MY ARTICLE on the Saudi man Homaidan Al-Turki who was sentenced to 40 years imprisonment in the US on Aug. 31 for repeatedly sexually assaulting his Indonesian maid over four years in Colorado and not paying her wages too, elicited much reaction from readers. The article appeared in Arab News, on the INQ7.net website and right here below.
Here is a sampling of what they had to say:
Unbelievable...the first piece in Arab website that makes sense and sounds
humane. Do you think Saudi public hears you?
Anyway, congratulations on a well-reasoned and well-written article.
Alex Grossberg, USA
I am not sure whether this letter will be published in your newspaper, since press is not free in your country and your Law enforcement agencies are biased against expatriates. You have beautiful Shariah rules that are not applicable to Saudi Nationals and applicable only to thousands of foreigners working and living in your country.
I would like to congratulate the American Justice System for sentencing Homaidan Al Turki in Colorado to 27 years in Jail. Mr.Homaidan was under the impression that he can get away with the abuse and enslavement of his Indonesian maid as many of his brethren in Saudi Arabia do as Saudi Law Enforcement agencies are totally biased against expatriates.
During my stay in Riyadh, I saw the body of a Indonesian maid who had commited suicide by hanging in the balcony of her sponsors house in front of my apartment. I was not able to sleep or eat for two days thinking about the plight of the Indonesian maid who had to commit suicide to escape the atrocities of her employer. The police as well as the paramedics joked as though life of a Indonesian was worth a dime. Among the paramedics was a Filipino who cried silently and told me later, that the maid was raped and tortured as her body bore marks of atrocities. The employer of the maid was never questioned nor jailed as I could see him move around freely in the neighbourhood.
It was on that day that I felt ashamed that I was a Muslim. Even though I have travelled extensively throughout the world, I have never seen such animal behaviour nor expected such, in a country where Islam was born. The Law and Order machinery is totally inept and biased against Third World Nationals.
Insha-allah, when I visit United States in January 2007, I shall make it a point to travel to Colorado and meet Attorney General John Suthers to personally protest against his travel to Riyadh to sympathize and placate the family of Homaidan Al Turki. This I shall do, on behalf of all the Justice loving people of the world. It is a shame that John Suthers has done disgrace to the American Justice System in which Muslims like me have a lot of faith.
I have a piece of advice to the Saudis. Such arrogance is not going to get you anywhere as the world is small and globalized. Even the beautiful religion Islam forbids arrogance. Who says Oil is going to last forever. What will happen to you when the world develops alternate sources of energy.
Ghiyas SharieffBangalore - India****
Thank you for stating the obvious to your Arab News readers: Some "basic Muslim behaviors" are actually against the law in most of the world. If Al-Turki were honest with himself, he would have to admit that those behaviors are even frowned upon in his own country.
The religious establishment in Saudi Arabia enjoyed almost 2 centuries of virtual cultural isolation from the rest of the world, which was plenty of time to hone a very fundamentalist creed. Since the discovery of oil, however, Saudis have had to mix with Muslims and non-Muslims with much different points of view. If the religious establishment in KSA persists in its reverence for the early days of Islam, it will find itself not only rejected by other Muslims, but by the world in general.
Keep up the good work.
Chris Chrisman, Los Angeles****
Thanks for the recent article on what seems as some emerging sanity. The article on the Colorado AG's trip to "explain" the recent case was a wonderful breath of freshness. Hope you don't get in trouble for it. But I'm guessing most of your email will not be of this type.
Hopefully your ideas will grow and take root. We Christians have gone through a reformation and enlightenment which was a wrenching time. Hopefully the Muslim world can take up this mantle and get back to its scholarly, artistic and educated era.
Perhaps folks of your caliber can move forward with such ideas.
We recently had a Muslim write an article of this type here in the US in Tulsa Oklahoma from his local mosque but he was immediately thrown out and threatened personally. This is unacceptable here in the US and is being watched. At least he has garnered a lot of local support and will continue to do so. It takes a lot to speak out with such atrocities seeming coming from the "peaceful" types.
All I can say about your topic " No tears for Homaidan Al-Turki "
It is very enlightening topic for the readers, I hope It will serve as a "warning" to all people who until now doesn't know and still ignorant about the true meaning of Respect and Human Rights regardless of Race, Color, Religion, and Culture....
I hope more and more topic like this in the future in your column.
More Power and God Bless !
It is unfortunate that the world is turning to so called journalists like you to receive their information. Your article "no tears for Homaidan Al Turki" was a hideous masking of the facts and purely inflammatory rambling. First off, the quote you use from Homadain's speech to the court about basic muslim behaviors being criminalized was in reference to the court's attack on islamic dress, not in reference to false allegations of him abusing his maid. A so called journalist with all the qualifications that you so modestly display on your blog should have clearly understood that if you read his statement for yourself. Or perhaps, your aim was other than the truth and that is what we call modern day so called journalism. Furthermore, Homaidan has never thought of himself to be better than others, as you so gallantly imply at the end of your article. He professes his innocence rightfully so, because in the great land of the USA with its great judicial system he was convicted with no DNA evidence, no direct corroborating testimony, and nothing more than hate mongering which you like so many others seem to be so good at. It is clearly evident that you are biased towards him with your twisting of the facts and unfounded claims. For those who may read this(If Rasheed allows it to appear on his blog) you can read Homaidans speech to the court for yourself and evaluate the evidence in his trial(if you are allowed access to it) and then see if you should be high fiving eachother, putting your thumbs up and patting Rasheed on his back for this sorry excuse for information. For The Speech Go to: http://www.homaidanalturki.com/EN/index.cfm?method=home.con&ContentId=318