Thursday, January 17, 2008

Saudi teacher beaten up; police refuse to enter girls school to save her

From the Arab News:
Angry Man Barges Into Girls’ School

A man and his wife and one of his daughters busted into a girl’s secondary school here and beat up a teacher inside, the daily Al-Watan reported yesterday.

According to the report, the family was upset at the teacher because she wouldn’t allow one of the daughters out of school at the end of the day for some unknown reason.

OK, so the guy (and his wife and daughter) have some anger issues. An interesting "oddly enough"-type story that is similar to many that happen in the West.

But what happened afterwards is far more newsworthy than the headline:

The building superintendent, upon hearing the ruckus inside, refused to enter the building due to the social restrictions on men entering women-only areas such as girl’s high schools.

Even the police didn’t go in after they were called; they waited until the man came out and arrested him.

Men who were in a position to save a female teacher from being beaten up by three angry people - who, for all they knew, was being murdered inside - refused to help her out because she was a woman, and surrounded by girls! Police, whose very job should be to protect innocent people in exactly these sorts of circumstances, refuse to do so because of the bizarre Saudi social construct of separating men and women.

One can only imagine the scene as men stand outside the girls' school, listening to a teacher's screams as she is being beaten, calmly waiting for the assaulter to exit so they can apprehend him - without being forced to look at high school girls.

And the Saudi-based Arab News thinks that the main story is the beating, not the gross negligence on the part of the men.