Feb 07 2014

Amna Bawazeer

A woman student at a Saudi university died after an ambulance crew was denied access to her because strangely enough they didn’t have a male relative of hers with them.

Amna Bawazeer, 24, died of a heart attack in the compound of the social sciences faculty of Riyadh’s King Saud University.

Local media said medics in an ambulance were denied access because they were not accompanied by a “mahram”, a legal guardian or male member of her family.

Obviously without her father or brother or husband or son along, they would have fucked her, heart attack and all, instead of doing what they could for her and taking her to the hospital. Also obviously even if they hadn’t fucked her she still would have been “dishonored” by their presence without her father or son there to watch, so it’s much better that she’s dead.


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  1. 1
    Ibis3, Let's burn some bridges

    Gotta love that segregation.

  2. 2

    Words fail.

  3. 3
    Anthony K

    Obviously without her father or brother or husband or son along, they would have fucked her she would have seduced them, heart attack and all, instead of doing what they could for her and taking her to the hospital.

    Edited to put the blame in the appropriately pious and kosher place.

  4. 4

    If they’d gone ahead and saved her, of course, her father and brothers would have had to kill her anyway.

  5. 5
    Harald Hanche-Olsen

    According to one news report, “the university’s rector, Badran Al-Omar, denied the report, saying there was no hesitation in letting the paramedics in”.

  6. 6
    Gordon Willis

    Look, you can’t argue with GOD. He’s merciful and compassionate, so he has his reasons. But, EVEN IF HE DOESN’T — ’cos he’s god and doesn’t have to have reasons — well, he’s GOD, for god’s sake, so — tough.

    What’s more, there’s this thing called culture which we have no right to criticise — or so we are told by people who have thought about it; and they must be right, because no one can understand them.

    You must admit that god and culture make a winning combination: all the pain, absolutely no gain (unless god feels like a bit-a-compash-n-mercy* — though we need an imam on hand to explain when it happens, and someone might shoot him), and everything explained.

    Now, I’ve heard a story somewhere about god tossing coins or dice or something to decide whom to send to heaven or to hell — quite regardless of who they are or what they are like or what they have done; and this is, apparently, wonderful, because it means that god is perfectly free to exercise his power in any way he chooses (or doesn’t, in fact, choose, if he so chooses), and everyone who loves god naturally wants him to be perfectly free, as if he had any choice, or as if anyone was going to lock him up.

    The trouble with worshipping absolute power is that you either become totally arrogant and bully everyone else — if you’re strong enough — or you become so powerless that you can’t even help someone in trouble. (No familiar blokes? well, it’s god again, sorry, can’t help…we’ll get into awful trouble, you know…or, anyway, we will if he doesn’t throw a double, or if he does throw a double…or…well, actually, we don’t know what to do…)

    There is another problem with absolute power: once you have it, you can do anything, but it still doesn’t tell you how to get through the day, which is probably the only point. So it’s inevitable that god becomes an eternal tosser.

    *in my English that sounds like bitter compash-n-mercy.

  7. 7
    Wayne Turner

    And yet fundamentalist religion is in ascendancy and making inroads everywhere. Russia, Australia, the UK. At least, that’s how it seems to me at the moment. How long until the laws used to target gays are adopted to target atheists and secular humanists?

  8. 8
    S Mukherjee

    I desperately hope that there isn’t any truth to this story, that it was just a case of the medics tragically failing to get there in time. Otherwise it is just barbaric.

  9. 9
    steve oberski

    I often am told by the religious (mostly xtians in my case) that without god it is not possible to be moral and there is nothing to stop me from an endless spree of murder and rape.

    If this is the level of morality of those whose morality is informed by religion then I think it’s not working very well, is it ?

  10. 10
    Gordon Willis

    I think that religious people surrender their moral sense, along with their common sense, to their imaginary god. They claim god as the source, and therefore their morals come from him, but as there is patently nothing there except their doctrines and desires and fudges they become confused about their natural moral sense and end up either (speaking in practical terms) with no morals at all or in moral conflict with what they are taught (dark night of soul, crisis of faith, heresy, whatever). Faith demands doing things that shock and appal us unreconstructed sinners, and the proof of our sinfulness is how shocked and appalled we are by religion’s immoral demands. Faith reverses every moral good and then denies absolutely that it does so. If it were not recognised religious behaviour we would all agree that it is insane.

  11. 11

    I recall an ‘incident’ a few years back where 16 or 17 Saudi school girls were forced back into a burning building because they weren’t wearing their hijabs.

    They all died.

    Saudi Arabia is the world’s foremost religious and gender apartheid craphole which is why so many fools visit the place to worship god and to shore up their piety and purity.

    Kinda like visitng the old apartheid South Africa in order to combat racism…

  12. 12
    Harald Hanche-Olsen

    The trouble with worshipping absolute power is that you either become totally arrogant and bully everyone else — if you’re strong enough — or you become so powerless that you can’t even help someone in trouble.


    I think that religious people surrender their moral sense, along with their common sense, to their imaginary god.

    I think there is a danger of overgeneralization here. Just as we have become painfully aware, in a post-elevator incident world if not before, that atheists are not necessarily good people, we should also note that religion does not necessarily make you a bad person. I just came back from the funeral of a good, if somewhat distant, friend of mine. He was deeply religious, as is most of his extended family, as I learned during the funeral. I suffered a severe religion overdose during the ceremony! But the one who had died was in all respects a wonderful person – generous and always kind, yet not afraid of taking a stand when needed. Was this despite of, or because of, his religion? I tend to think the former, or at least that religion is somewhat irrelevant to how he turned out to be as a human being. So while I fully endorse Steven Weinberger’s quip that “for good people to do evil – that takes religion”, it is worthwhile to also include his prelude to this statement: “With or without religion, good people can behave well and bad people can do evil” (my emphasis).

  13. 13
    Gordon Willis

    @Harald #12

    Well, first I think that my remark about worshipping absolute power remains untouched by your comment. The more a religion insists on it, the more it encourages the arrogant and discourages the more cooperative, and the doctrine itself renders moral distinctions meaningless. The behaviours you point out are, I believe, covered. Too much independent thought brings one into conflict with authority, because making moral choices must depend on our moral sense, not on religious doctrine, for there is always a need to choose between opposed interpretations and authoritative writings. Religious people believe that they are acting morally because of their faith, and my point is that in one way or another they are wrong: their alternatives, I think, are

    (1) they must choose between conflicting authorities in order to act morally at all,
    (2) they must follow their moral sense without regard to doctrine,
    (3) because their faith-based actions are immoral in practice.

    There is also the serious consideration that for the believer moral decision has to be made in the light of doctrine, so it is not possible to act simply according to one’s best judgement: the believer must act according to what is held to be the will of god, and this is not at all the same thing. In this way, morality is held hostage to dogma which may only by chance meet the needs of any given situation, or which may be in direct conflict with what the believer perceives to be the interests of the parties affected (not aborting a stillbirth to save a woamn’s life, because god must be allowed to decide[!]). How does the believer act when faced with such a dilemma — for example, the one we are actually considering here? Do you try to save a woman’s life and throw yourself on the Divine Compassion, or do you do nothing (and throw both yourself and her on the Divine Compassion)? Why is there a dilemma here at all?

    If you look at the intransigence of the Roman Catholic Church, you’ll see further what I mean about absolute power. The Church simply believes that it is the divinely-appointed arbiter of human affairs. It has always believed this, and it always will, because it is central to its doctrines, validates its doctrines, including its right to change its mind about what is or is not doctrine. This is why it insists on dealing with bad priests the way it does. There can be no question of its acknowledging any duty to report offenders to the secular authorities, because it is for the Church to say what is moral and what is not.

    So the conflict between moral sense and absolute power is embodied in the very existence of the Church. It represents not an alternative, for believers only, but a replacement of ordinary human sense and feeling. It will say what is compassionate, not you or I. And any believer therefore has to choose whether to do as taught or decide that some other course of action is in fact better — and you can no doubt see the terrific consequences of that.

    The point about atheists not being necessarily good is obviously true. Please note that I am arguing that faith is bad, not that atheism is good. The contrast you want is between theocracy and secularism. From what I have said, you will see that I perceive this as a mortal conflict. I do not think that we will get equal rights for women unless religion is defeated.

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