By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Published: March 10, 2009
A 75-year-old widow living in Saudi Arabia has been sentenced to 40 lashes and four months in jail for mingling with two young men who are not close relatives, her lawyer said Monday. The newspaper Al Watan said the woman, Khamisa Sawadi, met with two 24-year-old men in April after she asked them to bring five loaves of bread to her home. The two men, her nephew and his business partner, were arrested by the religious police after delivering the bread, the newspaper said. They were also sentenced to lashes and imprisonment. The verdict against Ms. Sawadi, a Syrian who was married to a Saudi, also orders her deportation after her sentence is served. Her lawyer said he would appeal. Despite what Fred Haddad may have said, the judge was not Cheryl Aleman and Sean Conway denies being of counsel.
Now if President Obama wants to do something about human rights, here is a nice start. Note the picture of lashings that used to be routine in America- TWO HUNDRED AND FIFTY YEARS AGO. The Saudis have oil. Too much has floated into their brains.
Injustice anywhere diminishes us everywhere. And yes, I read Patterns of Culture by Ruth Benedict as a freshman at Hofstra in 1967. I know cultures are ethnocentric. I know you have to respect diversity and the right of each society to set standards. You can acknowledge that it is their country and they have that power. You can admit the rights are theirs and you have no control over what they do. But you can also condemn them as neanderthal and retarded. You can refuse to condone universal human rights abuses anywhere. For all their riches and wealth, their bold buildings, and new ways, they are stuck in the past because of a religion that retards their progress.