Monday, August 06, 2007

More Saudi life laid bare

From the "No good deed shall go unpunished" department.

Immigrants in the kingdom aren't doing so well. It seems a Nigerian immigrant and recent convert to Islam in Saudi Arabia wanted to boost his Islamic street cred by helping an elderly woman who needed medical care. While he succeeded in finding care for the woman, his efforts required him to occasionally be alone with the woman, who is not related to him. And we all know what that means...
A new convert to Islam, fired with zeal to do a righteous act, had no idea that he would pay a heavy price for helping a sick woman, one that has landed him 50 days and counting behind bars.

The Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice found him guilty for committing a crime: Being in the presence of a woman who is not a relative (a so-called “illegal state of seclusion”).

[ ... ]

Ibrahim Mohammed Lawal, a Nigerian student of Islamic studies at Badiya Islamic Center in Riyadh, learned that his neighbor, a 63-year-old woman, was indisposed and needed medical attention. So he took her to various hospitals in Riyadh, including the Riyadh Medical Complex at Shumaisy, all of which refused to treat her. It was only after the intervention of Sheikh Fawaz, director of Badiya Islamic Center, that the Badiya Hospital admitted the case. Despite the charitable act Mohammed ended up in detention, accused of immoral behavior because he was neither married nor related by blood to the elderly woman.
Hey, Ibrahim...while you're reconsidering your conversion to Islam, you may want to reconsider your country of residence.

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