Ok, so, I originally read this article (which is terrible in itself): A Saudi Judge has called for a female journalist to be charged because she spoke out against the Saudi Committee for the Promotion of Virtue (an authority I've heard a little, but not much about). Yeah, it's bad, but attempting to stop people from being critical of authority is a game that's neither new nor confined to Islamist states.
But then I read one of the examples she gave to justify her criticisms, and it made me want to vomit:
“A fire broke out in a girls’ school in Saudi Arabia. It would have been easy to extinguish the fire without any girl getting hurt. But members of the Authority for the Promotion of Virtue stood at the door of the school and prevented any student from leaving, because the girls were not wearing the hijab. How were they supposed to get a hijab when the school was going up in flames? They prevented the fire brigade from entering to extinguish the fire, and they prevented the parents from going in… 15 girls from the school died – because of the Authority for Prevention of Vice and Promotion of Virtue, and not because of the fire. They could easily have been rescued. Has any member of the Authority been placed on trial?”
Fucked up level 9000 bajilion. Ok, it happened in 2002, but from what I've read, things haven't much changed. Doesn't <insert name of deity here, from whatever religion> care more about the sanctity of human life than people being offended? Not according to this Authority.
What irks me the most is that people probably have heard this story (I hadn't before today, but I'm a tad slow up the uptake) and judged the religion of Islam- they were acting in the name of their religion, right? Um, no WRONG! They are just people who are addicted to the rush you get from power. Nothing religious about it. There are people who do fucked up things in the name of power in any society (Westwern businessmen exploiting developing nations by setting up sweatshops just so they can keep a glorious profit margin springs to mind. Money=power, and the ability to buy your way out of any mess you make expanding that power).
Wow, super quick tangent, I use a lot of brackets (thanks Anna!) when I write, don't I?
The point is
1) It's fucked up that girls died a preventable death because of This Committie of Virtue;
2) It's fucked up that a Judge has now called for charges to be laid on a woman who spoke against them (would the judge called for charges had the critique come from a man? Hmmm???)
3) It's fucked up that when people hear this story, they will use it to full their Muslim bashing (so in vogue these days) rather than seeing the full pictuure that it's a classic case of men oppressing women, and religion has nothing to do with it.
For the full story, you can see here: