Friday, February 08, 2008

Saudi Outrage

Here's the story I told on my KMOX show yesterday about an American businesswoman who was thrown in jail for sitting next to a man in a Starbucks.

The woman, a managing partner in a financial services firm, was with some men from her business, because power in their office had gone out during a meeting, and they had access to a wi-fi connection at Starbucks. She was dragged to a prison, where she was interrogated, strip-searched, and forced to sign phony confessions to her "crime."

Where could an outrage like this take place? Why, of course, it's Saudi Arabia, where the religious police are allowed to roam free and violate human rights in the name of their extremist agenda. Note that the zealots who didn't want this businesswoman sitting fully dressed next to a man had no compunction about forcing her to strip naked so they could search her in prison.

Saudi Arabia is the nation that gave birth to Osama bin Laden and many of his Al Qaeda followers, where wahabbist madrassahs still teach hatred beginning in childhood, where fanatacism is not only allowed, but prospers. This is the same nation where, last year, a gang rape victim was sentenced to 200 lashes and six years in jail for being in an unrelated man's car. The victim! After an international outcry, she was pardoned by King Abdullah -- but he maintained the sentence had been fair, thus encouraging and justifying the enforcers of sharia law.

This woman is an American citizen.

And what does the US Embassy do? Nothing. Not a damn thing. An embassy official says it's "an internal Saudi matter." Luckily, her husband was able to use his political contacts to find her and get her released, but there are plenty of other women -- both Saudi and foreign -- who are still locked up by these maniacs.

Yet, our Embassy won't raise a stink about this case, and our President walks hand-in-hand with the Saudi king, never saying a word about human rights or the extremism festering in the kingdom -- all because we need the black goo under their sand.

That's Saudi Arabia, our Partner In Peace.