Two Steps Forward….

Do Saudi Arabia’s two Olympic female athletes — the kingdom’s first ever — represent changing times in the Land of the Two Holy Mosques, or will the conservative religious backlash win out?

For years, human rights organizations hoping to use the Olympics as leverage to challenge Saudi Arabia’s restrictive gender policies have looked to the case of apartheid South Africa. The International Olympic Committee (IOC), after all, expelled South Africa in 1970 for its policy of racial discrimination — a ban that stayed in place for 21 years, until the fall of apartheid in 1991. If the IOC took action against South Africa to help end race-based apartheid there, shouldn’t it bar Saudi Arabia from the 2012 London Olympics in protest of gender-based apartheid in the kingdom? Read on here.

NOTE: Writing this article, I researched some of the books and fatwas against women sports and I refer to one of these books in the article. In that same book, I came across something interesting that wasn’t included in the article. So I thought I would share it with you here:

AlShathri (the author) argues that physical education will require that the girls change in front of each other and that this “will open the evil door of lesbianism, admiration and their hearts getting attached to each other and as our sheikh Abdulrahmin Al Barrack, bless him, has stated, “This is currently common among our students before the incorporation of physical education, so how will it be after?!””


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124 responses to “Two Steps Forward….

  1. your last paragraph just astounds me. The perceptions these men have of women and the way they feel they have the right to hold woman captive from opportunities based of these perceptions…well…it just astounds me

  2. Saudi in confusion

    “that it leads to issues that are” is the phrase always used by the relegious establishmenet to control every economic and social aspects. While I agree there should be a need to maitain public order through some restrictions on personal freedom, both absence of coherent logic and ignorance will keep

  3. frances

    It is hard to even contemplate that anyone, let alone religious leaders, would think that women would become Lesbians if they changed into their gym clothes in front of each other. These Saudi leaders spitting out this rhetoric must be truly insane. Here in Texas I just read this to the three Saudi students living in my household. They thought it might be true! How does this thinking exist? Texas woman

  4. I. Agree with Saudiwoman (Eman) completely on the issue of Muslim Women ( and Men ) and the utter Socially redeeming value of Sport. But our Dear “Orthodox” AlShathri does have his point. Many of the Traditions and Values, fundamental to the Sociocultural makeup of a Country, are based in the silly Taboo`s and Customs, the Modern world finds so Senseless and Backwards. Just thinking of my own Great and Grandparents, and their Old World Superstitions, Simplicities, and Prejudice; And yet, that same “Old Time Religion” is what spurs me to Cynicism and Reformism, concerning the Worlds decent into Materialism and Hedonist Self-Gratification.(Laissez Faire Free Enterprise Capitalism ?) Intelligence, Beauty, Compassion, Patriotism … Tolerance and Civil Liberty ?

  5. Eloisa

    I must to say: I started to swim when I was 3 years old and I am not lesbian.


  6. What about all those Saudi men that change into gym clothes in front of each other..

  7. John

    You’d think they might want to save their energy.
    But it seems that Olympic athletes will be working up more of a sweat off the field than they will on it this Summer.
    In a sign of what the world’s fittest sportsmen and women get up to in the Olympic village, a record 150,000 free condoms – 15 for each competitor – have been made available to them.
    Women’s football goalkeeper Hope Solo told the Daily Mirror: ‘There’s a lot of sex going on at the Olympics.
    ‘I’ve seen people having sex out in the open, getting down and dirty on grass between buildings.’
    She added: ‘I may have snuck a celebrity into my Beijing room without anybody knowing and snuck him back out. But that’s my Olympic secret.’

    Earlier this month an anonymous U.S. athlete described partying her ‘butt off’ when she took part in the Games, amid wave of promiscuity as super-fit athletes paired off.

    ‘I was feeling super-guilty for cheating on my boyfriend,’ she told the New York Post. ‘And a fellow athlete said, “Why? Everyone hooked up last night”.’
    A tell-all expose published earlier this year echoed the anonymous athlete’s experiences. That book, the authors of which also remain unknown, lifted the lid on the secrets of the Olympic Village.
    Having completed competition, the athletes need to do something else to burn off their boundless energy.
    ‘Like thoroughbred horses which haven’t had a run for a while, they get frisky.’
    The athletes stay in a tight-knit community where ‘what happens in the Village stays in the Village,’ the book claims.

    From the Daily Mail

    P.S. after reading all these reports, I fully understand now why the honorable, chaste, and virtuous Saudi women as well as their government have been resisting to not participate in the London Sex Olympics…Ops!…the London Olympics.

    • greg

      you can always give a virginity check after the Olympics, get real!

      • Edward

        In your culture, you can live in an animalistic way as you want, in a life filled with fornication, illicit sexual relationships, decadence and immorality…..but do not impose your garbage on other nations which are still trying to keep their purity and morals.

      • This is for Edward. First and foremost in the Olympics, like in any other place where young fit people meet under stress and celebrations… yes, people do actually have sex. Big deal. Secondly, why does this have anything to do with women going or not going to the Olympic games??? It takes two to Tango! surely it is just as bad if a woman has sex than if a man has sex? Why? because they are doing the same thing (and often at the same tiem and in the same room)!!! And Edward, the purity and morals of a nation is not dependant on its woman’s sexuality so yet less on the availability of sexual encounters offered to its women. The morals of the citizens (sorry to break this to you, mate, but that includes you) might do. So you think that if a woman can get some sex she will? is that how you work? Is that immoral? Then why do you do it? Oh, and for the record, if those women want to have a good rodgering, they’ll surely get it and if they don’t, they won’t. Banning sex has been proved useless many times before. If you are so sure of the moral superiority of your nation, surely you have nothing to worry about your citizens going to the games, they’ll be fine.

      • And BTW, who would ever quote the Daily Mail as a serious source of information?

    • Bound For Glory ? Sex, Politics, Money … The Games haven`t changed, and neither has Democracy !

    • With all respect to all opinions the thing is…this sexual promiscuity you hear about is not the majority but the minority. It is always the minority that media seeks out to get these kind of sensationalist reports.

      • Edward

        and with all due respect to all opinions, the thing is…this propaganda that Saudi women are dying to participate in the Olympics, which you hear about, does not represent the majority, but the very small tiny minority. It is always the very small minority that media seeks out to get these kind of empty sensationalist reports about Saudi women.

      • Yes Edward you’re right. I understand not to believe a lot of what I read about people in other countries. But for me there are two issues. Firstly even if only one woman from the whole of Saudi Arabia wanted to become a world class athlete and participate in the Olympics she should be allowed to. I allow this is my moral, my understanding of human rights yet in the deepest part of me I absolutely believe that all human beings should be allowed to grow, participate, learn and excel if they so desire.

        The second issue is then the rationale that is given for stopping women: the “will open the evil door of lesbianism”. I understand that homosexuality is viewed as a sin or evil by many people world wide but to make the link between girls changing in front of each other and their sexual preference is contrary to all reason and evidence.

  8. with all due respect- it doesn’t matter if only a small tiny minority of women want to go. Why stop them? Let them try? It’s the subjugation and oppression that is the problem. And it is not propaganda. Legally women in Saudi belong to men- and are denied basic human rights.

    • Edward

      For leesis, …as for the first issue you stated, I believe that you are oblivious to the fact that women in Saudi Arabia have first class women-only sport clubs where they can play sports, exercise and become athletic. I do not understand why you insist that they must play sport in front of men. If you think it’s normal for women to play sport in front of men, then that is your own view. However, for Saudi women, they feel that they are more dignified than to be viewed cheaply by men worldwide in the Olympics.

      In regard to the second issue, I looked up what the Sheikh was saying in Arabic, and I could not find the statement that “sport for women will open the evil door of lesbianism”…in fact, I found the opposite. The Sheikh encourages women sport and commend women do be athletic. However, I do understand why the blogger fabricates his statements. It’s simply because that is what pleases Western viewers, and that’s why she gets all the lights and invitations from Western media to write and talk about Saudi women. Of course, you as a Western viewer, you do not want to hear the fact that Saudi women are happy and live a very comfortable life. That’s too boring for you to hear, isn’t it?

      For Sandy,…. no women in the world suffer from subjugation and oppression more than women in the West. However, being too deluded by the idea of equality and freedom in the West, you cannot see that because you are too busy to listen about propagandas made by Western media telling you that women in other nations are oppressed.
      In many Western countries, for instance, there are a shocking rate of teen-pregnancy, unspeakable rate of rape, unbelievable rate of infidelity, not to mention the exploitation of women by men, which literally make women treated like subhuman….best evidence is the biggest porn industry.
      When you solve all these horrible issues that women suffer from in the West, then come back here and talk about the participation of Saudi women in the Olympics.

      • Sandy

        There are no accurate statistics on rape maintained by Saudi. ANd you are unbelievably ignorant about the teenage pregnancy in Saudi (recently in Mecca an orphanage for these abandoned children was opened) or the amount of cheating and infidelity in Saudi.
        I grew up in the west but live in Saudi Arabia (for decades)- so I’ll talk about it as much as I like. And in fact I welcome those who don’t to talk about it as well.

      • juman

        Having lived in the East and West and saudi i don’t need any media to tell me my status quo. As a woman I have experienced opression in saudi enough to identify it. and i certainly don’t need a mant o tell me there is freedom for women when i lived otherwise.
        In any case why are the men in saudi so concerned about protecting women. who died and made you the guardian of womans morals? why does it bother you if saudi woman do as they please? why does it bother you if saudi women want to comepete in the open instead of exclusive sports clubs? why don’t saudi men compete in exclusive sports clubs alone within saudi arabia? why do they feel the need to comete in olympics?

      • “Of course, you as a Western viewer, you do not want to hear the fact that Saudi women are happy and live a very comfortable life. That’s too boring for you to hear, isn’t it? ”

        Edward all I can say is that this is an absolutely unfair and untrue accusation.

      • MW

        Who are you, Edward? I live in a country where I am free to drive, played sport when I was younger, be an Olympian if I want to, or can get any job I want. I have to say I feel sorry for the women of Saudi Arabia, where no woman can compete in the Olympics because of her gender and she might become a lesbian. Why are the males in your country so worried about giving the opposite sex any freedom to do anything by themselves outside of the home? It is nothing but wanting to be in total control of them, I’m sure. If the Sheikh is for women sport, why are there no female olympic athletes. I think the 2 mentioned are competing outside of Saudi Arabia. Lucky for them and I wish them well.
        If I am wrong about the control, show me the passage in the Koran that says women must by oppressed.
        By the way, I have never had lesbian tendancies.

      • Mandi

        I have a hard time believing most of what you’ve written, but I have to agree with you about women being exploited in the western countries. Even I, a Canadian woman, struggle to find balance between freedom, and being treated as a sexual object by men. This is definitely an extreme our culture pressures our women to fit into. I don’t prefer to wear low cut shirts, or show half my ass… I refuse to participate in the pornification of sexuality … so I’m called a prude and unfeminine by both genders. We definitely have some major problems in our own countries to address.. that is for sure. I believe there are extremes in both our cultures that need change.

    • Sandy@ Your later reply sounds like a page from the Republican Primaries ? Are you considering opening a Christian Mission ? Frankly I. would rather see Fundamentalists chasing Saudiwoman around The Block on YouTube with a stick, than have to endure watching her stuff Evangelical Pockets full of Dollars, every Sunday Morning before Fox Sports, Game of the Week !

      • Sandy

        I”m a Muslim. And I can honestly say that is the FIRST time in my life ANYONE has ever thought I sounded anything like a Republican anything. But I know what goes on here- because I live here. And because it’s the legal system I live under. I don’t understand at all your remarks about Saudiwomen and Evangelicals. But whatever you are welcome to your opinions and delusions.

  9. greg

    Edward, keep your women locked away, the world sees how you treat them and women of other cultures. Please get off your high horse and just admit you are afraid of what would happen to your patricrial society if you allowed women any equality.

  10. Edward

    For Sandy : yes, there are no statistics on rape in Saudi Arabia because its extremely rare to happen…..thanks to the religion as well as the culture.
    As for the orphanage for abandoned children, it is also very rare.

    In terms of cheating and infidelity in Saudi Arabia, how can men cheat on their wives when other unrelated women are covered from head to toe and do not drive cars? By just analyzing this, you get the answer if you are smart enough.

    Last but not least, comparing moralities related to women affairs in Saudi Arabia with the Western world is like comparing a synagogue with a brothel.
    I grew up in Saudi Arabia, and lived in the West for decades. I can talk forever about women in the West.

    For Juman, I do not either need to watch Hollywood movies or any media to tell me the status quo of women in the West. I have lived in the West enough to be extremely shocked to see how women are treated here.
    Anyhow, I will answer your questions one by one to help you understand the condition of women in Saudi Arabia.

    Your first question: why are the men in saudi so concerned about protecting women?
    Answer: because honoring women is a must in the Saudi culture. Women are the most important element in the Saudi society. If they are ill-treated, the whole society will be ill and fall into immorality and corruption….i know this would be hard for you to understand because in the West ,where you come from, women are treated like subhuman by men.
    Second question: who died and made you the guardian of womans morals?
    Answer: I do not understand what you mean by “who died?”, but anyways, in Saudi Arabia, men are actually servants for women and the reason for that, as I said earlier is that women are honored very highly in the Saudi society. They are the mothers, the sisters, the daughters, the wives, and hence they should be respected more than you could ever imagine as a Western woman.

    Third question: Why does it bother you if saudi woman do as they please?
    Answer: The only thing that bothers Saudi men when it comes to women is when they see any type of humiliation to their women. Whether sexual harassments, exploitation, or any other things of that nature……the Saudis have seen how the Western version of freedom has led to a catastrophic condition for women in the West. Enough to say that every few minutes a woman get raped in the United States alone. Therefore, the Saudi society is trying to protect itself from such immoral catastrophe by every means possible.

    Fourth question: Why does it bother you if saudi women want to comepete in the open instead of exclusive sports clubs?
    Answer: well, it seems that you have not really visited Saudi Arabia. Anyhow, there are many outdoor fields for women to play sport in the country. However, these fields are always protected and safe for them, in order to keep women comfortable and away from men.

    Fifth question: why don’t saudi men compete in exclusive sports clubs alone within saudi arabia?
    Answer: they do, just like women. They can choose to play sport indoor or outdoor.

    Sixth: why do they feel the need to compete in olympics?
    Answer: I would recommend that you direct this question to the ministry of sport in Saudi Arabia.

    For MW : I am an individual who dislikes delusions and love to analyze reality. I have lived in the West for decades and I have seen unspeakable issues that women have here. These issues are by far very much serious than issues like participating in the Olympics or driving cars. I feel sorry for women in the West because they are so exploited by men and deluded by the idea of equality and freedom. They are treated just like commodities. When companies in the West want to advertise their products, they shamelessly put women beside their products to run their advertisement and get profits, in a way that is extremely insulting for women. I have also seen in the West how women have to sell their dignity to survive by stripping, or bartending, or even working in porn industry. I have also seen in the West how men think of women in a very cheap way. Basically, they can easily play around with women, getting what they want from them and then throwing them away….I could go on and on about women issues in the West….but its extremely sad.

    Regarding your questions “Why are the males in your country so worried about giving the opposite sex any freedom to do anything by themselves outside of the home? And why are there no female olympic athletes?”

    Answer: your questions prove that you apparently have poor knowledge regarding women life in Saudi Arabia. However, I refer to my earlier replies to understand the situation better.

    • Sandy

      You only saw the worst of what happens to women in the West (which is actually what happens everywhere) and you clearly don’t know much about what happens in Saudi. I recommend you read more in your local papers. Go talk to people who run orphanages and see where many of the children come from.
      You think men and women who want to meet other men and women can’t manage it? I suspect you’ve never been to Saudi if you think women not driving and wearing abayas and tarhas stops this. You also don’t seem to know about the level of crime against women there. Have you ever been there at all? Do you know women who live there? Where do you get your information? Are you aware the divorce rate in Saudi is now higher than the US? Are you aware of the way men can dispose of wives in Saudi and keep children from their mothers? Are you aware of anything at all except the propaganda of a religious state? They are not religious. They are primarily tribal and patriarchal in terms of culture and the law.

      • Edward

        For Sandy:
        I lived in Saudi Arabia and in the West and what I am telling you is from firsthand experience. Based on what you are telling me about Saudi Arabia, you seem to be very unaware of women life in the country. Perhaps you spend too much time hanging out in shopping malls or in the ghettos where illegal workers live. As for saying that “what happens to women in the West which is actually what happens everywhere” I would not compare a country where women get raped in it for every few minutes with a country where rape cases are almost zero among its citizens. Even if it happens once every 100 years, still the comparison fails.

        As for cheating, do you know that in the West cheating has become so rampant and widespread to the extent that there are reality shows on T.V. where you can see cheating cases live?….they are hilarious to say the least.

        Are you away of the number of pregnant girls who have had illicit relationships and who have not finished high school yet in the West? Are you aware of the number of children born out of wedlock in the West? Are you aware of the way men exploit women in the West? Are you aware of anything at all except what you hear from Western media and the liberal Saudis who worship the West?

        Last but not least, since you live in Saudi Arabia as you stated earlier, I would recommend you to go play in the sand dunes instead of trying to prove your baseless point.

    • countrygirl

      Of course rape REPORTS are rare in SA….if a woman dare to police says that she was raped SHE WILL BE PUNISHED to having an affair with a unrelated man….it happened in the past several times (it was reported on this blog too) the girl is jailed (if she’s lucky) and whipped!

    • B

      Yes women are put up on a pedestal but that pedestal has a foundation made of sand. She balances very precariously upon it. The foundation is made of her strict adherence to strict cultural norms, piety, chastity and obedience and policed by the religious police. May God look down on her if she breaks the rules, the sand disappears and she falls off the pedestal.

      As far as there being no cases of rape in Saudi, I am not in the least bit surprised as such a crime is only deemed to have happened if there are four male witnesses to the act (shame on those four male witnesses for not preventing the rape). Rape does occur and by its nature it happens where there are no four male witnesses, but the poor unfortunate woman has no redress under sharia law because of the absence of the needed four male witnesses. If what has happened to her is deemed not to be rape she then ends up in jail for fornication. Now you tell me where is the justice in that. Tell me, under those circumstances and you were a woman who has been raped (with no witnesses) would you report it? I don’t think so.
      So therefore there are no rapes in Saudi.

      One more thing I would like to draw your attention to –
      Is it not true that according to what is said to have happened during the life of the Prophet – I think spoken about in one of the Hadits (forgive me if I have spelled it incorrectly)
      A woman who had been raped went to the Prophet and told him what had happened to her. She told him who it was who raped her and the Prophet demanded his execution.
      The Prophet did not ask for four male witnesses – how come they are suddenly needed.

      An interpretation of anything is subject to the mindset of the individual doing the interpretation.
      If anyone has the mindset that women need to be controlled they will automatically read the holy books in this vein as their mindset will not allow them to do otherwise. That is why it is so important to have an open and inquiring mind.
      There is great debate between all the Islamic schools regarding the role of women in society, how much freedom they should have and whether or not they should even veil. (according to one hadith the Prophet only prescribed veiling for his younger wives) Wahabism (sorry, I know I have spelt that wrong) , which is followed in Saudi is considered the most conservative and puritanical form of Islam and insists on strict veiling of all women. This is only one view in Islam, there are many others.

      You keep saying how much you know about what women is Saudi want. How can that be?
      Correct me if I am wrong, under the strict segregation that is followed,you only have contact with women who are related to you. So you are only getting the views of a very , very very tiny minority of women.

  11. Half of what you say doesn’t even make sense. Anyway, all anyone needs to do is look up what the law in Saudi says- or to speak with women who live in Saudi -or even just to read the Saudi papers to know the truth.
    Everything you say happens in the west happens everywhere including Saudi. Nothing you can say will change that. And yes I know quite a bit about the west as a westerner. Though I have lived in Saudi for decades- and live there now.

    Your remark about ghettos where illegal live was a cheap shot. Have you ever seen how poor Saudi’s live? You are amazingly ill informed about what goes on in Saudi.

    • Edward

      For Sandy:

      what I am saying makes sense to people who like to analyze these issues with rational and reasonable mind. Not the ones who are just cynical and desperately trying to find faults in people.

      As for speaking to Saudi women, I know for a fact that the vast majority of Saudi women feel proud of their religion and their culture. They dislike Western values because they are too filthy for them. However, there are a small minority of liberal Saudi women who worship the West, like the owner of this blog. It seems to me that those are the ones whom you surround yourself with and whom you refer them to me to speak with them. Little did you know that those women do not represent the vast majority of Saudi women, but yet, they get all the lights from the West because what they say appeal to the Western audience and keep the propaganda running.

      My remark about ghettos where illegal workers live was to help you not mix apples with oranges. It seems that you apply the crimes that occur among those illegal workers to the Saudi society as a whole.

      Your ignorance about the Saudi society is astounding.

      • Sorry Edward, wrong again.
        I really don’t think a foreign male would have enough interaction with Saudi women to make such sweeping statements.

        I worked with Saudi women of all backgrounds. I saw how some of them struggled with various issues and the law never supporting them- especially chid custody. I saw how hard they worked and how half their much needed salary had to go to paying a driver or hiring a taxi to get to work.

        I also have many Saudi women friends and am married to a Saudi and have Saudi children.

        That you further think that only illegals commit crimes in Saudi shows you havn’t even been bothering to read the local papers.

        Saudi’s are people like everyone else. The Saudi system however greatly puts women at a disadvantage. This post was about the Olympics. Since you are so sure the majority of Saudi’s aren’t interested at all about women competing it should be no big deal to let the tiny minority who want to go- go. No need to control women.

      • B

        On your comment to Sandy about what you are saying making sense to people who like to analyze these issues with a rational and reasonable mind – I do not understand how you come to that conclusion.
        To have a rational and reasonable mind, first you need an open mind in order to be rational and reasonable.
        When it comes to women you seem to have a closed mind not an open mind, therefore how can you be rational and reasonable.
        You cannot deny that you have a closed mind. You don’t seem to understand that women are also entitled to live life to the full, free from suppression and curtailment of their liberty.
        Give women the choice, those who want to live their lives they way it is at the moment – so be it, but those who do not – let them spread their wings.
        The most important thing being – it should be the woman’s choice.
        Do not treat her like a child, she is capable of so much more.
        Why have you got such a problem with that?

  12. Edward

    Again, you prove your sheer ignorance about the Saudi society.

    I have Saudi brothers in laws and relatives. I lived in Saudi Arabia for many years. Regarding Saudi women, their issues when compared to the issues of Western women are very trivial. I have seen women in the West who have to work in strip clubs to support themselves and survive. I have seen women in the West who were beaten very badly by their husbands, as domestic violence here is common. I have seen many Western women who have children born out of wedlock after their fathers had escaped. Many many other shocking issues that would make the Saudi women very lucky under the system of their country.

    By saying “The Saudi system however greatly puts women at a disadvantage.” Proves that you are very ill-informed about the Saudi system.

    As I said again, Saudi women are encouraged to play any sport in Saudi Arabia and be athletic. All the Sheikhs agree with that. However, you insist that they must play sport in front of men. You also wish if they become promiscuous like most Western women.

    Sorry Sandy, but Saudi women are more honorable than that.

    • B

      Why this obsession with sex?
      Why this obsession with reducing the status of women in Saudi to that of a minor?
      Why do you trust Saudi women so little?
      To state that the issues that Saudi women have are very trivial compared to the issues that western women have, is appalling
      The issues that all women have are very important and must be addressed. The way forward is not to curtail or deny women but to educate men in a very basic way – TEACH THEM FIRST SELF RESPECT AND TEACH THEM THAT WOMEN ARE DESERVING OF RESPECT AND HAVE A RIGHT TO DEMAND THAT RESPECT.
      Maybe if you look at the issues in this light and not objectify women, which in my opinion is what a view like yours does, things will change for the better and perhaps you will not see western women and western values as filthy.

    • “You also wish if they become promiscuous like most Western women.

      Sorry Sandy, but Saudi women are more honorable than that.”

      Well, if Saudi women are more honorable than that you should have no problem letting them compete in the Olympics, should you?

      • Tom Edgar

        Well put Sideram. It all gets down to who makes the choices. The WOMAN in question or some MAN making the decision for them, be it a relative or some religious nutter who thinks they are better qualified than any woman to decide what is best for her. Many years a go a Chinese lad asked me for permission to marry my daughter, my answer was. “If Rosie wishes to marry you I would be pleased indeed, but I have no say in the matter, it is Rosie’s life and she will make her own decision.” Sadly she said no, and later married a Caucasian Australian,(against my wife’s and my judgement) It turned into a total failure ending in a bitter divorce, and she later married a delightful younger man.

  13. Sandy

    All those things happen in Saudi.
    Saudi women are not more or less honorable than any other women. They are human like the rest. And if you really don’t know that the Saudi legal system puts women at disadvantage- there’s really nothing more to say to you.

    Anyway, people can do their own research and decide who they think is telling the truth here. I’ve said my piece and I have other things to do.

    • Edward

      You are really deluded and I truly think that you either lie about living in Saudi or you are too cynical about the country to the extent that you cannot accept reality.

      You lie by saying “all those things happen in Saudi.”

      There are no strip clubs in Saudi Arabia where women throw away their dignity and strip in front of men to get money. Also, in Saudi, rape does not occur every few minutes like in the U.S… furthermore, children born out of wedlock is extremely rare in Saudi, unlike in the U.S. where the majority of children are born out of wedlock. Also, there is NO porn industry in Saudi Arabia, unlike the U.S. which is home of the biggest porn industry in the whole world where women are treated like sheeps and only for the pleasure of men.

      If you deny any of those and keep insisting that all that happens in Saudi Arabia just like in the U.S. then you are just a big fat liar and I do not need to reply to you anymore.

      I have seen Saudi women and women in the West and yes, they are very different. Saudi women are always chaste, pure, clean,… their religion, culture and lifestyle preserve their femininity and makes them real women who are very soft and shy. On the other hand, women in the West tend to be very masculine, rough and want to act just like men all the times. I do not blame them though, I only blame their culture and lifestyle that stripped their femininity away and made them no different from men.

      And yes, people can do their research and see who is the liar here.

      • Sandy

        I think I’ll just let your own words speak for themselves.

      • Sandy

        Well, here’s a bit more about children born out of wedlock and rape. And it doesn’t even start on the human trafficking of foreign workers and maids. Or the non-payment of the same. By the way the links and the list of articles are all from the Arab News. I figure you woulnd’t accept any source from the evil west.

        • Saudi accused of raping old man released
        • Man Confesses to Child Rape, Homicide
        • Saudi accused of raping 69-year-old in Manhattan
        • Trial of schoolteacher accused of serial rapes starts today
        Man executed for raping housewife in Madinah
        • Jeddah police reopen cases after rape suspect’s arrest
        • Police deny responsibility for wrongful detention in rape case
        • Suspect Held in Rape, Abduction Case
        • Suspect in serial rapes confesses to police
        Police hunting rape suspects

        Here’s a good one from just last week. True the rape victim/prostitutes are Filipina- but that’s because they were forced into it.

        As I’ve said. People are people. Some good some bad, some wise some not. And that’s true everywhere. Saudi is no exception but they pretend to be.

      • countrygirl

        Granted there’s no porn industry in SA but it’s a well known fact that Saudi males are one of the world’s best costumers of porn sites.

      • Edward

        @ Sandy

        So rare to the limit that they are published in newspapers and people around the world hear about it and feel astonished.

        Come to the West where it happens in every few seconds.
        I can give you unlimited number of articles about that in the West. Not just 3 or 4 rare cases in the whole country.

        Islam is a blessing for the Saudi society indeed. That is why Saudi is very exceptional. 🙂

  14. Rosie

    Research results are in: Edward is a liar!

    • Edward

      Wikiislam? haha…is that where you get your information about Muslim countries? No wonder why you are shallow-minded…poor you.

      • countrygirl

        FYI the porn site traffic is easy to get thank to IP. Every site can get staticstic from which country every visitor is from….Wikiislam is simply the first hit, it’s simply the medium from where i got this specific statistic.

      • countrygirl

        If you scrolled down you can see the references about the article I mentioned. One is from BBC article which is citing a study in SA

        But of course for you muslim men and women are perfect!

        If you despite so much the western way of life way are you using a western nickname?

      • Edward

        Wikiislam is a website designed for the haters of Islam. By using it to ridicule Muslims reveals what kind of person you are and why you try to attack the Saudi society. As I thought before, it is all about hating Islam that drives you to desperately trying to find faults in the Saudi people and to be in this blog….again, poor you.

    • countrygirl

      Did i said anything against Islam i simply pointed out a mere statistic, some studies made BY SAUDI…You are like a little kid that by simply putting finger in his ears and screaming aloud LALALALLALAL doesn’t want to hear…..Sorry to break your bubble but saudi men and women aren’t perfect they have the same virtue and vices of the rest of the world..Maybe it’s difficult to you to grasp the truth but if you clicked on the BBC link you would have learnt about the consume of porn in SA but maybe you are like an ostrich who put his head in the sand……

      • Edward

        So you admit that the West is spreading filth to the world? Would those people ever watch porn if you have not produced it to them? You keep defending immorality and you do not want to admit it… and then you laugh at people from other cultures who fell prey to your filth and immorality. I did not say people are perfect, but I still say that generally speaking women in Saudi Arabia have waaaaaay better morals than women in the West. The reason for that is because Saudi women are blessed with Islam. For instance, fornication to them is a big crime and sin…and that’s why its rare there…, whereas fornication to you is like drinking water.

        Go whine someone else.

      • Sandy

        If you confine women and don’t give them their human rights and freedom, you don’t know if they are virtuous or just imprisoned. When Saudi women are free like other women- then you can see if they chose the morality you think they have.

        Also, who are you to speak so badly about all the women of the west? Some have issues and make poor decisions- like women anywhere and everywhere- but that doesn’t make them bad people. Who are you, as a Muslim to judge that way? It is Allah who judges- not you. And it is not true that all women in the west make these inadvisable choices- just as it isn’t itrue that all Saudi women are virutous- (though I believe many are, in spite of their lack of human rights).

        I’m seriously beginning to think you are a troll- who isn’t a Muslim at all. Because they way your acting it’s like you want people to think all Muslims are crazy or something.

      • countrygirl

        @Edward you still don’t get it…..when a woman is FORCED to act in a certain way for sure you can’t say that is her choice to act i a way or other. None is forcing people to watch porn, they watch it because they want it . I noticed that muslim men (living in ME) are obsessed with the so called immorality in the west: women here in the west have a thing that is lacking in SA : FREEDOM OF CHOICE if she wants to be a porn star it’s her choice (i think it’s a poor choice of careen but hey she chose it). Women aren’t forced to wear a sack to go outside: if it’s summer time they go around with tshirt showing arms and maybe part of their legs (if you call this immorality i think you seriousily need a doctor).

        I think you watched too much porn here in the western world the average people don’t jump from bed to bed daily and having sex with a different patner each night is frowned upon.

        I think you are either a troll or a man who is afraid of women who can chose…..i will repeat myself if you despite so much the western way of life why you chose a western nickname?

  15. Pingback: Saudi Arabia: Female Olympics Athletes Described as Prostitutes on Twitter · Global Voices

  16. Pingback: Saudi Arabia: Kingdom’s First Female Olympic Athletes Called ‘Prostitutes’ :: Elites TV

  17. Pingback: Olympic Values « Leesis Ponders

  18. deja vu

    أجمل الثورات هي ثورة النفس على غيابها و ظلمتها. و أعظم ما حصل في الثورات العربية أنها حصدت للشعوب العربية غياب الغياب و شروق الصحوة و موت الظلمة.
    تتشرّف مدونة “ديجا فو” بالتعاون مع شبكة “ضاد” الإعلامية أن تطلق هذه الحملة بمناسبة شهر رمضان الكريم.
    تابعوا ما ننشره بشكل يومي في رمضان، و يسعدنا مشاركتكم في الحملة بين الكثيرين ممن ننشر لهم جُمَلهُم الإيمانية .. كل عام و أنتم بألف خير.
    للمزيد من التفاصيل:

  19. It’s incredible in the 21st century having a Dark Ages countries as these totalitarian muslim monarchies. It is impossibe to us western people to understand a contry where women are banned not only from the freedom to practice sports but to drive a car, travel alone in the world, stay at a private house or wear all the kinds of clothes. I can’t imagine how is possible to live in a country like this. To me who lives in a western country and we men and women lives equally in all areas of activities and where women can go to a drinking bar or a dancing club without a male companion it’s impossible how women can live in such a terrible non democratic countries. When I watch an iranian movie, all the womens seem to be a nun as they are dressed in a black and austere dress.

    • Edward

      Ok, I will step down to your level of thinking and say:

      It is also unbelievable that in the 21th century having countries with so much immorality that even same sex marriage is becoming legalized and widespread. It is impossible to Muslim people to understand Western countries where women are treated so cheaply like sex objects, sheep, and only for the pleasure of men. Not to mention how they are exploited so badly by men. In Muslim conservative societies, men and women respect and honor each other and cannot accept any type of humiliation to their families. It is impossible how women can live in Western countries where they are treated so cheaply and terribly. When I watch a Western movie, all women seem to be ill-treated.

      • greg

        Then why watch a western film? Step back from the decadance of western society and embrace only islamic films and television entertainment; or do you derive some pervrverse pleasure watching western films in a dark room?

      • sirderam

        “It is impossible to Muslim people to understand Western countries where women are treated so cheaply like sex objects, sheep, and only for the pleasure of men.” (Edward, 27 July 2012)

        Strangely enough, Edward, in Western countries that is exactly how we think men in Muslim societies treat their women. Perhaps we men in both societies should let women decide which approach, Muslim or non-Muslim, they themselves prefer? What do you say? Are you willing to put it to the test?

      • Tom Edgar

        In the past I have visited many Muslim countries I can assure you that Brothels where women are exploited and Muslim men use them, and abuse them are readily available. Delhi has the unenviable reputation as the RAPE capital of the world, where it is near impossible for a lone woman to
        venture out without being attacked. In Saudi Arabia a raped woman is more likely to be jailed than her attackers. That anyone can tout that a Muslim country, and especially a Muslim man, is more moral than in the decadent west is incomprehensible. In the name of Islam. the Taliban prevents women from education, In most Islamic societies the woman’s marital preference is subject to parental approval in the name of Islam. Regardless of the probable claims of protection of women this is subjugation, I have no knowledge of similar activities in any of the enlightened western countries.

        All of this has not even considered that a woman has the inherent right to CHOSE her own destiny, sexuality, and lifestyle, not have it imposed by self righteous men with a religious ideology as their badge of authority.

  20. I wrote a post about my thoughts on the Olympics having been prompted by the comments on this site.

    Edward somehow ended up there and posted this condom article to my site also. I left him this response:

    “Yes Edward I don’t like it either. But that is not what I am discussing here. That is about each individual’s moral beliefs and behavior. I am talking of the over-riding values…the intent of the Olympics. Oh, and as a health practitioner I support the handing out of condoms to insure against unplanned pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases whatever my personal morals may be.”

    I think its good to have these discussions if we can leave out personal insult. We may come to a greater understanding of each other. That can’t be a bad thing surely?

    • MarieLuise

      I believe Edward is a convert. Converts to Islam are the worst.

      • Sandy

        I’m a convert- I don’t think I’m so bad 🙂
        but Edward is apparently also Huda on the other thread. So s/he’s definately not so honest.

      • Tom Edgar

        The convert to ANY religion is invariably more enthused in their new found belief, they have to justify to themselves, and others they have made a correct choice.

        Americans are suckers for any new belief system as they are indoctrinated from birth to be fervent believers, when reaching some form of maturity, and so often becoming disenchanted with their brainwashed, inherited, beliefs, it is not surprising that instead of eschewing religion altogether they search for an alternative, the more outlandish the better. Well let’s not forget that most Americans demand that a religion be mandatory in everyone’s lives. Even Islam is preferable to an atheist. This I find perplexing as of all the groups “Atheism” is the least organised and least demanding, least threatening. It is enough to just not have a belief in any of the thousands of Gods. There is no particular educational class, nor political affiliation. It is true that generally it appeals to the better educated and, generally, they are more liberal thinkers but there is no obligation to either. Many years ago I was a friend of a Minister of the Church of England who was as atheistic as I. He still kept up the pretence for his parishioners and did a good job. Jobs were hard to find then, and as he said. “I am paid well, and the position carries with it some advantages in society.” Hypocrite? Well aren’t so many of them.?

  21. Pingback: اولین زن المپیکی پادشاهی عربستان سعودی فاحشه خوانده شد · Global Voices به فارسی

  22. Edward

    @ Sandy,
    Even though I did not want to reply to your inquiries anymore due to your earlier posts which proved to me that you truly have poor knowledge of the Saudi society despite your claim that you live in the country. However, I thought that I would reply to your last one for the general good.

    You state that “If you confine women and don’t give them their human rights and freedom, you don’t know if they are virtuous or just imprisoned.”

    Who told you that women in Saudi Arabia are confined at the first place? Is it just because they stick with their traditions and reject to live your Western way make you think that they are confined?

    No, you are mistaken. The vast majority of women in Saudi Arabia love to live according to their religion and culture, which has been the way of their parents, grandfathers and ancestors. They are happy with it and want to continue like this. It is their culture and lifestyle……Why do you keep insisting on implementing your Western values on their lives? It’s insane and wicked.

    Go and try to implement your Western values on the Maasai women in Kenya or the Hindu women in India or any other culture. Or do you only focus on Saudi Arabia because of your antagonism towards Islam?

    Another point I want to mention is that meeting and talking with secular people in Saudi Arabia, like the owner of this blog, should not make you conclude that women are confined in the country.

    Those secular people whom you surround yourself with do not represent the country, they only represent themselves because they do not voice out how the nation truly think and view issues like that.

    However, I do understand why they get the floor in Western media. It is because they please the Western audience who love to hear this drama and who would put the red carpet for those people to come and to give speeches for them about Saudi Arabia, even though all what they do is just feeding up your delusions about Saudi women and society,… and they are popular there because their lies add up to your delusions.

    Another point I would like to mention is also about your claim of “women confinement in Saudi Arabia” that you keep lying about.

    To prove your ignorance about the Saudi society and what is going on in the country, one example I could think of is that the Saudi government has recently granted thousands of Saudi women scholarships to study all over the world, giving them privileges and rights that women in Western countries would never dream of.
    Why you do not be a little fair and honest and mention these things instead of spreading your lies about the situation in the country, making it seem like a prison for women? Still, your lies cannot hide the truth. If people open their eyes a little more wide on the situation, they would know who is the real troll here.

    Last but not least, why the focus on women in Saudi Arabia when they are happy and satisfied with their lives?
    Women in Western countries suffer from way very serious and catastrophic issues. Take care of them and stop your hypocrisy.

    • Sandy

      Please educate yourself on the Mahrem laws. Also see how they are relevant to the scholarship program. To start- no woman can avail herself of one if her owner- guardian says “no”. If he says “no” she is confined. There’s more. You do your own research.

      Many women are happy. Those with good owners- though many would like to be legal adults without needing legal “permission” for so much. Many suffer tremendously. Read the ARAB newspapers if you want info on that. Search about custody, and prevention of marriage and travel, driving etc. I invite everyone else here reading this to do the same and see what you find.

      • Edward

        Proving your ignorance over and over….

        I too invite you to educate yourself about Islam and to learn about the family system in Islam and why the Mahram is needed.

        Also, do not make the secular Saudis on the front in this issue, because as I said again, they do not represent the country just as you do.

        The majority wants the Mahram system; if you believe in Democracy then you should respect that.

    • Sandy

      Oh- and to answer your question, “why the focus on Saudi women?” This is a blog about Saudi Arabia. I am concerned about many things- but here, this blog is about Saudi and that’s what I concern myself with.

    • B

      I’m glad to hear that the Saudi government is going to grant Saudi women scholarships to study all over the world, it is a step forward. I’m just wondering how it is going to work, given that the two Saudi women competing in the olympics have to have a guardian with them, will the female students have to be accompanied by a guardian? Or will they be allowed to travel freely and experience life on their own in the countries they study in, just as male Saudi students have always done?

      The point I am trying to get at, is this, it is vary hard to get away form your upbringing and values. Will they be trusted to preserve those values, because that is what it all boils down to and if they decide that at long last I have some freedom will they be allowed to express it. Just for your information, sex is not the way to express freedom, I say this because you seem to think that freedom equates to rampant sex. Freedom is a whole different concept. It is the right to make ones own decisions and steer ones own life and a person with a solid upbringing, belief and integrity will invariably make the right choices.

      • Sandy

        They have been sending many women already and it is a very good program. Terms of the scholarship requires they bring a guardian with them. It’s up to their guardians to determine how strict they will be- just as in Saudi.

  23. Edward

    I can refer you to blogs concerning Hindu women or Maasai women or women of any other culture. Or is it only Saudi women are bothering you because their religion is pissing you off?

    • Sandy

      I am Muslim. Their religion doesn’t piss me off. Saudi is my home- of course that is of the most interest to me.

    • Sandy

      You would not believe the abuse and suffering of Saudi women I have seen. Clearly you do not care about them at all Only about a reputation and trying to look better than the west. Sorry- some of these have been friends and family. You are inhumane. And I am done. THere is evidence aplenty to support my positions and all from Saudi sources.

    • B

      It’s not the religion that is the problem. It is the refusal of the powers that be to let go their rigid patriarchal stranglehold on the people that is the problem

  24. Sandy

    Democracy is not simply about majority rule- that would be mobocracy. It is built on a foundation of certain human rights, including minority rights. I have always found Islam to be compatible with human rights- but if you don’t think so you are welcome to your opinion and you are certainly not alone,

    The Mahrem system was meant to be for the benefit of women. Instead it is practiced as a form of ownership. NO woman can take that scholarship if her Mahrem prevents her. NO woman can get married- to a good man- if her Mahrem prevents her. NO woman can get higher education even domestically if her Mahrem doesn’t approve. NO woman can leave the country without permission- in fact she can’t even leave her house. Women can be denied medical care if their mahrems want to. Go research Arab newspapers. Go speak with a Saudi lawyer. This is confinement and oppression.

  25. Edward

    Even if you have seen some cases, why do you so badly want to make it like the whole country is bad? This proves that you only try to tell people that “oh look, Muslims are bad because Saudi Arabia is bad”…..its ridiculous and it shows your empty mentality.

    And the other points you mention:

    “The Mahrem system was meant to be for the benefit of women. Instead it is practiced as a form of ownership.”

    Just because you have seen some cases that abuse the system does not mean that “the whole country is practicing it as a form of ownership”…I advise you to think critically before you state such irrational thought.

    other points you mention:

    NO woman can take that scholarship if her Mahrem prevents her: (it seems that you made this point without even bothering yourself to read about the Mahram system in Islam….so I will leave it till you do your homework first)

    NO woman can get married- to a good man- if her Mahrem prevents her: (Big fat liar, because if her Mahram prevents her, she could get married through other means…I have read about cases like that and I know women who did it)

    NO woman can get higher education even domestically if her Mahrem doesn’t approve: (again, big faat liar, seeking education is granted to all women, if her Mahram says no, she could still seek other ways to get her rights without problems)

    NO woman can leave the country without permission- in fact she can’t even leave her house. Women can be denied medical care if their mahrems want to: (Big faaaaaat liar, there are many means for women to travel without the Mahram permission, this system is not made to restrict women as you are poorly trying to prove, this system is only made to keep women safe when they travel)

    My goodness, by just reading your ideas about Saudi Arabia, you made it like an evil place. But it is hilarious to see how you badly try to make it seem so to people who never been there.

    I advise anybody to travel to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and see by their own eyes how 100% of what Sandy describes is just mere fabrication and exaggeration.

    • Sandy

      I am talking about the actually legal system and how it is applied in Saudi- not about what Islam says. Just read the ARAB newspapers and read what the law says you’ll know what I say is true. And I said “higher” education. Women are stopped all the time- I personally know some that have been. And women need permission papers to travel internationally. So I don’t know where you get your information that there are lots of cases women travel without permission.

      I’m glad you know a woman in Saudi who managed to get married without her mahrems permission. She must have had incredible wasta- because generally it cannot be done. The mahrem has to sign the papers. Whatever struggles she must have gone through should have shown you how the system is mis applied.

      I have never said the whole country is bad. Many people are very good. But the system is not good.

      • Edward

        You keep insisting on reading the Arab newspapers. I read them and I know people from there. Plus, having lived there for a long time, I could attest that you are merely a cynical person about the Saudi society and just want to tell people “hey, Islam is not perfect because the Saudis are bad”

        Your argument is very childish and pointless. I do not know how old you are, but I hope that you grow up and become more mature in your thinking. You cannot even understand that rare cases cannot be generalized to the whole country.

        You keep insisting that you know women who are suffering. I do not know about them, but all the women I know in Saudi Arabia are very happy with their religion and culture and they actually sympathize with women in Western countries who do not have that much of respect and dignity that the Saudi women have in their country.

    • B

      Edward can’t you see that the central issue is the fact that she has to get permission somehow. A woman in the west does not need to do that.

  26. Sandy

    Hey everyone. Go to Arab News and search for stories on guardianship, orphans, divorce, child custody, rape. See what the paper has to say.

    I am very tempted right now to call you a liar as you so often call me. I don’t know one extended family there without some horrible divorce/ child custody situation.

    Again, conservative as you clearly are- you don’t really know Saudi women. No way. As a Muslim woman member of a Saudi family and someone who has worked and lived there with them- I know more of them than you do.

    • Edward

      Keep generalizing forever.

      I have never met a woman in the West who was not dumped by a “boyfriend” before, or any woman who has not had a horrible story in her life.

      Anyhow, this is my response to you and to anyone who insists on lying and exaggerating about issues related to women, life and the system in Saudi Arabia:

      I advise anyone to visit Saudi Arabia or to talk to Saudis themselves to learn about the country.

      • E…. All I want to say is that I have been born and raised in the West, I am not a teen mom, have finished high school, got a masters. I am speaking five languages (including arabic), working for a big institution, respecting others and using my freedom wisely. I don’t mind men looking at me – in fact I appreciate it when they acknowledge my presence. And I don’t have sex every day, even though I have the right to. My father, brothers and friends have always shown me respect not because I was a woman, but because I was a cultivated person with honour, integrity and self-esteem. I am also proud to be a volunteer in the Paralympic Games and promote understanding and equality. Please stop generalising and insulting Western women.

      • B

        How may western women have you met and know so intimately that they would pour out their life stories to you? You certainly got around. Do they know about that at home?
        So the segregation laws don’t apply to men overseas but they apply to women. How convenient for you.

  27. Sandy

    Right. So you don’t know any Saudi women really- do you? And how many Western women do you know? That seems odd you’d know western women so well to know all their personal business. Hmmmm.

  28. Ali

    Dear readers of this website,

    Ramadan Kareem.

    God is not a Delusion — A book by a Muslim doctor presents arguments against atheism.

    This book is out in the market now. Please visit the following link for details.

    Kind regards,

  29. Pingback: Saudi Arabia's Female Olympic Athletes Called 'Prostitutes' | Care2 Causes

  30. Christali

    Does Edward know what Saudi men get up to in London?

  31. countrygirl

    Friday i saw the opening of the Olympic Games, I noticed that several muslim countries had chosen a woman to carry the national flag (even a couple of countries which had women for the firsttime in the Olimpyc Games). The rest of the athlete minlge together (Oman, Kuwait, Brunei to name a few) BUT when it was Saudi Arabia first the men and the with a couple of meters of distance came the women….come on people it’s the XXI century, I’m happy that saudi women for the first time are taking part to the olympic game but keeping women and men separated during he parade it’s a joke

  32. Tom Edgar

    I understand but still find it incredible that, otherwise intelligent, people such as Saudis and many Americans actually, in this modern era, still actually believe in a mythical God and obey dictums originating from religious fanatics many centuries dead, that they then use these archaic male oriented laws to subjugate or regulate, any person, male or female, is beyond my comprehension.

    Before you condemn this :Heretic” I am a WW2 veteran, an octogenarian male, who has only ever had ONE woman, I do not gamble, drink alcohol, nor take any drugs. Many years ago in Saudi Arabia (and other Islamic nations.e.g. Iran, Indonesia) I certainly saw others indulging in those activities of which I CHOSE no to participate.

    If you, or any other “Believer” claims that Islam, Christianity, or any other nonsensical belief system is the reason for being chaste and honourable I can only say, from my experiences, that it doesn’t work, and even if fear of any religion’s condemnation or retribution is YOUR particular motivation then you are still basically immoral. needing an outside influence to negate your your baser instincts. I need no motivation other than my own integrity.

  33. Mahmoud Al-Haqq

    Even as a fool tries to hold the sand in his fist, so the Clerics grip the lives of Middle Eastern women.
    When enough sand has escaped the fists of repression, the winds of change will whip that sand into a storm to tear the houses of the oppressors down stone by stone.

  34. Tom Edgar

    Ali’s contribution is to point to a Commercial book selling venue where a Muslim, coincidentally? of the same name as the author,, claims the veracity of the existence of her God, without any actual evidence except coincidences of “Prescient” knowledge most of which was common enough to those of none or different religious persuasions. There have been plenty of Christians who have done the same but never once have any produced reliable, replicable,verifiable evidence of the existence of a God, a Heaven, (wherever that may be), nor even a method of substantiation for their prognostications..Each and every religion claims the absolute truth, but only for their faith and particular Deity.

    Before the inevitable challenges to me for atheists to prove there is NO GOD are touted, I accept the challenge, and state that I will concede defeat immediately I receive those proofs, supported by verifiable, replicable, evidence. Not anecdotal, nor experiential but solid supporting evidence that can be substantiated. Until that day arrives ipso facto: Gods apparently do not appear to exist. Well actually none have ever apparently appeared except in the imagination of the religious zealots.

  35. Tom Edfgar

    Sometimes I feel so hurt when my comments are ignored but I take comfort in thinking that my pithy observations are evidently beyond adverse comment. Edward springs to mind obviously.

    In my mail it said Leesis had commented on her preference for chaste behaviour and clothing (Canada). which replicates this elderly male’s life style. But therein lies the crux of the difference with the “West” and Saudi /Afghan style Islam which also contrasts adversely with most of the Islamic world. FREEDOM OF CHOICE.

    In the “West” there is a choice for females, which is also true of Islamic countries such as Turkey, Indonesia, etc, albeit that it maybe a limited choice dictated by fashion, peer pressure group, or other circumstances.
    In Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia or even Pakistan, and some others, women have NO CHOICE their lives are governed by the dictates of their religious leaders who are all MEN. plus the the dictates of a long dead religious zealot whose own sexual morality was not even to my own monogamous standard.. Bit like the Catholic Church really. Do as I say not as I do.

  36. Tom Edgar

    I now notice that there has been both negative and positive signs for my contributions. I need no written approval, just being approved is enough.
    But for the “Thumbs Downs” I would appreciate an explanation for the disapproving digit. It is self evident I gain no knowledge from those who think as do I. Surely though those who do have contrary attitudes, should have the intestinal fortitude, and the knowledge to elucidate their reasons for condemnation..
    A blanket unsubstantiated (and anonymous) disapproval, will not give me any knowledge of views apposite to my own,. i.e. I learn nothing, and am left with the impression that the nay sayers do not have sufficient education in their religion to give an intelligent riposte.

    So, without animus, This old fella from “Down Under” invites you to tell me where I am wrong, of course with substantiating proofs.

  37. B

    To the person who calls himself Edgar. I got part way down reading your comments but had to stop.
    Let me give you my perspective on things as a married middle aged white woman living in the west with a grown up son and daughter.
    I have never felt my entire life that I have been treated like a sex object by the men in my society. I have always felt free to come and go as I please, to work and to pursue hobbies. I have been encouraged by my family and my society to stand up for myself, to have my point of view and to express it.
    I thank God that I have been born into a society that allows me freedom of expression and does not sanction me based on my gender.
    I have taught my son and my daughter the value of self respect and how one must have respect for ones self before one can have respect for others.
    To respect someone you must also trust their judgement and accept that they too have the same rights as you because anything less is not respect and no matter what way you dress it up it can never be.
    I have also taught my children that the most important attribute to develop in themselves is an open and inquiring mind. A very good quote I heard many years ago sums this up
    “Confined within the walls of one’s hut one cannot see the wonders of the universe”
    You may have lived in the west for many years but you have lived here with a narrow myopic view of morals and life.
    Don’t deride or condemn the two Saudi women who are competing in the olympics . Be proud of them, be proud of their achievements.

  38. قارئ

    يذكرني ما فعلته البنتين بما فعلته هدى شعراوي عندما خلعت حجابها فسنت فسخ الحجاب لعدد لا يعلمه إلا الله. أحيانا تسيطر على المرء مشاعر ما يحس به تجاه الظلم الواقع فلا يجد إلا النموذج الغربي فيجعله هدفا يسوق الناس إليه. أنا لا أحرم الرياضة على المرأة ضمن الضوابط الشرعية بعيدة عن أعين الرجال. لكنني لا أرضى النموذج الغربي بديلاً. كما أن ما قد تحس به المرأة في مجتمعاتنا ليس خاصاً بها بل مثله واقع على الرجل والطفل والبيئة. أعيد وأكرر – الإسلام كرم المرأة – فأبعدها عن كونها هدفاً شهوانيا للرجال إلى إنسان يفجر طاقاته وإبداعه ضمن حدود لا يلغى تميزه معها ولا يتعرض لامتهان.

    أما فيما يتعلق بالهاشتاق فأرجو أن يفهم أن ما فعلته البنتين هو مصادمة للغالبية الساحقة من المجتمع. وهو مصادمة لثوابت وعادات المجتمع حتى لو لم يكن بعض هذه العادات مقدسا فهي رأي مجتمعي يجب أن يحترم. ومن لا يعنيه ذلك من غيره من المجتمعات فهو ليس بشأنه ولا يرضى أي منتم لمجتمع آخر أن تهان اختيارات مجتمعه مهما كانت.

    مع تقديري.

    • B

      Unfortunately the only language which I can read and write in is English, could someone possibly translate this into English

  39. Tom Edgar

    B. You had me worried there. I thought someone was actually responding to me, but no, the religious extremists, it, seems, have no answer and they will blithely carry on persecuting those who wish to progress, denying them of all CHOICE. Now I say that with some reservations as even in the “West” choice can be restricted by controls both subtle, and blatant. Ostracism from peer groups is very often an effective control and one has only to look back to the McCarthy years to see the not so subtle methods, which in many Republican’s eyes, and to a lesser extent by even some Democrats, an entirely vindicated method of coercion to conform.

    Whilst we in the west do have a vastly greater, and freer, choice than prevails in the Islamic world, let us be forever vigilant because there are many here who would wish to impose there own form of absolutism.

    • B

      Sorry about that, I felt pretty silly when I realized my mistake.
      Perhaps one day reason and intelligence will prevail over blind belief and inability or unwillingness to question. God gave us free will, intelligence and the ability to reason and question – why do so many of us fly in the face of God and deny in ourselves these attributes.

      • B

        I believe in God and try my best to live a good life. I struggle with the concept at times as I am, by nature, someone who questions. Having said that I struggle greatly with the concept of organised religion as down through history it has been the cause of more wars, blood shed and atrocities than anything else. No other system has been so divisive not because religious belief in itself is bad but because it has been hijacked by men who use it to push forward their own agendas both political and moral and sad to say whenever religion comes into the equation, it is bad news for women. Religious groups inevitably exercise their control over society through the women and they are not about to give that up anytime soon.
        The change will only come when women wake up and question and are prepared to challenge these patriarchal beliefs and attitudes.
        I have seen this happen in my own lifetime with the Catholic church (in which I was brought up). I can absolutely assure you that they have toned down their stance with women – not yet in the big things like divorce,abortion and women priests, but it will come as they will have to or risk their numbers depleting. My generation started this exodus as we were not prepared to accept what our parents did and we were not about to go down the road of blind belief without question.
        They say education is the key but no amount of education will cure stupidity. Education is only of use in this instance if a person develops a inquiring mind as a result of it.
        I think it was Einstein who said – the more I learn the more I learn how much I do not know – or something to that effect.
        People who stick doggedly to certain beliefs (and funnily enough, those beliefs tend to be backward thinking) tend to think that they have all the answers and there is no need for questioning. Their thinking has become stagnant, they do not have inquiring minds.

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  41. B

    A thought came to my mind just now. What do Saudi women have to say about the sexual behavior of Saudi men? The reason I ask this is that I have been reading reports about the level of homosexual behavior of men and boys in societies where strict gender segregation is in place. Such segregation is unnatural and causes problems in itself.
    A lot of discussion seems to be taking place all the time on the sexual behavior of women. Just for once I would like to turn the tables.

    I believe that everyone is responsible for their own sexual behavior, women are not responsible for men’s sexual behavior. Do men take responsibility for their own sexual behavior? In a lot of societies they do not and there in lies the problem. Men need to own the problem and maybe then the lives of women will change. We are going through that change in the west. I see the results of it in my children (I have a grown up son and daughter) who view each other as equal and my son does not look on women as less than him or only suitable for a certain role in life or in need of someone to make her decisions for her. He treats women with respect and sees them as having as much right to fulfill their dreams and ambitions as him, no matter what those dreams and ambitions are. Western governments have put in place laws that are actually enforced regarding equality of the sexes under the law, in all areas of life. Men are being shown through these laws that they do have to take responsibility for their actions and attitudes towards women. They are being shown that they own the problem.

    • Ana Costa

      Edward is silent now….if he is the blonde boy that appears on the youtube on his last post, I think that explains a lot – plenty of theory, no life experience.

      • Sandy

        Edward was outed as apparently the same person as Huda on the other thread. He may be that clueless blond boy.

  42. B

    Which thread is that?

  43. Sandy

    The Olympic triumph of Saudi Arabian Women.

  44. Pingback: Σαουδική Αραβία: Οι πρώτες γυναίκες αθλήτριες των Ολυμπιακών αποκαλούνται “πόρνες” · Global Voices στα Ελληνικά

  45. @edward,sandy,B,tom edgar.and all
    I have read the whole page.I am a Muslim woman,neither saudi nor western.I was born and raised in Saudi Arabia for 17 years.then I moved to Pakistan for medical studies.I must say that the golden life time enjoyments were in Saudi Arabia where I felt protected and was provided freedom to be participant in every part of life.I didn’t see females of saudi arabia being far from development.Rather ,they are open to new opportunities in their happy environment.I was open minded in KSA and limitations came when I came to Pakistan.the appreciation of being born as a girl was the most peculiar thing I have seen in hospitals of Saudi Arabia..I didn’t see this in Bangladesh and Pakistan .no doubt,bad and good people do exist everywhere but regarding the system I would say it provided me recognition.I have been to Queen Effat college,Jeddah once.I was astonished to see the well educated female faculty and students who were modern too. Saudi American Bank has female branch in Jeddah.I had visited that was so nice to see young and qualified women handling each post of the respective branch.
    after coming to Pakistan,I felt the practical importance of Mahram for travelling,the safety and freedom of women in segregated arrangement.
    all this which I am saying is the practical experience apart from the religious commandments..
    my extracurricular activities got limited here because of unsafe Pakistan,many crimes and rape cases happen but there is no justice.People weep and ask for justice. .Rate of divorces increased not only in Saudi Arabia but in all countries due to lack of understanding, maturity and tolerance.
    another example i would like to share here.Due to mistaken allegation, My father was taken into custody by saudi authorities.from April 2010 to Feb 2012. two years duration is enough to make a family devastated.I must thank Allah The Almighty,we survived through every hardship during this time and it’s because Saudi Arabia gave us confidence and strength to tackle the hard situation as a WOMAN. During this time period,the saudi officials were very respectful towards our family.They respected our dignity and safety.
    ALL I can say is wherever I live,I remember Saudia as my homeland and always give examples of it to my fellows here in Pakistan, where freedom of girl is obscured behind the physical freedom.
    @sandy, I know there are many news about divorces,rape and crimes.these should be reported to respective officials.this is happening all over the world.We focus on the maximum statistics and bring out the positivity.

    • And I know women that are qualified to attend Effat University or work and their husbands forbid them. ANd they are so scared of a divorce and leaving their children they have to do whatever he wants. Yes, all the things you describe are possible. And they can all be stopped if the man that owns the woman wants to stop them. That is the problem. Yes there are problems all over the world but legal systems in other places try to protect the woman- in Saudi she’s at the mercy of her owner.

  46. Tom EDGAR

    I see you thanked the non existent God (by any name) during your time of travail but did you blame him/her for the situation too? Or is it ,as it is for any other religion, Gods receive all the acclaim but none of the blame?

    Now I do not deny you the right to have any superstitious belief, my late wife of 46 years was a Quaker. As we lived on a property her “Meetings” were often held here with members attending from other parts of Queensland and with this atheist actually doing most of the catering and cleaning. (“Superstition= A belief in an outcome unfounded in fact.)

    As for the immoral acts in Saudi Arabia one has only to view the plight of fellow Muslims from countries working in Arabia, especially the unfortunate abused women from Indonesia, and the even more unfortunate from the non Muslim Phillipines .

    It is some time since I had the opportunity to comment on this site and I find it interesting that, as in the Christian sphere. Not once has there been an attempt to PROVE the existence of Gods . As the excommunicated. irreverent. late Irish comedian Dave Allen would close his shows, I also say ” May your Gods go with you.” Salaams. Tom Edgar

  47. Tom EDGAR

    Forgive the double entry but I woke at 2 am and being unable to sleep I answered, not as fully as I intended.

    In the “West” that is a broad term that encompasses Australia and New Zealand. We do not have laws that have a criminal penalty for Apostasy, nor for infidelity, marital, or not. A person’s religion and whether to stay in it or desert, or to have sexual relations with any other person is entirely a personal decision, and entails no punitive retribution by secular or religious authorities. Now my dear can you say quite openly . What is the position in Saudi Arabia on just these two examples of difference.

    If I joined a religious organisation in Australia I would then be in a minority group, as less than %25 regularly attend places of worship. I have no doubt that my friends would think I had lost my marbles, and feel sorry for me but that is as far as it would go. As for the sexual infidelity I was married for 46 years , and neither before then, nor since my wife died, have I been
    profligate so in my case it doesn’t apply, but I do not condemn those who are otherwise inclined, I may not personally approve, but it is certainly none of my business how other people consensually act.

  48. @tom edgar, you said, ” A person’s religion and whether to stay in it or desert, or to have sexual relations with any other person is entirely a personal decision, and entails no punitive retribution by secular or religious authorities”. on your ground,I would reply according to personal belief that everything which we do is not solely personal.our acts have effects because we live in society.if one doesn’t lie,it’s because he doesn’t want to hurt someone.If one doesn’t bluff someone,it’s because it would result in’s not my personal matter to lie or not to lie,to bluff or not to bluff.
    I thanked ALLAH THE ALMIGHTY ( bold letters because I think you didn’t recall the name from my comment). We,human beings are so versatile that when any matter happens,different feelings and thoughts strike the mind.I was depressed sometimes.It’s natural but I didn’t have to blame Allah because I learned many things during this time.true friends were recognized and when the situation ended ,many good things happened one by one.
    death,calamities and situations are a part of life.i follow the saying, “See what you can’t see and you are happy.” I gathered strength from the situation.
    the post is related to Two steps forward.If you need proof for existence of God,you have to search and think for origin of each and every thing of this universe.When you reach the endpoint, you will have a conclusion of whether there is God or there is no God.
    @ sandy, I accept the fact that some men forbid their women to do job but again this is the matter of some men from the big society.If I have any problem,I should report the authority then if no solution,I can blame the authority.
    In pakistan,I noticed this thing very much.Females have many problems but they don’t refer it to the respective authority because they feel shy,afraid and overall the fear of what society would say.Ultimately she’s in the loss.They accept the beating of husbands for the whole life but they don’t report.
    In saudi Arabia,if anyone reports,he gets justice.I know an example.A husband invested his wife’s money into business without asking her.The matter was taken to court and it was declared to the husband to return her assets.
    in other countries like pakistan and bangladesh, people report and they don’t get justice.Women are not protected by legal systems most of the time.
    The main point is bad and good things happen in all parts of world including Saudi Arabia but I feel it’s comparatively better in KSA due to low statistics of crimes, not the absence of crimes indeed.

    • The authorities uphold the man’s right to tell the women what she can and can not do. I find it hard to believe you have ever really lived here if you do not know that. It is the courts and judges that uphold the bad behaviors of men toward women. It is the law that keeps women as perpetual children and never legal adults. Low statistics of crime are because crimes are under reported and because abuse of women and foreigners is often not considered a crime.
      The law is uncodified. You may know one woman that got partial justice. That does not redeem the system in any fashion. And if you are saying Pakistan is worse for women than Saudi Arabia- that doesn’t make Saudi’s legal and social abuse of women any more acceptable.

  49. Tom EDGAR

    Your evasive non answer would do any Politician proud in an interview. You ignored the questions, and answered with philosophical profundities.
    I asked a straight question regarding apostasy and infidelity and the legal penalties for both in Saudi Arabia when there are no penalties in the West.
    You ignored this altogether as you know full well what those dreadful penalties are.

    I agree with the philosophical argument that ANY action one takes does have wider repercussions, but the decision to take the action is still totally personal.

    As for the snide remark about forgetting the name of Allah, I didn’t, I draw your attention that I said. “By any name” meaning quite seriously that the same argument applied to any of the thousands of Gods invented by man.
    Personally I think the nomenclature is as irrelevant, as the Gods.

    Furthermore you then tell ME to search the origin of everything to make me believe in the existence of a celestial being. Now I know of no atheist, nor Scientist who has ever claimed he KNEW how it all began, only Theists do that, we mere (non believing) mortals do have theories which are tested and have evidence based findings that support varying ideas, all of which are tested negatively and positively, and when found incorrect rectified, which is something religionists never do. The “Big Bang” is a case in point where some Scientists are, at present, expanding on the theory and challenging its total veracity. The Gita, or the Koran, or the New Testament, or the Old, or the Torah are unchangeable as they are considered definitive and absolute, even when they have obvious faults ,and are the product of manic religiously inspired imaginations. So when I wish to challenge the premise that there is no God I have to find the evidence that there is one, and the only people who should be able to supply that evidence are “Believers”.
    So far it hasn’t happened. Your advice to search for the meaning of everything to gain that spiritual insight is not new to me, too many Jews and Christians, during my 86 years most of which I have been a questioning atheist, have said the same thing, because they too can’t show me the evidence..

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