my point. The Netherlands is saved from flooding by the sea by the application of intellect, knowledge and ability.
    And a lot of hard work.
    If instead we had spent our time praying to some imaginary skydaddy we would have been dead.

  66. Unfortunately I think that in Saudi it is not totally unacceptable to give the odd slap to your wife – of course beating her to death is a different matter and no one condones it.
    From my knowledge- a few slaps and light beatings with a cane are very common in the average family and it is allowed by law. It is even recommended by religion.
    Nevertheless this seems to open the door to more abuse and cases like the ones I read here end up happening.
    Anyhow a great topic to read and very much needed to be debated.

  67. Maybe you are not old enough to remember the earthquake of 1992 in Roermond which caused considerable damage when people were deep in sleep after 3 am.

    I can give you a list from floodings in Netherlands and around that area.

    Or you may read about the storm tide which hit in the dead of night in 1651 – the heaviest storm tide to hit the shores or how about the Burchardi Flood and another worst storm in 1953 where many lives were lost – about 1800 lives.

    I read in the Dutch news that Netherlands is the most vulnerable country in Europe to natural disaster with its rising water levels. Seismologists say earthquake is possible in Netherlands because of it close proxmity to Eurasian plate. They also predict big quakes to happen in Europe from 2020.But don’t worry those pumping stations will take care of it.

    Earthquake did happen, so did floodings so never say never even though there were no very recent disasters. Man may build structures to protect himself but what has to happen will happen. Best protection is emaan.

  68. There are different degrees to what one can do to help in any situation such as abuse. Some can write blogs, donate to funds, actively demostrate, make an issue of it in newspapers, tweet, sign petitions …etc while others can pray intensely for our abused sisters. To what degree one can help is up to the individual and as long as the intention is correct, all is good.

    Somehow I can’t respect those who neither pray nor take any kind action to help battered women.

  69. Re: Morality & Religion

    You don’t need religion to have morals. If you can’t determine right from wrong, then you lack empathy not religion.

    Or as Arthur C. Clarke so beautifully puts it:

    “One of the great tragedies of mankind is that morality has been hijacked by religion. So now people assume that religion and morality have a necessary connection. But the basis of morality is really very simple and doesn’t require religion at all”.

  70. This is a prime example of how badly written religions are. Islam recommends men to beat their wives (yes it really does say ”beat in the Quran) and the upshot is that a man can beat his wife to death and not get punished.
    And Sausi Stepford wife was a very devout Muslim. Her god let her husband beat her brain to a vegetable and allows him to probably keep abusing, raping and beating her.
    Nice god.
    But then this god apparently is recommending this in the first place.

    This is why I don’t understand how any woman who was not indoctrinated into this nasty religion from baby onward can be so stupid or misogynistic to join it. Actually, I think every woman who supports Islam is partly responsible for these kinds of abuse perpetrated to their sisters.

    How can you believe in a God who thinks that men are better than women? Look around you, it is not so.
    How can you believe in some invisible ”friend” who allows woman to be beaten and killed and actually made up laws to allow that? This has pathetic weak cowardly human male written all over it.
    Nothing ”divine” here.

    i suppose Mohammed was so frustrated that his first wife, powerful, rich and from the top brackets of society, did not allow him to have more wives and sex-slaves that he made up this religion to cater for all his whims and proclivities. Including even more women for sex for himself than other men are allowed.

    Mohammed made sure that in the future of Islam women would be powerless, that they would have less money, and that they would be subjugated to men. Almost on the slave level. And it’s very easy in all Islamic country like Saudi Arabia to drop women down to the slave level. Women in Saudi Arabia are ”owned” by men. They cannot do anything, including leaving the house or getting medical help, or escaping an abusing husband without some owner’s approval. That makes all women slaves. Mohammed would have loved it.

  71. I don’t care if god brings on natural calamities or doesn’t. that depends on who believes what. I believe in a benevolent god, when a calamity happens i prefer to think My god is there to show me support . of course by engaging my brain to think. and trying to solve my problems, he’s just a protection and faith helps me thru with the feeling that someone is up there watching out.

    what we need for abuse though is a petition by the women in the country for laws to protect women. nothing else will help.

  72. Al Jazeera did a live program on this a couple of days ago called ‘Putting a face on domestic violence in Saudi Arabia’ with the same face in this topic. You can watch it here.

    http://stream.aljazeera.com/story/201304300104-0022715
    These people speak on the show.

    Ebithal Mubarak @ebtihalmubarak
    Journalist and blogger
    jeddahbrooklyn.com

    Samar Fatany
    Women’s rights activist

    Muna AbuSulayman @MunaAbuSulayman
    Board member, Muslim Women’s Fund

    Muath Aldabbagh @moadaldabbagh
    Activist

  73. This is soo sad. I use to be a regular reader of the “Saudi stepford wife” blog. I remember she said she was taking a blogging break in 2008 but never posted anything again. I always wondered what happened to her.

  74. Aafke, regarding your last remark, I am curious to know on what grounds you believe that Islam allows husbands to rape their wives and beat them to death. Have you encountered such permission in a hadith or the Quran?

  75. TE, I am not Aafke but when the term ‘rape’ can’t be applied to the act done to a wife by her husband when she is unwilling then rape is condoned.

  76. Thank you Wendy.

    TE I can write you a long list but I am not able to right now.
    If you read up on Islam, the Quran, hadith and tafseers, and what happens to men in Islamic countries who abuse their wives (property) you will find out for yourself.

  77. I understand, Aafke, if you get time, please inform me. Today is truly a sad day.

    I am fairly familiar with Islam, having studied it academically for a number of years, among other things. Thank you for your input, Wendy–it is true that it is considered a great sin to refuse to sleep with one’s husband in Islam, but the option to refuse is still there. She will, according to Islam, be “cursed” for it for the duration of the night, but the man is not allowed to attack her and assault her. I have a Saudi husband, and believe you me, I have refused many a night and took my chances with the ill will of angels. Is it this easy for some women? Probably not, but it is not Islam if you want to get technical. Similarly, there are very particular rules for physical discipline of a woman according to the Quran that do not permit murder or grave injury.

    I only ask, Aafke, because I am curious as to what sources give people these ideas, which I hear often. I do, however, understand if your point is that the foundations of Islam, while not permitting these things, are such that they have evolved into and fostered (as you cited men in Islamic countries and the tafseers) into a safe realm for these crimes to be committed in. One can certainly argue this (harder, in fact, to argue against it!), but I believe your argument is stronger when what the Muslim reader will consider “Islam” and the manifestations of Islam are separated.

    Again, I understand if you can’t find time to come back to this, but I can tell you are passionate on the subject and I am curious as to your specific thoughts.

  78. I used to keep in contact with Saudi stepford wife. Was trying to contact her awhile back but couldn’t. Now I know why. She will be kept in my prayers. When was the lay time you spoke to her?

  79. If a woman can come to government and change something, as we can see men can not understand woman rights, there are children who look at this behavior so what do they gain? I’ve published an atricle about Violence in Saudi Arabia and want to share:
    http://writing-help.com/blog/domestic-violence-in-saudi-arabia-an-example-paper/

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