Saudi Arabia is often touted by President Bush as a stalwart ally of the United States in its fight to protect and extend democracy in the world. Saudi leaders are cited as being “good Muslims” unlike the barbaric Taliban or al-Qaeda. An eight year old Saudi Arabian girl was married off by her father to a 58 year-old man in order to spite his ex-wife. A petition was filed by the unmarried mother after the marriage contract had been signed by her ex-husband, but the court denied her request. According to her lawyer, Abdullah Jtili, “the judge has dismissed the plea because she (the mother) does not have the right to file, and ordered that the plea sold be filed by the girl herself when she reaches puberty.” The little girl has no idea that she is now a married woman. The case appears to fit a pattern in which divorced fathers use their children to get back at the ex-wife.
Perhaps, one of our Saudi Arabian allies in the fight for democracy might try a bit of democracy in his own country.