Saturday, April 15, 2006

Rule of Law article by Ibrahim Mugaiteeb in Wall Street Journal

As a former expat to Saudi Arabia, I am still interested in news pertaining to the kingdom and its people. Hence I visit daily the Religious Policeman and Saudi Jeans.
So I was quite pleased to read an article in the Wall Street Journal by Mr. Mugaiteeb, who was assisted for this article by Christoph Wilcke. Mr. Wilcke is a researcher for the Human Rights Watch organization.

Mr. Mugaiteeb tells us of the many instances where the rule of law is arbitrarily "wielded" by the regular police.(not to be confused with the religious police)He gives many examples. For instance, the jailing of two young men because they were wearing red for Valentine's Day. Excuse me? That does sound like the workings of the religious policeman, but let me continue.

A Western expatriate was involved in a hit and run (him having been 'hit'). After waiting a few hours in vein for the police to show up, he goes to the police station to report it. Well, what do you know, he gets arrested for leaving the scene of a crime. Excuse me again?? (btw..if you are involved in any fender bender, you have to report it to the police by law)

Ibrahim Mugaiteeb tells stories of many people jailed without charge or having gone to trial. Some people are in jail just for having received a text message from an opponent in exile. He tells of a judicial system that hasn't codified the Shariah law that is practiced in KSA and how judges at their discretion can interpret it how ever they want, and how strict to whomever they want.

Unfortunately, I cannot link to his article as I am only a newspaper subscriber to WSJ, but that doesn't include online access. Short of duplicating the whole thing, I think the main and important gist of this article, specifically printed in or for the WSJ is this;

Washington needs to put pressure on the Saudi government to truly impart reforms that address the many (human rights) abuses and discrimination that happen on a daily basis.If Washington considers the KSA vital to their oil interest or the supposed stability in the region, the US government needs to recognize that abused and discontented people will turn against them. We already have plenty of proof from saudi mujahideen doing their grandioze killing deeds in Iraq and formerly in Afghanistan.

As the United States does not make serious demands for the improvement for democratic reforms in Saudi Arabia, the people of the country will continue to see a super power that makes (reform) demands of other countries as it suits them. Not exactly something the United States ought to do, and behooves to do with all that terrorist activities coming out of that country. Which is a shame, because I know there are plenty of ordinary saudi citizens, sunni and shia (sp?) alike who just want to live, real ordinary lives. In Sha'Allah.


Anonymous dude said...


so i have a quesition for you. from 2 blogs ago, i learned that blogging takes up a lot of time, specially if u want to be disciplined. from the days of having a website that could aribitarily be updated, blogs ought to be updated semi-regular.

my current one is such that it can be updated easily everyday, thoroughly on a semi-regular basis.

urs look like u have put in fair bit of work in each post. whats ur motivation?

11:20 PM  
Blogger Ingrid said...

Well, consider it a "I can't help myself" kinda thing. I start out with an idea or something I read. Usually, I might have some thoughts floating around in my head. Then, I just start writing. I edit just a little bit and I usually edit after I have published my post. I find it easier to 'see' how the thing looks like and sometimes I notice spelling mistakes or grammatical errors when I see the post 'in full' as it were. If I could spent more time on thinking about writing, I would write during the weekend and write several posts, then edit after I'd been away from it. I have always loved writing but when you have ideas buzzing in your head, and a fair amount at that, I need to be careful to not be presumptious in my writing.
Maybe it's a cop out to say, "I can't help myself", but it is an outlet from the current boring life I lead (stay at home mom) and I am just a person that needs to have her brain be engaged. Making friends has been kinda hard and I can't say I have found someone I can really connect with, because I just don't have anyone to talk about all these issues. Thank God for the internet!

I think that as far as blogs are concerned, I don't think you need to worry about having to update it everyday if that is not your style. The urge is always to 'produce' something of value because I think most people want to have some feedback (and positive at that). I felt/feel the same thing. However, I think the longer you write, the faster and easier it is to put your ideas down concisely and quickly.
Also, I write, and then I look for sites to insert that are appropriate or applicable. Having had to read A LOT for my poli sci courses, I am used to scanning and reading fast without necessarily reading slow to have everything sink in. If I were to have to study, I would not retain anything the way I scan the info I put in. So perhaps that makes you think that I put a lot of effort in. It ranges from 30 to 45 minutes. Sometimes an hour but not often due to time constraints. (I am also a fast typer, it helps)
Let me know if you're ready to have me read your blog, I'd love to see it.
Hope I didn't ramble on too much and answered your question satisfactory. See ya dude! Happy Easter,

10:38 AM  
Anonymous dude said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10:40 PM  
Anonymous dude said...

PS: could u delete the email addy once u read the comment. cheers!

10:41 PM  
Blogger Ingrid said...


today there was a major surge and the computer shut down for the whole day. My computer geekie husband (she said lovingly) came home late (7pm-ish) and said he had the same problem at work and areas of town were out of street lights etc. Anyhow, I looked and checked and checked again, I cannot see a way to delete your email addy. I looked all over and tomorrow I will check with the help desk. Somehow, if I go to the edit section, it only allows me to edit my post, not the comment. I can 'hide' the comment section, but then I could not have a discussion going. I will try to solve this though!!
I'll be back online with both kiddies at school and some time to myself (to blog etc.)...
and I'll email you too.
peace dude!

9:17 PM  
Anonymous dude said...

just delete it. it was primarily to get u the email addy.

the wife has joined forces on the blog.. dangerous. so when we have that sorted out, will get u the url, only fair.

1:20 AM  

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