Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Saudi Arabia: The Scary


Ever imagined what it could feel like sitting in a cell, and someone comes in to tell you that your head would be chopped off in less than 24 hours? No. It is so horrible I wouldn't even dare imagine it. 


Saudi Arabia is one of those countries that still execute criminals by sword. According to the Shariah law, this is the fate reserved for people who commit crimes such as murder and drug trafficking. When I hear about the number of people on death row in this country, expats and Saudis alike, I can't stop asking myself what their crime was. 


In as much as I support the fact that someone should be punished for a crime that he/she committed, I still have reservations when it comes to taking someone's life away. When I read the story of the maid who was beheaded recently in Makkah, I couldn't help feeling for many others like her who are awaiting such fate; to be dragged out of a cell, hands tied behind back, and head chopped off in front of many onlookers. 


Come to think of it, what could push a man or woman to the point of committing murder? We read stories of Asian maids who are tortured or raped by the Saudi employers. What has been done to protect them? How come these employers go unpunished when they do not respect human rights? Yet, the law is applied to punish employees when they commit crimes against their employers who show them no mercy. True, there is no justification for one human being taking away another one's life. Think of it. Think of what a human being can do when he/she has received inhumane treatment. Think of what you would feel if you were denied your rights. Think of what you would do if you worked for years and your employer refuses to pay you or keeps you captive in his/her home. Think of the children you left back home who are counting on you to send money for their basic needs and for their education.

As I sit in front of my computer, thinking, I look up and I wish the world could be a better place. A place where injustice of this kind would not be brushed away in broad daylight. I am not an activist of human rights, but I can't help saying, please, protect maids from their evil employers. Stop this crime and you wouldn't have maids who will resolve to criminal acts out of frustration. Create a system that punishes evil employers, like denying them visas to bring maids into the country, and you would solve so many issues. Think about it. Make life better for everyone and Allah would bless us all. 

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