Monday, 11 May 2009

In Saudi Arabia, plus ça change...

Oh. Wait. Nothing has changed, it's still the same damned sexism and misogyny and state-sanctioned violence against women.

In Saudi Arabia, a judge - not an imam - has justified and excused men's physical violence against their wives.

a slew of news items reporting this misogynist's pontification. From the Associated Press:

A Saudi judge told a conference on domestic violence that a man has the right to slap a wife who spends money wastefully and said women were as much to blame as men for increased spousal abuse, a Saudi newspaper reported.

The remarks do not carry the weight of law, as they were made out of court. But such public pronouncements by Saudi judges — who are also Islamic clerics — are often widely respected.

A rights activist decried the remarks and said she and other campaigners viewed them as the latest setback in women's efforts to gain the right to vote, drive, freely participate in politics and be protected from violence.

In recent news, a Montreal women is taking Harper's government to task and possibly to court. Johanne Durocher claims Foreign Affairs staff and officials at the Canadian embassy in Riyadh have not done their job in facilitating her daughter's return to Canada and have endangered her life by reporting her actions to her husband. Nathalie Morin, Durocher's 24 year old daughter moved to Saudi Arabia in 2005 to be with the father of her son, after he was deported from Canada.

Under Saudi law, the children’s father has the final say over whether the children can leave Saudi Arabia.

Durocher claims that her daughter is being held against her will and that she is being physically abused. If Hamad Al-Razine is typical of the judges who preside over court proceedings that oppose husbands to wives, Durocher has a hard road ahead in obtaining justice for her daughter in Saudi Arabia. Radio-Canada has been following this story as it unfolds.

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