Murphy's Law: Saudi Sex Scandal Simmers

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September 10, 2014: Saudi Arabia is trying to cope with a huge scandal that involved the importation of Moslem women and arranging for them to marry Saudi men for a short period to serve, basically, as sex slaves. Many of the women were teenagers. For the women this is not always consensual and was often coerced. In effect this was a major prostitution ring that managed, for years, to operate within the letter, if not the spirit of Islamic marriage law. But as the popularity of this sort of thing spread so did the discreet but persistent criticism of it from many clerics and Saudi women.

Apparently the practice was so widespread that the government recently enacted some interesting laws, in addition to frantic, and very discreet, efforts to clean up the mess before it becomes widely known. A lot of publicity over this mess would mean trouble for the Saud family, which rules Saudi Arabia by virtue of being the guardian of the most holy places of Islam and, in effect (and not universally recognized) leader of the Islamic world. If this scandal became a major worldwide news story it would hurt the standing of the Saudis and encourage their rivals (as leaders of Islam) ISIL and Iran.

The new laws prohibit Saudi men from marrying women from Pakistan, Bangladesh, Chad and Burma. These are apparently the countries where most of the female sex slaves come from. According to official data there are currently 500,000 women from these four countries in Saudi Arabia. There are currently 8.1 million foreigners living in Saudi Arabia (about 30 percent of the population).

The Saudis have also changed the marriage laws. From now on all marriages with foreigners must obtain government permission. Saudi men must be over 25 in order to marry a foreign woman. Once a man has divorced one of his wives, he cannot marry again for at least six months. Saudi men must get permission from their first wife in order to marry a foreign woman. You can see from all these new rules how the prostitution scam operated. Technically legal but totally depraved.

Many foreign Moslems consider the Saudis racist and believers in the idea that, while all Moslems are equal, Arab Moslems are more equal and Saudi Moslems are the most equal of all. This has been a problem for a long time and this scandal, and the general abuse of all foreign Moslems working in Saudi Arabia puts an unwelcome (by the Saudis) spotlight on it.

 


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