Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah pardoned a female rape victim who had been sentenced to six months in prison and 200 lashes for being alone with a man who was not related to her. Saudi Justice Minister Abduallah bin Muhammed al-Sheik told reporters the pardon does not meant the king doubted the country’s judges, but instead acted in the “interests of the people.” The victim, known only as the “girl of Qatif” had met with a friend who had some pictures of her and while they were in his car, a gang of seven men raped her. Earlier this month, President Bush expressed anger at the verdict saying he would be furious if the victim had been one of his own daughters, but emphasized it was a person opinion and he would not make it known to the Saudi Arabian government.
It is good news that victims of rape are not being punished, but bad news that judges who impose such ridiculous sentences are defended by the Saudi government. The double standard for Saudi women is an atrocity that can not be logically explained except that it pinpoints the attitude of a male chauvinistic society that claims to be religious while violating the basis principles of their own religion. George Bush is ready at any time to denounce terrorism and the lack of democracy, but will not open his mouth when dealing with nations that sell oil to this nation.