Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Christian Convert Burned Alive in Saudi Arabia

Joan of ArcCenturies ago the Roman Catholic Church burned heretics at the stake. The most famous victim of this practice was Joan of Arc, who was put to death in France at the age of nineteen almost six hundred years ago.

Like the Crusades and the Spanish Inquisition, the burning of heretics is a former practice of the Church that is used against it by those who would declare a rough equality between Islam and Christianity. However, although Christians gave up such barbarity hundreds of years ago, Islam persists in similar practices right up to the present day.

What makes the following gruesome story particularly appalling is that the young woman was executed by her own father, an officer of the Muttawa, who was obliged by honor to cleanse his family of his daughter’s shame. According to ANSAmed:

The sentence could not be appealed: guilty for converting to Christianity, a young Saudi woman was set alight by her father, who first had cut her tongue.

Not an ordinary father, but a member of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Against Vice [the Muttawa], a sort of police watching over the moral behaviour of the citizens of Saudi Arabia and the full compliance with the rules of the rigid Wahabi doctrine, by using whiplashes on the legs for too high heels and arresting men and women not linked by marriage or family bonds for meetings in restaurants.

To the injury of the conversion, the woman had added also the insult of the written word, by writing articles with Christian-religious content on blogs and regional websites. The brutal news reported by the United Arab Emirates (UAE)’s daily Gulf News reflects the reality of Saudi Arabia, a conservative and intransigent country, and throws ice-cold water on the image of an oil kingdom which says to be ready to open up partially to other religions, an image painted by the recent gestures of the king Abdallah Bin Abdelaziz.
- - - - - - - - -
After the historical meeting with Pope Benedict XVI in November, the first visit of a Saudi king to the Vatican, the Guardian of the two Holy Mosques promoted in July a conference on the dialogue among the three religions of the Book — Christianity, Judaism and Islam. Although the event was seen also as a pragmatic political-religious move to allow an inter-religious alliance against Islamic terrorism, born from a deviated interpretation of Islam, which has hit hard also in Saudi Arabia, other steps had however already been taken in the direction of an actual and tangible opening between Christianity and Islam: the Apostolic Nuncio in Kuwait, Qatar Yemen and UAE, Mouged El-Ashem, in fact confirmed in the spring the existence of ongoing negotiations between the Holy See and Saudi authorities to authorise the construction of Catholic churches in the oil kingdom.

In the other five countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council, instead, Christian and Catholic churches are already operating, the last of which was opened in Qatar just before Easter. However, beyond the pragmatism of the sheiks, there are still parts of the society not yet ready for compromises on religious values and beliefs — especially when they find spaces within the families.

The father of the burnt alive Saudi woman, as reported by sources close to the victim, is investigated for “honour killing” and not “murder”, a motif which if acknowledged, might lead to a sentence of up to three years in prison, because caused by the necessity to “wash the shame of dishonour” fallen on the entire family, for the unbecoming behaviour of the daughter.

Zawya has more details on this brutal incident. According to the following report, the young woman’s discovery of Christianity as well as the exposure of her crime were brought about in part by the internet:

According to the Saudi Al Ukhdoud news website, the victim wrote an article on the blog of which she was a member under the nickname “Rania” a few days before her murder.

She wrote that her life became an ordeal after her family members grew suspicious about her after a religious discussion with them.

She said that her brother found some Christian articles written by her as well as a cross sign on her computer screen. Since then he started to insult her and blamed the internet for pushing her to change her religion.

[…]

Saudi religious scholars have frequently warned against the dangers of Christian internet websites and satellite TV channels which attract Muslim youngsters to change their religion.

They decreed that watching these channels or browsing these websites which call for conversion to Christianity by various means is against the teachings of Islam.

The importance of the internet to the subversion of Islam cannot be overstated. Islam is brittle and vulnerable, and cannot easily maintain itself where information flows freely to the people who are imprisoned by it. The fact that Christian conversions can occur even in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia — the Heart of Darkness itself — shows the value of modern forms of communication in the struggle against Islam.

It’s also important to remember that dedicated Christian believers are quietly and diligently risking their lives all over the world to spread the message of their faith. The conversion rate in countries like Saudi Arabia is obviously hard to estimate, because to count a new believer is to condemn her to death.

But it’s happening all the same. Christian outreach is one of the most powerful weapons the Counterjihad possesses.


Hat tip: Insubria.

27 comments:

Fjordman said...

Ahh, Saudi Arabia, this global beacon of enlightenment. I'm happy to see that they are lecturing us on the virtues of tolerance and religious dialogue, when they are not bragging about how Europe is submitting to its new Islamic masters:

Following Saudi-Sponsored Madrid International Interfaith Conference, Saudis Praise Spain: "Madrid Speaks Arabic"

Following are excerpts from the Al-Hayat article:

"…At Madrid's international airport, the invitees to the international interfaith dialogue conference were greeted in Arabic; airport officials at passport control and security personnel at the Auditorium Hotel spoke fluent Arabic; [Arabic was spoken at] all conference activities and at the reception held for the occasion. It can [therefore] be said that the Spanish capital, Madrid, speaks Arabic.

"Spain, where the Arabs have a long history, and which for 800 years, from the time of the Arab conquest in 711 C.E., was known as Andalucia… has today again donned Arab garb, [this time not through conquest but through] modern, global, and cultural [dialogue].

Proud Infidel said...

Conversion to another religion by Muslims is a very dangerous and courageous act, given the mandate of the Religion of Hate to kill those who change their religion, as The Most Vile Prophet said. Islam is a brittle belief system, which is why so many Islamic clerics are quick to condem anything that they consider un-Islamic. That's why Muslims in Kuffar lands tend to isolate themselves as much as they can.

I keep reading that thousands of Iranian Muslims have already converted in secret to Christianity. If that can happen in a repressive hell holes like Iran and Saudi Arabia, then Islam will have a real problem in the future as communications between nations improve. I would imagine Christianity's message of peace, salvation and compassion would appeal to many people trapped in the hell of Islam. I wonder how many ex-Muslims are now Chistians in secret in Saudi Arabia? Probably more than we suspect.

Zenster said...

What makes the following gruesome story particularly appalling is that the young woman was executed by her own father, an officer of the Muttawa, who was obliged by honor to cleanse his family of his daughter’s shame.

Why am I not surprised? After all, young girls burning to death is nothing new for Saudi Arabia's Mutawwa'in.

Saudi Arabia's religious police stopped schoolgirls from leaving a blazing building because they were not wearing correct Islamic dress, according to Saudi newspapers.

... 15 girls died in the blaze and more than 50 others were injured

... One witness said he saw three policemen "beating young girls to prevent them from leaving the school because they were not wearing the abaya".


Got that? The girls were physically beaten and PUSHED BACK INTO THE BURNING BUILDING rather than be seen unveiled in public.

Some more details about this heinous crime:

There were 835 students and fifty-five women teachers in Intermediate School No. 31 when the blaze started at about 8:00 in the morning, according to Saudi press reports. Saudi newspapers suggested that the school, located in a rented building, was overcrowded, and may have lacked proper safety infrastructure and equipment, such as fire stairs and alarms.

... The report noted that mutawwa'in were at the school's main gate and, "intentionally obstructed the efforts to evacuate the girls. This resulted in the increased number of casualties." The religious police reportedly tried to block the entry of Civil Defense officers into the building. "We told them that the situation was dangerous and it was not the time to discuss religious issues, but they refused and started shouting at us," Arab News quoted Civil Defense officers as saying.

"Whenever the girls got out through the main gate, these people forced them to return via another. Instead of extending a helping hand for the rescue work, they were using their hands to beat us," Civil Defense officers were quoted as saying. The officers also said they saw three people beating girls who had evacuated the school without proper dress. A Saudi journalist told Human Rights Watch that the mutawwa'in at the scene also turned away parents and other residents who came to assist.
[emphasis added]

Be sure to notice how this girls' school, "was overcrowded, and may have lacked proper safety infrastructure and equipment, such as fire stairs and alarms". When it comes to protecting human life, no safety measures are too meager for Saudi women.

The father of the burnt alive Saudi woman, as reported by sources close to the victim, is investigated for “honour killing” and not “murder”, a motif which if acknowledged, might lead to a sentence of up to three years in prison, because caused by the necessity to “wash the shame of dishonour” fallen on the entire family, for the unbecoming behaviour of the daughter.

You can bet the farm that this cretinous bastard will probably get nothing more than a hand-slap. An investigation into the Mutawwa'in's role during the school fire produced only "a very rare public criticism of the group".

That's it. No jail time. No probation. No suspended sentence. No liability. Zip, nada, zilch, bupkus. Does anyone honestly think that burning to death a blaphemous Christian daughter will get her Mutawwa'in father more than a stern finger wagging?

The fact that Christian conversions can occur even in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia — the Heart of Darkness itself — shows the value of modern forms of communication in the struggle against Islam.

If Liberal forces do not succeed in crippling the Internet's ability to disseminate truth, this marvel of technology will rightfully fulfill its promise as one of the most powerful tools ever invented. It will properly rank right along side the internal combustion engine, semiconductor integrated circuitry, space flight, lasers and the computer itself.

Irish Tory said...

This is what true martyrdom looks like. May she enjoy her eternity with the true GOD!

laine said...

What an oasis Christianity must present on the dry dusty desert of Islam, enough to risk one's life in this tragic case.

When Jesus' teachings are followed properly, Christianity is a life affirming religion of love, peace and forgiveness. When Mohammed's teachings are followed properly, Islam is a death cult of hatred and eternal war.

Islam is designed as a one way steel trap for the very reason that it is an inferior product of an inferior mind and is susceptible where people are allowed to think about it. No wonder the number one priority of Muslims is to squelch all criticism of their "holey" (full of holes) ideology to protect their brittle anti-human groupthink!

Three female aid workers, two from Canada were just killed in a hail of Taliban bullets in Afghanistan. The windows of their clearly marked car were broken to insert gun barrels up close and personal and the bodies were riddled with bullets in an overkill that reveals the depth of hatred that Talibani have for women, foreigners, and anyone who aids Afghani girls to escape the stone age mindset preferred by Islamists.

When Golda Meir said that there would be peace when the "Arabs love their children more than they hate ours", she probably didn't realize that Arab/Muslim love for their children is questionable by western standards. They constantly sacrifice their own young one way or another to their devil worship so infidels including children are mere gnats to them.

Have we ever heard of Muslim parents rising up to protect
their child who has strayed from some tenet of their religion? Instead, there are myriad documented cases even in western countries, so badly misnamed "honor killings" where parents themselves are the enforcers of the death penalty against their (mainly) daughters.

Any family member who tries to escape the cult is killed by the cult.

In the pantheon of historic human activity, Islam is one of the most disgusting systems, has been incorrigible for 7 centuries and remains incorrigible and barbaric.

Those "moderate" Muslims who exist should just start their own new religion. They are considered apostates anyway by the teachings of their thug-prophet who would hardly be chosen by any decent God to carry his word. Or revert to Christianity, accepting that their prophet rather than perfecting the Abrahamic religions merely plagiarized from them and grafted on his own psychopathic megalomaniac desires that bring bloodshed and poverty wherever they are followed on earth today.

Sra Scherzophrenic said...

It seems that even in the Happy Fun Kingdom, this is over the top behavior, too. I hope that we take advantage of the amazing tool that is the internet. Saudi Arabia won't allow Bibles to be brought in. All you need is a pdf file and a mouse, and voila! hit the send button and someone will have a Bible on his computer. No postage required. And for the less literate, you can download mp3 files of the Bible in virtually every language. How cool is that?

Aloysius said...

Just a brief note of history.

The Catholic Church never burnt anyone. She excommunicated when left with no other options. The secular powers did burn people (fewer than is usually thought), after someone had committed repeated offenses against the faith. At the time, and long after, offending the Catholic faith in public could be punished as a civil offense.

There are many differences between the practises of islam and those of medieval Catholic society. let´s not be the victim of voltairian history.

Baron Bodissey said...

Aloysius --

Yes, you're quite right. To be accurate, I should have said, "Joan of Arc was tried and convicted of heresy by the Church, and then executed by the secular authorities."

It would be similarly accurate to say that "Jesus Christ was tried and convicted by the Jews, and then crucified by the Roman occupation forces."

Also, as a matter of interest, the bishop who ordered the heresy trial of Joan of Arc was a puppet of the English, and it was later determined by Rome that he lacked even the jurisdiction to conduct the proceeding. The Church reversed her conviction posthumously and then beatified St. Joan.

Conservative Swede said...

Other people here will know Church history better than me, but isn't there a pattern here? The Church sentencing people to death but never itself executing anyone, leaving that dirty work for others to do. Considering that, it is of course sheer hypocrisy of supporters of the Church to claim that they "never burnt anyone".

Who is responsible for the death of the sentenced one after all, the judge or the executioner? To clarify the issue of responsibility, look at the example of someone being killed erroneously through a death sentence. Obviously the executioner is not the guilty one, but the ones sentencing the person to death. Having henchmen carrying out the dirty work for you does not clear you from the moral responsibility.

Aloysius said...

Baron,

I never mentioned Joan of Arc. You did. I was making a more general point. A much needed one, since Voltairan history is till being used in order to mine Western confidence - a topic which ougt to bother you as well.

Anyone interested in the mock trial of Joan of Arc, whom the Church later declared a saint, will find excellent scholarly work done by Régine Pernoud.

Aloysius said...

CS,

What pattern? I see none but in your mind.

Your point is entirely anachronistic. At the time, the Church would have gained nothing by avoinding this sort of responsability.

My own point was that of a historian: to put things in context. The Church still excommunicates, but no one is burnt. As a matter of fact, the inquisition was founded late in history, in a very speacial context, gave very few sentences that lead to death (and it was very little involved in the trials of witches in the XVIth c.). There were times when people would seek the clerical tonsure only to escape the worldy courts of law. Reality is seldom ideological.

Do I need to point out how Voltairian history is used to undermine Western self-conscience?

Let´s at least be fair. If we are, we shall see that the inquisition of the XIIIth to XVIIth c. cost very few lives, that the civil society´s understanding of religious offenses were different at the time, and that the inquisition is the fount of modern law.

Yet, it is systematically misrepresented and used against the Catholic Church, against christianity at large and against anything Western and white in general. Given the reality behind the word inquisition, one should ponder why this is. And whether one wishes to enforce this practice.

Such was and is my point.

Henrik Ræder said...

When exactly did the Inquisition start? Aloysius quotes 13th century, which would be in the Middle Ages. Is that so?

I know for sure that the Spanish started only in the 15th. The Spanish Inquisition is certainly not something to blame the Middle Ages for, only the period of cultural decay that followed.

Aloysius said...

Well, the matter is hardly disputed: it is with the rise of the Albigensians/Cathars that the Inquisition was instored. First in the 1230s was a papal inquisition created (this is often what people mean when speaking of the Inquisition, unless they mean the Spanish inquisition). It is often associated with the mendicant orders, founded in the XIIIth c. (mostly the Dominicans and Franciscans).

In the preceding decades, there had been episcopal inquisitions in certain countries (allowed by the bull "Ad abolendam", 1184) touched by Catharism , but these had met little success.

Conservative Swede said...

Aloysius,

There are several ideological approaches to Chruch history, the Voltarian perspective is merely one. Another is the one claiming that the hands of the Church are clean and the Church "never burnt anyone".

What pattern? I see none but in your mind.

Well, well...

Are you familiar with the concept "relaxation to the secular arm"? It was the euphemism for the death penalty during the Spanish Inquisition. In theory the death penalty was not a concern of the Inquisition. In those cases they pronounced them hopeless heretics, cut them off from the Church and "relaxed" them to the secular arm for due punishment, which implied burning at the stake.

Nice setup, eh?

Regarding the death toll, at least a few thousands such death sentences were carried out during the Spanish Inquisition. It's well documented.

Aloysius said...

I still see no pattern, since you are talking about one single spot (I´m sticking to your metaphor), the Inquisition. A pattern consists of more than one spot.

My approach is not an ideological one, CS, but a historical one. Voltaire is notorious for his mendacity but also for his anachronistic, a-historical approach to History. If you wish to make it your own, well, I can´t stop you. Nor help you.

May I point out that you haven´t taken into account a single fact among those I took time to present? Nor have you answered my point as to the use being made of the Inquisition in order to undermine our self-confidence..

P.-S. I never questioned the fact of a few thousands. But you see, in school, I and many with me were told there were over 100 000. The reality was far from people usually belive, and THAT was my main point. Now, you compare the Spanish inquisition with the death toll of capital punishment in the USA to-day, to say nothing of the épuration in France. To put things into perspective.

Conservative Swede said...

Aloysius,

You can drop that whole Voltaire thing, etc. You are trying to have a discussion with someone else, that is not me. I have always defended the Spanish Inquisition. It made sense in a lot of ways. Most notably, pay attention to how Spain, unlike most other Western European countries, didn't plunge into religious wars.

I just think that it should be defended in a proper way, like Benny Morris defends Israel. And not in a hypocritical way, denying or blurring what happened. When you say "the Catholic Church never burnt anyone" this is dishonest, because as we have here together concluded, the Church burned quite a number of people by proxy. To present the Church's rhetorical scam as fact is what I mean by you being ideological.

But since you tend to bring up Voltaire rather reflexively (along with the Swedish school system), let me emphasize again how I'm not against killing and rhetorical scams--these are rather often necessary means to rule a country. I think the Inquisition made very good omelet in Spain given the circumstances. And I like tortilla :-)

So, if you want to understand me and where I come from, it's not Voltaire dear, it's Machiavelli.

Aloysius said...

CS,

I have previously noted this: you tend never to address anyone else´s point. Only your own. And seldom to be fair in the way you describe your opponent´s view or method.

I have also already said I refuse to debate in that way. Call me hypocritical and reflexive if that helps you.

P.-S. You still haven´t addressed one single issue I brought up. Nor one single fact.

Conservative Swede said...

Aloysius,

I entered the discussion by addressing your point about "The Catholic Church never burnt anyone", and showed that to be dishonest and hypocritical. I'm not claiming that you invented this hypocrisy, you are merely carrying it on. But I have shown it for what it is, beyond any doubt, and you are left without an answer. This is the moment when you stop discussing and starts complaining about my person instead.

I do not know which of your single facts or issues that would have any relevance in this debate. Most of it seems to be part of your monologue with a Voltairian ghost that is not present in this thread. If any of it had had any bearing on the core issue, I'm sure you had brought it up again, to underline a point of yours. But you didn't. Instead you descend into personalities. That is very revealing.

Call me hypocritical and reflexive if that helps you.

Unlike yours, my claims are: i) integral to the discussion, and ii) well backed up. I have shown the hypocrisy of the Church, and to the degree that you side with it, well then you are hypocritical too. And your repetitive way of bringing up Voltaire when its uncalled for, appears as reflexive. But you pick another word for it, if you have a better one. To bail out of the discussion because I referred to this as "tend to bring up Voltaire rather reflexively" is overly fragile of you. Everyone can see how you bring it up over and over, for no reason. What do you expect from me? To pretend that I agree with Voltaire? Does it hurt your feelings that you couldn't frame me as a Voltarian?

Hypocrisy must be revealed for what it is. It's a cognitive achievement to do that, and brings the discussion forward. You however descend into personalties with the only purpose of getting personal and terminating the discussion, in ways that have no bearing on the topic (well you tried with "Voltarian" but you failed).

Aloysius said...

I know you believe in your own infallibility and omnipotence. However, in the real world, you are not the judge of other people´s intentions.

Good bye.

Conservative Swede said...

Aloysius,

The only thing one needs to judge here is your lack of arguments, and how this makes you descend into other activities than discussion, turning at the person instead of the topic. Intentions are beside the point, it's all about judging the observable, where no speculation is required.

I have made a point here that you might not have heard before, but you were unable and unwilling to take it in.

abdullah said...

My expectation about western reader is better than what I red. To be clear the source of the news is not a news web site. You can check their site. Any way let us consider that is a true story. Who told that there is what is called “honour killing”? It is not in nor Islamic law neither in Saudi law. The only place they have “honour killing” is some troop in Jordan and it is a social matter not a religious opinion. Who told you that prophet Mohammed teach us to kill who convertes from Islam? If any body nows arabic he should read prophet mohammed Says which specify for the people converting from Islam and fighting other muslim like in war and the one who should decide the judgment is a qualified judge not any persons. Opinion of some muslims don't reflect Islam. As we have Bin Laden which I am against. There a lot of christian who are against Hitler, Aren't?. To go back to the story. If that happened, I am sure that the father will be punished. It is strange how Muslim, jew and christian are fighting with each others. Even we have one God all three beleive in our Lord. I respect the analytical veiw in westren country which actually moved them from Dark ages to the leader of the world. I am afraid that third world start to learn that and the western start to lose that. I realy dream in a peaceful world but it seem my dream still to far

abdul4911 said...

HI, i M Abdul khaliq What i would say abt christianity is that bible is not in oginal fom it has changes.
bible says search for truth whereas Quran claims this is truth and complete guidance to humanity

B. Irawan said...

Abdul, I don't know whether the internet or books do you any good. Your claim that the Bible is not in original form has been repeatedly stated by moslems, there's nothing new in it. But only bigots would deny the fact that Qur'an previously had so many versions, and that the one you believe as "pure and original" is merely one of many versions that was chosen and later enforced as the holy book. Read and learn from history my friend, don't let your eyes blinded by islamic myths and fairytales....

goethechosemercy said...

Quote:
Yet, it is systematically misrepresented and used against the Catholic Church, against christianity at large and against anything Western and white in general. Given the reality behind the word inquisition, one should ponder why this is. And whether one wishes to enforce this practice.
end quote.

Let me write this again.
The past crimes of Christians or Westerners do not excuse the crimes of Muslims in the here and now.
All this argument demonstrates is that Islam is backward.

Carlos said...

Saudi Arabia's descent into darkness
began with the House of Saud's opportunistic use of Wahabi's
doctrine to excuse attacking fellow Muslim as unbelievers.
Ironically, the HoS wouldn't have succeeded without the help of
the Brits, whose calculated attempt to weaken Islam backfired
with the discovery of oil. With oil money and power, they have been able to export religious poison throughout the Muslim world.

In the 1830's the peninsula was religiously pluralistic with
many areas only 50% Muslim. 400,000 people were either killed,
driven out, or forcibly converted by the HoS in a British financed
war to unite the country. In exchange for political
free reign, the Mullah's religious power is unchallenged.

Anonymous said...

You guys do know that this story isn't true right? did somebody verify the sources in the article before posting their reactions?

not defending islam/saudi arabia, but more like defending rational thinking, free thought, and credibility of information..

Oh the ignorance..!

Anonymous said...

Abdul4911,

The charge of changes made to the bible comes from what, outside of the assertion of verses from the Koran and some hadith? In fact there is better early evidence for the Jewish and Christian holy books than for most other texts; the Dead Sea Scrolls and many other discoveries prove just how accurate our present versions are. As for the Koran, it seems to me to bear no evidence of divine origin at all. It is a hodge-podge of semi-understood ideas from Jewish, Christian, Christian heretical, and pagan thought, with not a jot of real originality. The supposed science in the book? all from Greeks and Babylonians who lived hundreds of years earlier. And Allah has a funny habit of changing his mind depending on how things are going for Mohammed, the self-proclaimed "prophet." Not saying it's all bad or wrong, but anything good in there comes from an earlier source. Not very impressive. And all held together with violence, fear, greed, and ambition. Oh well, I'm sure another "prophet" will come along and declare himself the last. Meanwhile, the true prophets of the hebrew bible and Jesus Christ made it very clear: all of God's commandments, and the very nature of God Himself, can be summed up in one word: LOVE. Think about that when you recall those barbaric mutawai'in pushing little girls back into a burning school to be burned to death. Is that what your "god" wants? Even satan worshippers are not as vile and evil.