The Merciful

A Norwegian woman went to Dubai on a business trip. It didn’t go well.

She was raped.

Thinking that the police would help her, she reported the rape to them… and  ended up in jail, her passport stripped from her. She spent three days there  before she was allowed to use a phone to call her family. They, in turn, called  the Foreign Ministry and the Norwegian Consulate, who were able to get the woman released into their custody. They took her to the local Norwegian Seaman’s Center, where she stayed for 6 months until her sentencing.

If that’s not enough to outrage you, her sentence will be: she will be spending 16 months in jail. Alone, in a foreign jail, serving a sentence for having the temerity to get herself raped. Oh, and for drinking alcohol.

 One of the things Islam prides itself on is hospitality (and when I say “prides itself on” I mean “boasts of”).

The true concept of hospitality is not something that is widely practiced in most non-Muslim countries.

For many non-Muslims, the entertainment of guests is of primary importance in many cases for worldly reasons only, not rooted in real hospitality for the sake of God.

In Islam, however, hospitality is a great virtue that holds a significant purpose. Being hospitable to neighbors and guests can increase societal ties as well as unite an entire community. Most importantly, God commands Muslims to be hospitable to neighbors and guests. There is a great reward in doing so. Hospitality in Islam is multi-faceted and covers many different areas in addition to the hospitality that we show guests who visit our homes.

Oh yes? Is that a fact? Is it hospitable to charge, convict and sentence to prison a foreign woman for being raped? Is it hospitable to charge, convict and sentence to prison a foreign woman for such a minor “crime” as drinking alcohol (an act which is not a crime at all in her native country)? Is that a friendly, generous, compassionate, reasonable, kind way to treat strangers? No it is not. It is thuggish, sexist, brutal, and stupid.

One of the things Allah is called is “the merciful.” Really? Is it “merciful” to thrown a foreign woman in jail for being raped? No, it is not. It’s harsh, cruel, and spiteful.

Allah is not a friend to women.


  1. sailor1031 says

    Similar thing happened to an australian woman in UAE a few years ago. It’s almost as if predator males wrote the laws in these places for their own purposes. Oh, wait…….

  2. says

    I take back what I said in an earlier thread about people feeling more free to let loose with sexist comments than racist ones. In the CNN article on this case, “Arabs are animals” comments outnumbered “women are always getting drunk and having sex, then accusing innocent men of rape to protect their reputations” comments by about 3:1.


  1. […] Ophelia Benson is s a columnist for Free Inquiry and the co-author of The Dictionary of Fashionable Nonsense, Why Truth Matters, and Does God Hate Women? You can read more at her Freethought Blog, entitled Butterflies and Wheels, at […]

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