Tag Archives: Saudi Arabia

News Sandwich: Rahaf Mohammed

Reposted from News Sandwich

This week we learned of a beautiful, courageous, independent woman who had the initiative to escape her abusive, traditional Muslim, Saudi Arabian family. She was en route to Australia, tourist visa in hand, and ended up being detained by the Thai authorities, who–under pressure from Saudi Arabia–intended to send her back to her family. But did she give up? No. She barricaded herself in her airport hotel room, where she was told to wait for the next flight back to Kuwait. And she started tweeting. Soon the whole world became aware of her plight, putting enough pressure on the Thai authorities that they had to refrain from forcibly deporting her, and allow the United Nations to intervene.

More on Rahaf’s plight here:

At first I was skeptical as to whether the UN would be much help. After all, they’re the organization that is seriously considering trying to do whatever it can to outlaw “blasphemy,” and Rahaf is an atheist apostate. But, perhaps due to the spotlight Rahaf created for herself, they ended up granting her refugee status. This, under the current bureaucratic regime, allows countries to consider her application for asylum–and prevents Thailand from sending her back to Saudi Arabia. Her first choice had been Australia, but the latest word is that Canada was the first country on her list of preferences to actually agree to admit her. Good for them. And her.

Even though I spent much of Sunday night messaging any contact I could think of to help get her here, in hindsight I think this is probably better for her. (Even better, of course, would have been her first choice, Australia.) Our country, at its best, would have been the natural place for a woman with such independence, courage, and initiative. But our current President is too unwelcoming, and way too chummy with the Saudis. (And apparently we are, in the United States in the 21st century, regularly approving child bride requests, giving legal sanction to this horrific abuse of women and girls.)

So Rahaf is on her way to (relative) freedom, but that doesn’t mean that she’s no longer in danger. Even in the limited time I spent posting on social media on Rahaf’s behalf, I ended up receiving a number of hostile responses, including one actual threat. I can only imagine how many she must have received. (As of this writing, she has at least temporarily deactivated her Twitter account, due to the threats she received.)  Unfortunately the same actions that were necessary for Rahaf to take, to bring the world’s attention to her case, to give her a real chance of escape, will now also make her vulnerable wherever she goes.

Moroever, there are still many more women, still stuck in Saudi Arabia, facing the same conditions that Rahaf was. And their situation is not helped by the way that many in the media have been framing her story. The headline of the one I found on Apple News this morning says that she has “fled ‘abusive’ family.” And from what I hear, that’s typical of much of the news coverage about her case. How does anyone expect the conditions faced by Saudi women to improve, if no one is brave enough to even name the problem properly: She’s an atheist apostate, and her home country, Saudi Arabia, would allow her family to kill her for it, without even blinking.

Nonetheless, despite the media’s attempt to minimize the nature of the plight faced by Rahaf and other Saudi Arabian women, she has inspired many of them to demand better for themselves. I don’t know that I’m as optimistic as Mona Eltahawy, who said she thinks there will now be a revolution in Saudi Arabia due to the inspiration Rahaf has provided. But it’s clear, judging by the reaction I saw on Twitter and elsewhere, that Rahaf has made a difference.

And while, as I said, she herself is still at some risk, she has earned a real shot at a great life, in the type of country she deserves: one that provides religious freedom, equal rights for women, and significantly better prospects for safety. Rahaf, I admire what you’ve done and I wish you the best in your new life.

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“GOP Establishment Clamor to Fill Empty Vessel, Donald Trump,” today at 3 p.m. ET (12 p.m. PT)

I’ve got a number of stories planned today, but enough of them center on the recent embrace of Donald Trump by the GOP Establishment to justify a show title 🙂

See Program Notes, below, for all the stories, etc., I plan to discuss!

Join in live, either by phone or in the chatroom!

The show can be accessed here.

To access the show’s page at BlogTalk Radio, which will allow you to check out a past episode or to subscribe via iTunes and other services, use this link.

To access the iTunes store page for “Don’t Let It Go…Unheard,” where you can find past episodes, subscribe, and leave ratings and reviews (pretty please!), use this link.

Finally, if you would like to support the show financially, please donate using your Pay Pal account or Credit Card here.

Program Notes

Bruising Cruz HT Bosch Fawstin

A G.O.P. Majority in New Hampshire Pipes Up: We’re Not for Trump

Long-Time Leaders of Conservative Movement Unite in Support of Ted Cruz

What Would a Donald Trump Presidency Look Like? HT Bosch Fawstin

Trump Says He Will Force Apple to Manufacture in the US Even Though That Makes Absolutely No Sense HT Bosch Fawstin

Watch: Marco Rubio’s Inspiring, Honest Answer to an Atheist’s Challenge

Krauthammer’s Take: Hillary E-mail Scandal Now ‘Worse than What Snowden Did’ HT Glenn Jameson

Saudi Arabia’s Top Cleric Forbids Chess, but Players Maneuver

GOP explodes in anger as feds create Iran carve-out for visas

Danish Town Makes Pork Mandatory In Public Institutions to Aid Integration HT Bosch Fawstin

Michael Douglas to Advocate for Israel on U.S. Campus Tour HT Bosch Fawstin

Charlotte Rampling: Oscars diversity row ‘racist to whites’

This Time, Cheaper Oil Does Little for the U.S. Economy

How Bad Are the Job Cuts? HT Stuart Hayashi

Exclusive: Former Pearson Exec Reveals Anti-American Agenda in Common Core

Baby contracts rare case of scurvy after drinking only almond milk HT Robb Wolf

The Eight-Second Attention Span

Cardiff University scientists discover asthma’s root cause HT Michael Brown

One Hospital Tells You What You Will Have To Pay — Before The Surgery HT Rob Abiera?

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Don’t Let It Go Unheard, TONIGHT at 8 p.m. PT (11 p.m. ET)

Tonight we will have our third DLIGU in one week–a first! (For the foreseeable future, we’ll normally be having two shows a week, on Tuesday and Friday evenings.)

Join us live at 8 p.m. PT to discuss a variety of stories. See Program Notes, below, for all the stories, etc., we plan to discuss.

The show can be accessed here.

To access the show’s page at BlogTalk Radio, which will allow you to check out a past episode or to subscribe via iTunes and other services, use this link.

To access the iTunes store page for “Don’t Let It Go…Unheard,” where you can find past episodes, subscribe, and leave ratings and reviews (pretty please!), use this link.

Finally, if you would like to support the show financially, please donate using your Pay Pal account or Credit Card here.

Program Notes

Co-Pilot in Germanwings Crash Hid Mental Illness From Employer, Authorities Say

Harry Reid to Retire From Senate in 2016

Elizabeth Warren: banks could halt donations in protest at senator’s plans

Saudi Arabia says it won’t rule out building nuclear weapons

Ron Paul supporters bolt Rand Paul camp HT Craig, Bosch Fawstin

Ohio Gov. John Kasich Demonstrates Why Republicans Are Losers

Ted Cruz’s Rollout Breaks the Rules, Scores a Quick Million

Actor Gary Sinise demands Obama ANSWER for men who died to save ‘deserter’ Bergdahl

Jen Psaki: Bowe Bergdahl Release ‘Absolutely’ Worth It [VIDEO]

Hillary Clinton Sends Warning to Media of Words She Won’t Allow Them to Use to Describe Her During Run for President

Companies, employees increasingly becoming targets of government investigations HT Rob Abiera

Google to Congress: It’s Time to Reform Our Surveillance Laws HT Gayle Parker

Obama’s revenge: US declassifies report on Israel’s nuclear program

Australia foils 230 Muslims trying to leave the country to join the jihad

Ford launches car that prevents you from speeding

Nile Rodgers, Mark Ronson, Janelle Monáe and John Frusciante confirmed for new Duran Duran album HT Rob Abiera

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