Monday, May 12, 2008

The Stench of Evil

While significant chunks of world opinion endlessly tells itself that America is the world's worst calamity and that Israel is even worse, every now and then a report seeps through to make your blood run cold. The Observer (at the Guardian's website) offers a long report about the sub-human situation of the women of Yemen (with grim comparisons to other parts of the Arab world).

It's horrifying. And it's sanctioned by somebody's God. And the only hope offered by the article is that Oxfam is sort of trying to perhaps make things a wee bit better at the edges of the issue.

It's a sick world we live in. Twisted.


Lydia McGrew said...

I wondered if this story would mention the story that was out a month or so ago: A little 8-year-old girl walked up to a Yemeni court and said she wanted a divorce. Her story has a so-far-happy ending. She got her divorce and was put in the custody of an uncle who apparently isn't going to force her to get married again any time soon. She signed a marriage agreement after her parents told her that she wouldn't have to live with the man until she was 18. They did it because they were poor, and he paid them. In essence, she was sold. Then her "husband" demanded she live with him. Her parents sent her. She was raped multiple times. Her "husband" admits all of this without the slightest shame. "She was my wife," he says. The only thing he denies is beating her, which she claims. Thank goodness the court gave her the divorce. The story was linked from Jihad Watch.

Ibrahim Ibn Yusuf said...

Really blood-curdling. ALMOST as blood-curdling as the news item titled, Woman beaten on J'lem bus for refusing to move to rear seat, which described a behavior that is, too, sanctioned by "somebody's" God. Not only by their God: also by their state, since the Israeli-state-controlled company Egged operates 24 inter-city "mehadrin" lines on which men and women are segregated -- a policy enforced, violently if necessary, by male passengers.

Lydia, in Spanish we have a proverb about glass houses and stone-throwing -- does it exist in English too?

Ibrahim Ibn Yusuf said...

I've been doing some more research, and it turns out that Haredi men don't even respect severely sick women. I quote from the Jerusalem Post:

Doctors recommend that sufferers of motion sickness sit in the front of the bus. Motion sickness is caused when the balance center of the inner ear sends information to the brain that conflicts with the visual data of standing or sitting in a closed cabin. Facing forward with a clear view of the road and surroundings alleviates the conflict.

But this medical detail was missed on the passengers of line 982.

"When I first got on the bus there were only a few people", recounts Ronit. "I explained to the driver my situation and he seemed to understand. So did a haredi man.

"But soon the bus began filling up. One haredi man came up to me and explained that I was on a Mehadrin bus and, therefore, I must sit in the back.

"'Perhaps the men could sit in the back and the women in the front', I suggested. But he rejected that possibility. I told him I could not continue to talk to him because I needed to look out the window, but advised him to sit someplace where he could not see me."


"But then one of them stood up in the aisle and began praying out loud. 'Lord, Almighty give that woman the reason to do the right thing and sit in the back of the bus. Convince her it is the right thing to do.'"

I'm with you, Yaacov. It's a sick world we live in.

Lydia McGrew said...

Uh-huh. Almost as blood-curdling as that. (Sheesh.)