The diary of a Saudi man, currently living in the United Kingdom, where the Religious Police no longer trouble him for the moment.

In Memory of the lives of 15 Makkah Schoolgirls, lost when their school burnt down on Monday, 11th March, 2002. The Religious Police would not allow them to leave the building, nor allow the Firemen to enter.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

The Imam and his unborn child. 

Abortion is a contentious subject in many parts of the world. Opposing views are often characterized as "pro-life" or "pro-choice". "Pro-choice" implies that the mother is exercising a choice to have an abortion. However, in this particularly tragic case, the abortion happened without the mother's agreement.

...a 25-year-old woman identified by Al-Hayat only by the initials A.S., described the Imam as the first man in her life.
She said she did not know much about her husband except that he works as an Imam of a mosque in Riyadh. She was encouraged to accept him and be his second wife only because he was an Imam...

OK, she's wife number two, but at least he's an Imam, so he must be respectable.

She described her life after marriage. He ordered me not to tell anyone in the neighborhood that I am his wife or even utter his name. He totally neglected me to the extent that I had to ask the driver to get me breakfast in Ramadan from one of the charities in the neighborhood.

The Imam should know that Islam compels husbands to treat all wives equally. However he's treating her like a neglected and unacknowledged mistress.

Then she was inconsiderate enough to get pregnant.

She said that when he came to know she was in her third month of pregnancy he told her in straightforward Arabic to get an abortion.

(which is legal in Islam, up to 120 days. However it assumes the wife agreeing)

On hearing this, she fled to her family in Tabuk.
After a few days he came all the way to Tabuk to apologize for his misconduct. He promised he would change his ways and convinced me to accompany him to Riyadh.
When they arrived in Riyadh, she was surprised to find that he had rented a small flat, one room and a toilet on the roof of a building, for her.

This guy is turning into a real charmer. These "one-room and toilet" flats on roofs are where the less caring Saudi families install their Third World housemaids. On the flat roof in full sunlight, usually corrugated iron, imagine that in 120 - 130 degree temperatures. No a/c, naturally, but they can open the window!

From the moment we arrived in Riyadh he started mistreating me and exerting great pressure on me to terminate my pregnancy, she said. When I refused, he resorted to a trick. He replaced the pills prescribed by the doctor with others that induce abortion.

Because of the new pills I developed some complications like difficulty in breathing. This compelled him to take me to Al-Hamadi Hospital where he was told the baby was all right but its heartbeat was weak.
Despite this, he pressed for my discharge under the pretext that he would take me to another hospital. The doctor agreed to discharge me after he signed an undertaking relieving the hospital from any responsibility in case I developed any complications.

So he didn't get his way by switching her pills. What's our "holy man" going to do next?

Instead of taking me to another hospital, he took me to the tiny flat and there he exercised all the acrobat drills he could muster and jumped on my abdomen until he killed the fetus. I was bleeding and (in hospital) the doctors operated on me to clean the uterus and stop the hemorrhage.

He assaults her and kills the unborn child. In my book he's a murderer. What happens to the unfortunate wife?

Immediately after I was discharged from the hospital he divorced me and sent me back to my family,

Sadly, that was predictable. However, this animal finally ends up in court. What's his sentence? A year? Five years? Life?

The ruling by a judge in the Riyadh district court was that the husband should repent and seek Allah s forgiveness for his deceitful act...

If you're still surprised by that, you haven't read enough of this blog yet. Go back to the beginning and read everything to do with women's rights.

The only redeeming thing about this story is that it made the national newspapers. In another 30 years, maybe we'll start to do something about these injustices.

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