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Monday, June 29, 2009

Saudi Vice, episode 28: Helping kids can be a crime


In the magic kingdom of Saudi Arabia, one can never be too careful in avoiding sin. Even acts that might look like they are laudatory may in fact just be fronts for perverted actions, and it is better to stay on the safe side rather than risk doing something awful...like Khilwa.

Khilwa, of course, is the illegal seclusion of a man and a woman, and something that our heroes, the Saudi Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, is highly attuned to. Even the faintest odor of khilwa can cause the religious police to swoop down and take charge - in the name of protecting the innocent girl, of course.

From the Saudi Gazette:
The former neighbor of two homeless girls and their brother who he took into his home while attempting to find them suitable care through official channels has described his dismay at facing a month in prison after the Commission for Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice (Hai’a) charged him with khilwa, or illegal seclusion with non-related members of the opposite sex.

“It is ironic that I now face a month in prison after the Hai’a arrested me for being in illicit seclusion with the girls,” said the former neighbor of the 13 and 14-year-old girls and their nine-year-old brother. “The case is still being looked into by a court in Makkah.”

The children had been living on the street after being abandoned by the uncle in whose custody they had been placed following their father’s imprisonment and their mother’s remarriage, until their former neighbor saw their plight and took them into his home with his own family while the Ministry of Social Affairs resolved the issue.

He has now spent nearly a year trying to resolve the situation through the Ministry of Social Affairs, the Committee for the Care of Prisoners, and Makkah’s Social Protection Home.

An official from Makkah Social Affairs, which has taken up the case, said the children had been subjected to violence by their uncle, and that an application for urgent shelter had been submitted to the Ministry of Social Affairs.
Indeed, from the Commission's perspective, it is far safer for two teenage girls to live on the street than to be taken into the house of a caring neighbor. Because that neighbor could be a pervert.

You might ask, who has such a twisted mind as to even consider that the girls could be molested by their neighbor? The answer, again, lies with our heroes, who only have the best interests of the girls at heart. If they can imagine it with their clean Koranic minds, it must be true.