There has been several WEB sites Documenting what can and often does happen to women who marry Saudi nationals, in particular; what happens to their children. These sites were shut down by the United States Government because they didn't want to 'offend' the Saudis'. So much for the freedom of speech. I have included here several very white-washed versions of what goes on. Be advised, any American woman who believes anything a Saudi male tells them is in for a shock.
U.S. Woman to Leave Saudi Arabia Without Children
Thu June 19, 2003 02:32 PM ET
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - An American woman married to a Saudi man decided to leave the U.S. consulate in Jeddah on Thursday to return to the United States, at the cost of handing her two children over to her husband's family, a State Department official said.
Sarah Saga, 24, took refuge in the consulate with her children four days ago because she felt in danger from her husband and her Saudi father, who took her to live in Saudi Arabia when she was five years old.
"We understand that this morning Sarah decided that she would leave Saudi Arabia and that her children would remain in that country in the custody of her husband's family," said Edward Vazquez, a spokesman for the State Department's Bureau of Consular Affairs.
"Our understanding is that they will be turned over to an aunt whom Sarah trusts," he told reporters.
Under Saudi law, husbands have a strong claim to custody over their children. They can also restrict travel their wives' travel but the United States has negotiated an exception for wives who are U.S. citizens and who want to leave the country.
In a telephone interview with ABC's "Good Morning America" show earlier on Thursday, Saga said she would not leave the consulate in Jeddah because she feared her husband and father would hurt her and her children.
"It's very dangerous for me to go out of the consulate. I have no choice but to stay here until I can take my kids with me... The kids might be taken. There is my father out there and my husband. They are both angry and I don't know what they are capable of," she said.
Another U.S. woman married to a Saudi took refuge in the consulate earlier this month under similar circumstances but left on Tuesday to attempt a reconciliation with her husband. The State Department has declined to name her.
Vazquez said the consulate had not tried to influence Saga's decision and remained willing to offer refuge to other U.S. women who feel they are in danger.
Saga went to Saudi Arabia after her Saudi father separated from her American mother, Debbie Dournier, who lives in the United States.
MARRIAGE TO SAUDIS
DISCLAIMER: THE INFORMATION IN THIS CIRCULAR RELATING TO THE LEGAL REQUIREMENTS OF SPECIFIC FOREIGN COUNTRIES IS PROVIDED FOR GENERAL INFORMATION ONLY. QUESTIONS INVOLVING INTERPRETATION OF SPECIFIC FOREIGN LAWS SHOULD BE ADDRESSED TO FOREIGN COUNSEL.
The following information has been prepared by our Embassy in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia to assist American citizen women in understanding more fully the cultural and legal differences they may face if they are considering marrying a Saudi man.
Our Foreign Service posts in Saudi Arabia estimate that approximately 500 American women reside in the Kingdom with their Saudi husbands. Our Embassy is acutely conscious of the dual-national marriages which fail, monitoring approximately 40 child custody cases and instances of extreme marital discord and abuse. But American women who are both happily and unhappily involved in relationships with Saudi men admit to having been appallingly ignorant of the Kingdom and its culture prior to their betrothal. All the women interviewed strongly urged prospective wives of Saudi men to investigate the Kingdom and meet the Saudi in-laws before making a commitment to a culture antithetical to the one in which they were raised.
Survivors of dual-national marriages provide a checklist for American women to consider prior to making a commitment to living in the Kingdom. The stories of those whose marriages have failed underline the necessity of looking before leaping into the cultural chasm that separates Saudi husbands from their American wives.
The following advice and guidelines for women considering marriage to Saudi nationals were culled from interviews with women well known to our Embassy for their embattled relations with their Saudi spouses, from anecdotes from women whose husbands are well known to the Embassy because of their positions in government or business, as well as conversations with women happily or tolerably married to middle and lower class Saudis.
First, the American citizen spouse of a Saudi national is with a handful of exceptions - always female. Saudi women are prohibited from marrying non-Arabs except with a special dispensation from the King. (A dispensation is also required before a Saudi woman may marry an Arab who is not a citizen of the Gulf Cooperation Council - i.e., Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman and the United Arab Emirates). The Embassy is only aware of four American men who are married to Saudis. A few daughters of Saudi diplomats, raised and educated abroad, are also known to have received Kingly dispensation for marriage to Europeans. Most Saudi women who are married to Westerners tend to reside abroad with their husbands.
American spouses fall into two broad categories: Those who are married to well-off, westernized Saudis, and those who are married to not well-off and non-westernized Saudis. Both meet their husbands when they are students in the U.S. The former tend to maintain homes in the Kingdom and in the West, they socialize with other dual-national couples, they send their children abroad for college education (sometimes high school), travel frequently, and while in the Kingdom have the luxuries of drivers, servants and villas separate from where the Saudi in-laws reside. Their husbands permit them to appear before men to whom they are not related, accept - if not encourage their desire to find employment and generally do not require them to veil fully (i.e., cover the fact with one or more layers of cloth) while in public. The women are allowed to travel separately with the dual national children. The women may or may not have converted to Islam; their conversion may or may not be sincere. These represent the minority of dual-national marriages.
Most American women fall in love with westernized Muslim traditionalists, leery of the West and its corrosive ways, and eager to prove their wives' conformity to Saudi standards. The husbands are not Arab Princes" of western folklore; rather, they are part of the vast majority of Saudis who "get along" with the help of extended family members and marginal expectations. Their American citizen wives are often from the South/Southwest (Where many Saudis prefer to study), they have virtually no knowledge of Saudi Arabia other than what their fiances have told them, and do not speak Arabic. When they arrive in the Kingdom, they take up residence in the family's home where family members greet them with varying degrees of enthusiasm and little English. Typically, their only driver will be their husband (or another male family member), their social circle with be the extended family, and they will not be permitted to work or appear uncovered among men to whom their husband is not related. Initially, the American citizen spouse will be almost entirely isolated from the large western community that resides in the Kingdom. Gradually, the spouses who survive, form a network with other American citizen women married to Saudis. The majority of American citizen spouses fall into this category.
Inevitably, American citizen spouses characterize their Saudi husbands during their school days in the United States as being completely "westernized"; drinking beer with the best of them, chasing after women and generally celebrating all the diversities and decadence of a secular society. Women married to Saudis who did not fit the stereotype of the partying, or playboy/prince, are careful to point out that their spouses nevertheless displayed a tolerance toward all of these diversions and, particularly, toward them. In other words, the Saudi-American relationship virtually always blossoms in the States, in a climate which allows dating, cohabitation, children out of wedlock, religious diversity, and a multitude of other Islamic sins which go unnoticed by Saudi relatives and religious leaders thousands of miles away.
American citizen wives swear that the transformation in their Saudi husbands occurs during the transatlantic flight to the Kingdom. There is the universal recollection of approaching Riyadh and witnessing the donning of the black abayas and face veils by the fashionably dressed Saudi women. For many women, the Saudi airport is the first time they see their husband in Arab dress (i.e., the thobe and ghutra). For those American women reluctant to wear an abaya (the all-encompassing black cloak) and for those Saudi husbands who did not make an issue of the abaya prior to arriving, the intense public scrutiny which starts at the airport - given to a western woman who is accompanying a Saudi male is usually the catalyst for the eventual covering up. Since the overwhelming majority of American citizen wives never travel to the Kingdom prior to their marriage, they are abruptly catapulted into Saudi society. When they arrive, their husband's traditional dress, speech, and responsibilities to his family re-emerge and the American citizen wife is left to cope with a new country, a new language, a new family, and a new husband. Whether a Saudi has spent one year or eight studying in the United States, each must return to the fold - grudgingly or with relief - to get along in Saudi society and within the family hierarchy that structures most social and business relations.
Social pressures on even the most liberal Saudi are daunting. Shame is brought upon the entire family for the acts of an American citizen wife who does not dress modestly (e.g., cover) in public, who is not Muslim, who associates with men other than her extended relatives. Silent disapprobation from family and friends is matched by virulent public disapproval by the Kingdom's religious proctors (Mutawwaiin) and vigilante enforcers of the faith. Several American wives, fearing the latest round of religious harassment, have started fully veiling; not to do so, they discovered, meant that public squabbles with the Mutawwaiin who vociferously oppose dual-national marriages. The experience of all dual-national couples is that voluntary and involuntary compromises are made or simply evolve. The sum of these compromises is quite often a life very different than the one imagined and speculated upon in the safety of the United States.
Life in a desert Kingdom which prides itself on its conservative interpretation and application of the Quran (Koran) requires that couples talk about very basis lifestyle issues.
How cosmopolitan is the Saudi husband's family?
All American wives encourage prospective brides to meet the Saudi family before arriving in the Kingdom as a married woman. (Most Saudi families will travel to the U.S. during the course of their sons' studies, if only to attend graduation.) While it is no guarantee of acceptance, a family with regularly travels abroad or one in which the father has been stationed abroad is general more broad-minded when it comes to their son marrying a Westerner. It is the parents who can be the greatest source of pressure on a dual-national marriage and it is important to divine their opinions on what an American wife can and cannot do while living in the Kingdom.
Many newly married couples move in with the groom's parents, in a sprawling villa which may house several other siblings and their wives and families. Privacy is elusive and tensions with family members who for one reason or another resent the presence of an American wife often makes this living arrangement difficult. In a more affluent family, a couple may inhabit one of several homes which compromise a small family compound. Some Saudis live separately in villas or apartments. While that resolves the issue of privacy, many American wives find themselves completely isolated fearing the day, surrounded by neighbors who only speak Arabic, with no access to public or private transportation.
One tolerably married American citizen wife is not permitted to step out on the apartment porch since the risk is too great that an unrelated male would be able to see her.
The most western, but least common, housing arrangement would be an apartment or villa located in a western compound or on the Diplomatic Quarter. There, a semblance of western suburban life goes on behind high walls or, in the case of the Diplomatic Quarter, under the protective gaze of a multitude of Saudi police officers. However, most Saudi owners of western style compounds ban Saudi tenants since they fear western inhabitants would object. The very rare Saudi male who endorses this living arrangement is generally a naturalized Saudi, of Lebanese or Palestinian origin. For the average Saudi family, residence in a western compound would be an unnatural renunciation of Saudi culture and would make one culturally "suspect."
Saudis socialize within the family. Expatriates who have lived and worked for years in the Kingdom may never meet the wife of a close Saudi friend and, according to custom, should never so much as inquire about her health. For an American wife, a social live confined to her husband's family can be stultifying, particularly since few American wives speak, or learn to speak, Arabic. Whether the Saudi husband permits his wife to socialize with men to whom they are not related determines how "normal" (i.e. how western) a social live they will enjoy. Several American wives have difficulty even visiting the American Embassy for routine passport renewals since their husbands are opposed to their speaking to a male Foreign Service Officer. Because of the segregated society, Saudi men naturally spend much of their time together, separate from wives and family. (Even Saudi weddings are segregated affairs, often held on different evenings and in different locations.) Only the most westernized Saudi will commit to socializing with other dual national couples.
Women are prohibited from driving, riding a motorcycle, pedaling a bicycle, or traveling by taxi, train or plane without an escort. All American wives were aware that they would not be able to drive while in the kingdom, but few comprehended just how restricted their movements would be. Only the relatively affluent Saudi family will have a driver on staff, most American women depend entirely upon their husbands and male relatives for transportation. While most expatriate western women routinely use taxis, an American spouse will be expected to have an escort - either another female relative or children - before entering the taxi of an unrelated male.
Travel by train or plane inside the kingdom requires the permission of the male spouse and the presence of a male family escort. Travel outside the Kingdom is even more restricted. Everyone leaving the Kingdom must have an exit visa. For an American spouse, this visa must be obtained by her Saudi husband. The Saudi spouse must accompany his wife to the airport to assure airport officials that he has given his permission for his wife to travel alone or with the children.
One American's marriage contract specified that "she stated that she shall never request to travel from Saudi Arabia with any one of her children unless with his prior consent."
Most American wives believe that the U.S. Embassy can issue exit visas in a pinch. This is not the case. The U.S. Embassy cannot obtain exit visas for American citizens. Passports issued by the Embassy are worthless as travel documents without the mandatory Saudi exit visa. While some more affluent American relatives offer to pay for the American wife to travel independently, this often meets with disapproval from the Saudi husband or family.
There are two hurdles an American wife must overcome before finding work outside the home: The disapproval of the family and the paucity of employment opportunities.
Most husbands will not approve of a wife working outside the home if it entails contact with unrelated men. One American wife, who was a teacher in the U.S. during the entire five years of her courtship with her husband, was shocked when her husband threatened her with divorce when she requested to return to the U.S. to finish up one quarter of classes in order to qualify for a state pension. Now that she was married, the Saudi husband could not tolerate her being in the presence of other men. However, even if the husband is willing, the jobs are few. Employment is generally restricted to the fields of education (teaching women only) and medicine. Unfortunately, there is a tremendous social bias against the nursing profession and Saudi husbands would not approve of a wife working with patients, except in the position of a physician.
Among the younger generation, it is rare for a Saudi to have a second wife but it does occur. A man is legally entitled up to four wives, with the proviso that he is able to financially and emotionally accord them equal status. One American wife discovered that her Saudi husband had married her best friend, also and American, while he was on vacation in the U.S.
In principle, all Saudi men must marry Muslims or converts to Islam. In practice, many American women blur the issue; participating in a Sharia wedding ceremony but never actually converting.
The pressure to become a Muslim, or to be come a sincere Muslim, is enormous and never-ending. There is no separation of church and state in Saudi Arabia, and at the popular level there is simply no comprehension of religious freedom of the desire to remain Christian or undecided One American wife, who is approaching her tenth wedding anniversary has been terrorized by relatives who insist that the King has ordered that all women who don't see the light after ten years must be divorced and deported. For another, the pressure comes mainly from her children who are mercilessly teased at school for having a foreign, non-Muslim mother. (Half-hearted converts to Islam find that their children are ridiculed for having mothers who pray awkwardly or not at all.) One Saudi teacher informed the children of an American citizen mother, who has sincerely concreted to Islam, that their mother could never be a Muslim since "only Arabs can be Muslim." Women who don't convert must accept that their children, through hours of Islamic education a day at school and under the tutelage of the family, will be Muslim. Women who do convert must understand that their conversion, particularly in the aftermath of a divorce, will be suspect and their fidelity to Islam perceived to be less than their husband's.
Saudi Arabia has one of the highest birthrates in the world and families with five or more children are the norm. The family is the basic unit of Saudi life and family members have must closer relations than in the United States. Every family member feels free to give an opinion on any facet of another family member's life. Siblings - particularly an older brother -are expected to financially aid each other and males must band together to guard the honor of their female relations. Children are not expected or encouraged to leave the nest; rather, extended adolescence can occur well into a man's early thirties.
To a much greater degree than in the West, Saudi children are indulged. Little girls are dressed in miniature prom dresses, little boys wear the latest in western sport togs. Both wreak havoc. American wives must suffer silently when the children of various relations run riot through the house. One wife related the story of a brother-in-law's child who carefully doled out chocolate pudding on the brand new furniture. When she scolded the child, she was in turn scolded for making a fuss about something that could be cleaned.>
On the other hand, the Saudi family is replete with baby sitters and children always have young and old playmates. with whom to mix. Because foreign labor is so cheap in Saudi Arabia, even lower middle class families will have an Indonesian or Filipina housemaid to help with the chores. Among the very affluent Saudi families and particularly within the royal family, each child will generate its own servant.
Many American mothers are frustrated by the dearth of things to do with their children. Absent a driver, mothers are cooped up at home with the children and, even with a driver, there are few venues to visit.
What will it be like to raise a daughter?
Cultural differences are never greater than when it comes to the role of women and raising a daughter is a challenge in any Saudi-American marriage. Growing up in the Kingdom, a young girl will naturally look forward to the day when she comes of age and can wear the abaya and cover her hair. She will naturally be very devout. She may be expected to marry a first cousin. While playing a central role in the family, a girl is nevertheless a statutory second class citizen who needs to be protected and whose word is worth only half of a man's.
For a Saudi girl, this is the natural state of affairs; for an American mother of a Saudi girl, it can be unsettling. Not surprisingly, most of our child custody cases in which a child has been kidnapped from the United States involve a Saudi father "saving" his daughter from a sinful" society and her "decadent" mother.
Since Saudi women are prohibited from marrying western men, an American mother must expect her daughter to integrate more tightly into Saudi society. This is not necessarily the case with sons who might be encouraged to study in the U.S. (Saudi girls are permitted to study in the U.S. only if they are chaperoned by a family member), who could freely travel to the West, whose business might facilitate travel between the two countries, and who might elect to marry an American woman. Several very liberal Saudi fathers and the American wives have been embarrassed by their more conservative daughters' decisions not to attend school in the United States in deference to the disapproval of their culture.
In the worst scenario, an American wife can find herself summarily divorced, deported, and deprived of any Light of visitation with her dual national children. Sharia law decidedly favors men in the dissolution of marriage. And the laws of Saudi Arabia require that all individuals be sponsored by a Saudi citizen in order to receive a visa, resident or otherwise. Therefore, once a marriage breaks up, the ex-wife must leave the Kingdom and may only return with the explicit permission and sponsorship of her ex-husband. (In cases where the Saudi husband attempts to prevent his spouse from leaving, the Embassy can call upon Saudi authorities to facilitate the American wife's departure. The Embassy cannot force a Saudi husband to relinquish the children.)
In one instance, an American who had undergone a bitter divorce and child custody battle with her Saudi husband, applied for and receive a visa to work with a company located in the Kingdom. Once the Saudi husband and the Saudi authorities discovered her presence, she was thrown into jail and ultimately forced to leave her position and the country.
Theoretically, a mother should maintain custody the children until the ages of 7-9, when their primary care would be transferred to their father. However, the ultimate objective of a Sharia court in the settlement of custody issues is that the child be raised a good Muslim. Whether a convert or not to Islam, an American woman will not overcome the prejudice against her upbringing and society. The Embassy has no knowledge of an American or any western woman ever winning custody of dual national children in a Sharia court.
It is impossible to legally leave the Kingdom with out the express permission of the Saudi husband. A woman who wishes to leave her husband but is pregnant at the time, can be required to wait until after the birth of the child. The same would hold true if the Saudi husband passed away - custody of the children and any unborn child would remain with the closest living Saudi male relative.
Can an American woman be denied visitation rights with her children?
A Saudi husband must giver explicit permission for a divorced wife tovisit her children in the Kingdom. The Embassy has worked with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to create the "no-objection" visa. The ex-husband must be willing to sign a statement that he has no objection to his ex-wife visiting the Kingdom. In that statement, the ex-husband establishes how long he is willing to let his ex-wife remain in the country. The history of no-objection visas is mixed.
A husband often objects to the emotional disruption of a visit from the American wife. Often the husband's second wife becomes jealous, and the American mother finds that her visits are restricted in time and carried out in full view of the extended Saudi family.
Only one American wife has successfully made no-objection visits over the course of the last five years. She has been successful because she speaks Arabic (Dual national children quickly lose their English skills once their mother departs the Kingdom), has managed to maintain steady relations with her ex-husband, and reconciled herself to the fact that her child would spend at least his first 18 years in the Kingdom. If the custody dispute has involved kidnapping by one or both parents, then by the time the children reach the Kingdom the father has no interest in facilitating relations with the American citizen mother. In these cases, all communication can be closed off and Saudi authorities will not intercede in family disputes. Consular Officers are rarely permitted to pay "Welfare and Whereabouts" visits.
Because the customs and laws of the Kingdom are so at variance with the expectations and emotional imperatives of an American citizen wife in the event of a divorce, an AMERICAN considering marriage to a Saudi must always contemplate the worst case scenario. American wives are bitterly disappointed and angry when they discover the limits of the Department's and Embassy's ability to intervene or resolve family disputes. The Department can provide no guidance on which marriages will succeed. But knowledge of Saudi Arabia and its particular interpretation of Islam should be an American woman's first step in determining whether the compromises required are worth the proposed relationship.
International Adoption & Child Abduction
Saudi decree bans marriage to Western women
SPECIAL TO WORLD TRIBUNE.COM
Monday, March 25, 2002
ABU DHABI -- Saudi Arabia has imposed new measures meant to prevent the entry of foreigners into the kingdom's elite via marriage.
Saudi sources said authorities want to prevent the entry of Western women into the kingdom, Middle East Newsline reported. They said Saudi princes and students often marry abroad, which has resulted in tens of thousands of Saudi women being unable to find a spouse. The most desirable women, the sources said, are those from English-speaking countries.
Last week, the Saudi Council of Ministers imposed a ban on senior officials and Saudis working or studying abroad. These include officials from the Defense Ministry, Foreign Ministry, National Guard, intelligence and security services and judges and prosecutors.
The measures include a ban on marrying members of undisclosed foreign nationalities and religions. Those who violate the new orders face dismissal and imprisonment.
The measure warns that Saudis will not be permitted to marry women from undesirable backgrounds. They include those "unwanted for personal, nationality or religious reasons, including those having faiths not recognized by Islam."
The council also included in the ban Saudis who are not connected to the government. They are chairmen of Saudi private companies as well as students.
The council said Saudi men can marry women from the Gulf Cooperation Council. The GCC is a six-member group comprised of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
Roush, others demand feds do more to rescue children held captive in kingdom
Posted: June 13, 2002
1:00 a.m. Eastern
By Mandi Steele
© 2002 WorldNetDaily.com
WASHINGTON - Demanding that the federal government do more to help U.S. citizens held against their will in Saudi Arabia, three mothers of kidnapped offspring testified at a House committee hearing yesterday, telling members how their children were abducted illegally by their former husbands and forced to live in the Middle Eastern kingdom.
Members of the House Committee on Government Reform, agreeing that the government should take more action on behalf of kidnapped Americans, promised to write a letter to President Bush asking for his personal involvement in the international kidnappings.
Rep. Dan Burton, R-Ind., chairman of the committee, said the letter will attempt to persuade the president to ask Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia that the American citizens be released and allowed to come back to the U.S.
Saudi Arabia "must be taken to task," he said during the hearing.
Patricia Roush, whose two daughters, Alia and Aisha Gheshayan, were taken from her 16 years ago, testified at the hearing - titled "Should the United States Do More to Help U.S. Citizens Held Against Their Will in Saudi Arabia?" - as part of her continuing efforts to have her daughters returned to the U.S.
Roush told WorldNetDaily she was "heartened" by the hearing.
"This is the most press we've gotten in ages," she said.
In her statement to the committee, Roush said: "Saudi Arabia has violated my human rights and the human rights and constitutional rights afforded to my daughters as American citizens. The U.S. State Department is an accessory and active conspirator in the denial of these rights."
Burton asked Roush if the State Department currently had a plan to bring her daughters back to the U.S.
"The State Department never had a plan to get my daughters out of Saudi Arabia," she answered.
Ethel Stowers is the grandmother of Amjad Radwan, who also is being held captive by her father in Saudi Arabia. Stowers testified that the State Department is doing nothing to help her daughter, Monica Stowers, get Amjad back.
A video of Monica's testimony was presented at the hearing. She related the story of how she brought her daughter and son to the U.S. Embassy in Saudi Arabia to seek help and was told by the staff that they could not help her. She refused to leave, fearing Saudi police might arrest her. The embassy had two marines force her to leave, she said.
The committee grilled two staff members of the State Department for information concerning kidnapped children in Saudi Arabia. They said the child abduction cases were some of the most "difficult and tragic" cases they have had to deal with.
Ryan Cocker, deputy assistant secretary for Near Eastern Affairs, said they are "particularly difficult" because the department has to work through the laws of the countries in which the abducted Americans reside.
Defending the State Department, Cocker testified that the agency has "not been inactive" in the parental kidnapping cases. Officials try to talk to Saudi government personnel and try to arrange meetings between the mothers and their children, he says.
The problems the State Department face are with the Saudi government, officials testified. Saudi men have complete control over their children, including the right to physically and sexually abuse them. The Saudi government gives them this right and refuses to get involved in the situations, the State officials asserted, even if the victim is a kidnapped American citizen.
Rep. Doug Ose, R-Calif., said he was "appalled" at the way the women were treated by their own embassy and State Department.
"Something's got to change here," he said.
Ose remarked that with all the funding Congress gives the State Department, they should be able to do something more to help victims of Saudi kidnappings.
Since she could get no help from the U.S. government, Miriam Hernandez-Davis arranged for her daughter, Alexandria Davis, to escape from Saudi Arabia. Her ex-husband had taken her daughter to Saudi Arabia, and refused to let Alexandria return and beat her when she asked to go back to her mother, Alexandria testified. Miriam told the committee she paid $180,000 for her daughter's escape. Alexandria is one of the few kidnapped children who managed to return to the U.S.
"I could not understand why my country would let me down and not help me,"Alexandria told the committee members.
Many members said that the U.S. needs to re-evaluate its relationship with Saudi Arabia because the Saudis are violating human rights.
"In many respects," said Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., "Saudi Arabia doesn't act like an ally."
Also testifying yesterday, Doug Bandow, senior fellow at the Cato Institute, said that oil the U.S. obtains from Saudi Arabia is not worth the restrictions and abuse the Saudis direct towards American citizens.
Asking the witnesses for names of individuals within the U.S. Embassy in Riyadh, as well as in the FBI and State Department that refused to help them, committee members vowed to investigate the parties responsible. Burton told Ethel Stowers he would subpoena the woman who forced her daughter to leave the embassy to compel her appearance before a committee hearing.
A letter to Bush from the committee was to be drafted yesterday, asking for the president's personal help in rescuing as many as 92 known kidnapped children being held in Saudi Arabia.
The committee also planned to look into stopping the issuance of visas and passports to those involved in abduction cases.
Roush mentioned that on Tuesday, a State Department representative called and told her that her 19-year-old daughter had been "sold" in marriage to a Saudi - something she was sure would happen if the girls weren't returned. As reported by WND, her older daughter, now 23, was married off earlier to a relative of her father. Roush fears for her daughters and any future children they may have by their husbands - men who are now their masters.
Though the hearing gave her hope and went "extremely well," she says, the fight isn't over until her daughters are home.
Tabari: A collection of Koran verses and Hadith quotes, illustrates how Allah allows the abusive treatment of women, likening them to animals and sex objects.
"Allah permit you to shut them in separate rooms and to beat them, but not severely, if they abstain, they have the right to food and clothing. treat women well for they are like domestic animals an they possess nothing themselves. Allah has made the enjoyment of their bodies lawful in his."
Wife-beating in Islamic nations is more prevalent than one can imagine. In Pakistan, it has been reported by the Institute of Medical Science that 90% of its female population has been beaten for such wrongdoings as giving birth to a daughter or cooking an unsatisfactory meal. After the African country of Chad attempted to outlaw wife-beating, Islamic clerics in that nation deemed the bill “un-Islamic.”
Mohammed was forty-nine years of age when he became betrothed to Aisha, the daughter of one of his closest friends. At the time, she was six years of age. Three years later, Muhammad consummate the union. In 2001 Iran lowered the legal age to marry from 12 to 9.
In Bandung, Indonesia, a free female circumcision event is held every spring by the Assalaam foundation, an Islamic educational and social services organization. A 2003 survey by the Population Council shows that 96% of respondents acknowledge that their daughters had been mutilated by the age of fourteen.
Rape in Iran is punishable by death. . . for the victim, that is.
2007 Saudi Arabia a nineteen year old woman was ordered to receive 90 lashes when she was raped repeatedly by a gang when she talked with a male friend not in the family. When she appealed to the court and the media the punishment was raised to 200 lashes for, “aggravate and influence the judiciary through the media.” The lawyer lost his license and was subjected to ‘other’ disciplinary measures.
“Men have authority over women, for that god has preferred in bounty one of them over another, and for that they have expended of their property. Righteous women are therefore obedient. . . and those you fear may be rebellious, admonish them to their couches and beat them.”
The symbol of the veil is so important that in 2002 in Mecca, religious officials allowed fifteen schoolgirls perish in a fire rather than let them seek refuge outside without their head coverings.