Rape in Saudi Arabia: Reporter Has Eye-Opening Conversation with Young Saudi Males

Many entries on this site have focused on the treatment of women in Muslim countries, particularly Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Iraq, and Iran. Michael Slackman received an insight in how both women and rape is viewed by some Saudi men on a recent trip.

Recently, he went out into the desert where many Saudi youths go. He was traveling with a female Egyptian journalist to meet with six Saudi men in the military, ages 19 to 26.

One of the men immediately observed that it was “reckless” to travel with a female who was not a relative.
One of the men said that it was only because he was friends with one of the people in the group that he did not “try something.” When pressed on what he would do, by the woman, he had the following exchange about first trying to get rid of her companion:

“I would get rid of him and try something with you,’’ he replied. “Not rape, I would try to do something, to get you to do something.”

“And if I said no?” she asked.

“Then I would rape you.”

That was it. None of the other young men seemed surprised, or sounded an objection.

It is a chilling example of how women are viewed in some countries and how rape is viewed as a natural response of men. For prior entries, click here and here.

For the full story, click here.

33 thoughts on “Rape in Saudi Arabia: Reporter Has Eye-Opening Conversation with Young Saudi Males

  1. geez, ANOTHER fanatical-sexist-backward-saudi post. why don’t you save time and just post “Saudis are fanatical, sexist and backward” every other day.

  2. pointing in shock at the attitude expressed by young saudi men should only be done as part of a larger discussion of how “who me?” sexism practiced in the united states sets the bar.

    until the equal rights amendment passes in the united states, and is enforced, let’s all just stfu about the treatment of women in other countries. especially when the governments in those other countries were “installed” by previous american administrations.

  3. is it a ntural response for every man in KSA?

    what about USA?

    In the United States, 1.3 women are raped every minute. That results in 78 rapes each hour, 1872 rapes each day, 56160 rapes ech month and 683,280 rapes each year.

  4. Abdurrahman:

    From the Washington Post (6/19/2006):

    “The number of rapes per capita in the United States has plunged by more than 85 percent since the 1970s, and reported rape fell last year even while other violent offenses increased, according to federal crime data.

    This seemingly stunning reduction in sexual violence has been so consistent over the past two decades that some experts say they have started to believe it is accurate, even if they cannot fully explain why it is occurring.”

    When you factor in the number of statutory rapes which are consensual though prohibited, the figures drop more. The US ranks 9th according to the UN in the number of reported rapes per capita but still does better than other westernized countries like Australia and Canada.

    So while this is a serious problem we have done something about it and the trends are positive. Contrast that with our more chauvinistic Muslim brothers where rape is thought by some as a birthright and tacitly sanctioned by the authorities, rather than punished crime and you begin to see the distinction the professor is drawing.

  5. Abdurrahman, thanks for abusing statistics. The total quantity isn’t what matters. The frequency is. What matters is not the total number of rapes but how common rape is. Now, you could if you wanted to try make a minimally decent argument point to data showing that Saudi Arabia has a low per a capita rape rate (see http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/cri_rap_percap-crime-rapes-per-capita for example). However, that ignores that a) much of what we label rape isn’t considered rape in Saudi Arabia or many other Islamic countries b) Many Saudi women will not report rapes because it makes them seen as damaged goods along with c) many rape claims get turned around with the women treated as if she had had sex outside marriage.

  6. The funniest shit is that rapes like this are obviousl rare.
    actually rape is entirely rare HERE in Saudi Arabia, because it happens 40 times per a million population. while in countries like France, it occurs 1000s of times per 100000!!!!
    for those who say statics don’t matter, but (quality, whatever), I bet rape in the US(for example) isn’t about: “I’ll make you do things, and if you don’t I’ll rape you”. no, it’s like: “I’ll kill you if I don’t rape you”.
    and for those fucking moron pigs who came here just to swear… FUCK YOU! either be more respectful or you better go suicide sticking a stick in your ass.
    aside of that, do you know what encourages rape? believe it or not, it’s the “boobies” you’re looking at every day on the STREET.
    this is our “secret”, which is coverring our women with a veil.
    now don’t come at me and say: this is stupid.
    no, saying that would make YOU stupid, because negating me means OBVIOUSLY that you want to either: RAPE, or JERK OFF(masturbate).

  7. I have a pakistani woman renting my basement. I live in Canada. She is a single mother and in the last home she rented from, a friend of the family upstairs raped her in the basement where she was living while her son was at school. He was from Saudi Arabia. What a surprise.

  8. Hijab actually prevents the temptation among the men for the women, secondly rape only occurs when men finds such extreme lust for women that he will do anything to have a sex with her.
    Now in Saudia the Laws are very strict for rape, Its flogging 40 times, which may result in killing of the person.
    This strict law propels a man to think a hundred times before they rape a woman.
    Women in Islamic society cares about her purity more than anything.
    As opposed in Western countries women are treated as an object of sex and fulfilling desires. Men would find easy to rape a woman in US or other such country rather than in Saudia, as women in western countries are show much of their body and create much Lust for men around them.
    To end up my comment I would say
    “When human beings were sent to this earth they were Uneducated and barbaric, they were naked. As time passes by Human beings started to learn, then they started to wear clothes. During the course of History education and clothing increases. Now when we are here in 21st century the person who is learned enough should cover herself/himself full as to show that she is at the highest level of learning. As they do not invite any TOM DICK AND HARRY to take advantage of them just by looking at their physical body, rather they should like them as a person first and if they like them in return they would have the right to choose the person for themselves”.

  9. Wow labeeb u so smart. A women wearing hijab prevents man 4rm raping her. Ha! Pls and by the way small girls as young as nine and six get raped! But of course it was their fault for wearing too revealing clothes and exposing that sexualy provocative toddler legs to u arab man with animalistic sexualities!

  10. I think underneath the attitudes, statistics, clothing, etc. human sexuality itself is probably largely consistent. It could be argued that we are animals in the west because of the way people openly display their bodies, but it could also be argued that we do so only because there is an expectation of personal control. It could be argued that covering up the body in Islam promotes innocence, or argued that a promotes cynicism about human nature. That is what makes it controversial — it’s not very easy to answer. I don’t take the statements of this group of young guys as very revealing — you could find an analogous group of US guys that would say the same thing. The main reason it isn’t revealing is that it sounds like these guys were all together, and young. I don’t think they would tell you the same thing alone, or with their mother/sister in the room. Anybody who thinks this is seriously revealing of the larger culture of a country probably doesn’t listen to much gangsta rap. You wouldn’t judge an A student at an Ivy League US college by a rap lyric any more than you can judge a whole culture by some dudes in the desert.

  11. It has nothing to do with country. Any country in which women is presented as a matter of sex (example: many commercials and ads in US) and people are open minded (i.e animal minded) are bound to have high divorce rate, high sexual assaults, weak social values.

    The best example being the USA where freedom means freedom of sex and drugs. This is why it is the hell of crimes.

  12. Firstly, I would like to tell everyone who have contributed to the above conversation that I have read through your points of view with utter attention and interest. However I believe that the entire point of the conversation is pointless. Please, I kindly request you not to take my words offensively. But to think about it. What we have been doing until now is pin-pointing a certain society and country. I do not understand why we are blaming and abusing Muslims and Saudi Arabia. Or even the USA and other countries. Such accusations are highly frivolous and I seriously doubt whether they will help us solve any problem amongst us. On the very contrary, they create more problems in the society. Now, coming to the point, I’m sure Muslims are finding the abuses against them highly offending. Not just offending. I will now use a very crude term to describe their appropriate feelings. No matter how they mask it with anger, I bet that all Muslims must be feeling the way I am feeling. Sad. Simply heart broken that after so many years, after receiving educatioin, learning about peace ever since we were “toddlers”. After living in a “modern” society, with various organizations available to promote peace amongst every individual, here we are, abusing an entire society, without giving a single though to an INDIVIDUAL. Yes, individual. Not all Muslims want to rape women. In fact less than 10% even think about this. Just like not all Americans abuse their freedom. I know quite a few Americans even if I am not one, and they’re amazing people. Not all Muslims are narrow minded. True, quite a few are orthodox ones, but again, I know quite a few who have one step in the ancient world, and one step in the modern. Not all Muslims are blood thirsty. Some of them can be cruel and violent, but don’t we have cruel and violent people in all societies? If there weren’t such people, the statistics for murder wouldn’t be booming around the world. And let me tell everyone this: Islam promotes peace and justice. Many people who have commented above will laugh at this statement. Perhaps I will even have some mean, nasty comment fired at me. But the truth will never tarnish. An eye for an eye means that if a person takes the life of another person, may the person suffer similar consequences. It is a lot like tit for tat, to be honest. And in the conversation above, a few people have scorned the concept of hijaab. I would agree to one of the comments above that as human beings have evolved, they have clothed themselves, and now, at the very peak of our evolution, we should cover ourselves to show how we developed. However not all Muslims wear a hijaab. The basic concept is that a woman is a diamond. Protect her. Cover her so that she does not attract wrong doers. “beauty provoketh thieves sooner than gold.” is what we are talking about. Again, you are at freedom to throw your abuses me for saying this, just as you have done above. But it will prove that it is not the targeted Muslims who are narrow minded. So to sum it up, I would say that lets not target a society for what just a few people in it think or do. If a few people in America are on the drugs, it will be highly unfair for us to say that USA is immoral. Similarly, we should respect the culture and beliefs of different societies. Unless we don’t do that, we cannot call ourselves human beings. It is an individual who is to be blamed for his or her low thoughts. Not their society.

  13. “beauty provoketh thieves sooner than gold.”

    how very true. i can only say i believe it is up to the woman as to what she wears.


  14. Labeeb:

    I just came across your comment and must say that I have seldom encountered a more twisted and morally corrupt opinion. Any man who is unable to control his own reaction to any situation is unworthy of respect, let alone trust. Your views dishonor yourself and all other men. I hope that you do not hold any position of responsibility because you are not a responsible person by your own admission.

  15. a human being:

    I believe that certain principles of behavior are universal in their application because they are demanded by reason. Among them is the rule that any assault against another human being other than in the context of defending one’s own safety or the safety of another is immoral. And because I view that as a rule of universal application, neither cultural nor religious differences among peoples will support exceptions. In other words, respect for cultural and religious autonomy does not require that I accept or tolerate violations of universal precepts. Finally, I note that my comment is not directed at a society or a religion; I am speaking of the individual’s personal responsibility for his or her own actions.

  16. A strict law isnt a true test of integrity and discipline. This is why as a person,I believe ‘laws’ as noised and used as an object of threat in the KSA and other muslin nations is the best. Given freefom,every man’s true nature comes to light. An average morally weak Arab will be as sex-offensive as an average sex offender in the US. The US has only given the atmosphere for the expression of the ‘true you’. But for the sake of social law and order maintenance,I must doff my hat for KSA,but I wish there were more freedom the we may know how moral each man and woman truly is. Neither an Arab nor an American,I will like a country with less crime to spend my holidays,but freedom is a natural need of everyman. My Muslim friends are good,and I cant do without the Christians either. Am a Nigerian,and I sometimes wonder if my Muslim friends serve the same Allah as the Allah of Osams bin Laden,Boko Haram etc. I still need answers. Am religionless. RESPECT FOR ALL.

  17. I meant srict rules ARE NOT THE BEST! Everyone should however know that its best we drop insults on countries since there’s no enough leverage;KSA is a Muslim country while USA isnt. RESPECT FOR ALL MEN;AND PEACE TO ALL.

  18. Mike Appleton,
    points very well noted. and i definitely thank you for summing this up pretty well. your opinion is plausible, and you too seem to believe in an individual’s actions. however, very sadly, assault on a fellow human being has broken all religious and cultural barriers in the world, so it is unjust that a demeaning comment be pin pointed at a certain one. and even more sadly, that is what, i have realized, people have been doing here.

    and guru rothe,
    yes, KSA has managed to instil fear in the average citizen’s mind against crime, hasn’t it? but i believe this was the entire point. if people are afraid, people wont do, and this in turn ultimately leads to criminal ideas being perished from their minds. but then, like all other countries, there are law breakers in Saudi Arabia too. and as for Osama bin laden and Boko Haram, well, i am afraid that no one can answer that question. i have read somewhere while going through this site that people would not embrace and be proud Muslims if it promoted violence, would they? i sincerely hope this statement, which has been made by someone in this site, not me, will answer if not all, then some of your questions. as for strict laws, it is up to the citizens and government to decide for a country. as we are neither, we should neither have a problem, nor accuse it, because, as far as i know, people haven’t protested against the Islamic laws in Saudi Arabia. and you say “given freedom, a man’s true nature comes to light”. i am sure that if educated and open minded, a man’s true nature can be as pleasant as that under strict laws.

    i hope that my message was clear to whoever was -unintentionally -rude when putting their points forward.

  19. Interesting that the answer to the question had two parts:

    1. The guy would first TRY to get consent from the woman for sex;
    2. Failing that, he would rape her.

    So the theory is that she owed it to him to respond favorably to his initial overture, and that her REFUSAL to do as he wanted provoked the rape. This is a very common stupid idea that is used to excuse criminal conduct. At a protest I attended, a man on a bicycle came by near the end of the event and told my colleague and me that he had something significant to add in terms of rape prevention. We asked him what? His answer: Say YES instead of NO!

    This has nothing to do with clothing or attractiveness or anything else. It simply presumes that women must comply with men’s desires, period. If the man does NOT want sex from a woman, fine. If he DOES, she must provide it (and probably “sweetly”).

    Normal men do not rape. Perhaps there are more Saudi men who are abnormal, by our standards — I don’t know. But a normal man is going to be satisfied with getting consensual sex and even then, if he is disappointed that he doesn’t get the consensual sex he wants, he is going to be normal enough to tolerate his own disappointment without becoming a criminal.

    Same can be said of riches. A normal man who doesn’t have great riches will ordinarily not choose to obtain them by force and violence.

  20. excellent observation, shano. i agree with you wholeheartedly. instead of telling our daughters to stay at home, we will simply teach our sons better. and i am very glad that people are finally being so courteous and rudeness had been hopefully eradicated.

  21. to human being:
    its a blatant lie to say criminal ideas perish from the human mind,and a false assumption to think so. The human nature isnt one that can cope with repression for a long time,I guess that’s why the strict law eventually gets broken,and only the ‘not smart get caught. Except through self denial aided by some philosophical and moral teaching or by some spiritual experiences,nothing really changes in thd human nature. The ‘strict laws’ have failed. He who represses evetually bursts out.
    Again,who dare protest against the laws in KSA? The political environment is anti-freedom,there’s nothing as freedon in thn Quran. The minority that would do that will be easily crushed. More so,statistics are lower in KSA because of the fair of intimidation,and blame upon the woman.
    kudos,but let the women also cover up.

  22. If women wants to live in “Stone Age” and roam semi-naked, then what’s wrong when she meets another Stone Age person (a rapist)

    The problem is that in name of freedom, women have got degraded and they don’t care that they have responsibility about society too, so don’t treat society as a forest where one can wear and roam anything and the world will be fine again.

    In fact such women who roam semi-naked must be burnt alive to teach a lesson that in society, you have to care for others too and not just your freedom.

  23. My apologies for not being able to read all the comments, but I had to puke. Thanks to the taste of sick in my mouth, my mind is now distracted from the disgusting bullcrap I just read. But shame on pretty much everybody.
    Shame on me for living in such an intolerant and chauvinistic world. Shame on you for, well, being so intolerant and chauvinistic. Shame on the author for essentializing with such broad strokes. Wake up and smell the coffee, people. Or in our case, the burning wasteland we’ve turned our world into. Love thy neighbour, for Pete’s sake. What ever happened to “live and let live”.
    If you want to be religious, go, do it. Nobody’s stopping you, unless you start forcing others into your way of life. Oh and please stop fighting among each other. First of all, all religions are the same. You guys basically believe the same thing (at least the major, Abrahamic ones). So why fight over the little things. Just worship him (or her – well, let’s just call it ‘it’) how ever you want. You should be uniting together, against us, the Atheists. Because let me tell you now, we’re coming for you. Third most populous compared to religions, and that’s not counting all the Christians and Muslims on the verge of waking up from their dogmatic slumber. They’re already rethinking all this water-into-wine business.
    The last part was mostly sarcasm, by the way, before you start getting offended. I don’t have anything against religion. It’s all right by me, if a bit medievalist. It does do its best to impart some morality into its followers. And that was important, like a millennium or two ago, when it was harder to educate the masses. But today, education can replace religion. By education, however, I do not mean the kind of indoctrination that goes on in our public schools. That only leads to self-righteous hate speech like most of the comments here (I’m sure I will be accused of doing the same, but eh, whatever). True education is simply to free the mind of prejudices and unjustified assumptions. And that cannot happen while the mind is enslaved by religious dogma.
    I guess I’m waiting for the Islamic Reformation, and the wars of religion that should undoubtedly follow. That’s the only thing that can convince us that religion belongs in the private sphere, not public. Europe will back me on this, right Europe?
    Before signing off, I’d like to respond to some of the criticism directed at Islam and Muslims by our Christian brothers. Islam started around the start of the 7th century. Christianity’s birth is marked by the start of the First. That’s about 600 years in terms of maturity. So, let’s look at the Christian world, 600 years back. That’s around the 1400’s. Know your own history, or should I remind you a bit? Inquisitions, witch-burnings, oh and the trials. Weren’t they the best? Trial by fire, trial by water, trial by axe! Heck dude, when did you outlaw slavery? Islam did it on day one! When did X-ty give women the right to divorce? Islam, day-1, at least in principle. So please don’t blame Islam for what the Saudis are doing, and I won’t blame X-ty for what the Nazis did.
    Saudi is a monarchy, and the Sauds derive their power from their religious influence and Wahab’ism. So no wonder they support the Sharia law. Unless of course they themselves were to be subjected to it. I mean, who’d want to be tried by a 1400 year old law? I’m sure nobody likes to be castrated (I hope).
    Reminds me of a little incident that happened in Swat (which is where I’m from too, but Malala gets all the press), just after the imposition of Sharia in 2009. A Talib was brought in front of a Sharia court on the charge of having an illicit affair with a woman. When asked to present his defence, he simply said “start with someone else. why are you starting with me?”. What he should have said was “Sweet sweet irony”.

  24. Judging a whole country because of 6 soldiers only!!!

    Coming with excuses, while ignorant, against a religion and a community using some inferior background and information as if knowing everything!!!

    Talking like knowing the complete definition of rape in Islam. To the ignorant; adultery and rape share part of the definition but are not the exact same thing. Both have different levels with different punishments.

    The above only reflects hatred and low IQ level.

    How good mannered, educated and smart some people are.

  25. The pagan Arabs were well known for kidnapping and raping – so the female would go for a total cover-up to avoid the lustful eyes of men. Islam came with strict laws which were somewhat of a must to keep the pagan Arab mindset in-check, though the true aim of Islam was to change the Pagan Arabs completely by inviting them to accept Islam.
    Now after 1500 years of Islam – if the laws of stoning & lashing r still required – then what effect has religion, to change a person from within.

    Law in the absence of enforcement has no power and Islam is surrendering to the will of Allah out of love and not out of fear.
    The fear-mongers are not true Muslims.
    A true Muslim is a follower of Isa-Rouh-Allah (Jesus) – as can be seen in the Quran:

    “Who will be my helper in the works of Allah” – calls out Jesus.
    “We will be your helper in the work of Allah and we profess to be Muslim’.

    A Senior Muslim is the one who follows Jesus as the true Messiah of mankind and not God.

  26. hijab is about social status and faith, not a protection against lustful eyes. free muslim woman had right to cover herself, muslim slavegirl was beaten if she wore hijab. why? because raping free woman was crime, raping slavegirl was just minor offence- damaging property of someone´s else. so -hijab is -clear statement of endorsing slavery – apart other things.

  27. dear viola……………..this is what u told…………hijab is for free women and slaves are not required to wear hijab……..
    if that is correct doesnt that means hijab endorse freedom!!!

  28. I’d like to ad a comment in reference to Abdurrahman’s comment and rape statistics. Yes, rape statistics are large in the U.S. but it’s a country with over 300 million people. To hear that there has been a dramatic reduction in rapes is really wonderful news! Saudi Arabia, however, is a country with a mere 28 million people and much easier to control. In spite of that and the extreme harsh punishments, which another commentator believed discouraged people more, Saudi Arabia tops the chart.

    Saudi Arabia has one of the highest sexual assault and incest rates in the world. When small NGO’s did private surveys in the Kingdom since the government does not collect surveys, and especially of incidents they don’t even consider crimes (such as slavery, rape, murder and abuse of women who are wives, or of ones children) they found that around 80% of women reported of being assaulted and sexually abused at some point in their lives. In countries like India, Pakistan the numbers are also very similar to this massive abuse of women.

    And when we looked at children the figures are no less; some 75% of children in Saudi Arabia had been subject to incest. Many of the victims were mere infants. And this comes about from the Saudi law of Mutah (Temporary marriages, a form of excuse for prostitution) and Mufa’ Khathat (or thighing) which gives full and total legal access for Saudi men to commit incest even on a newborn.

    In other words, you won’t find high crime statistics in a country that do not category abuse as a crime but consider it as a natural male right. The deterrent is not fully related to harsh punishment but the real deterrent is in how a male is brought up and educated from childhood onwards. In all countries with morbidly high sexual abuse rate (Africa, India, Middle East) there is one common thread: the total conviction of the males that they can do whatever they like to women.

    Men have the freedom to do whatever they like to women in Saudi Arabia. Women are not human beings in Saudi law, but property. A woman’s life is only as good as her husband is, and there is no way for her to escape if she gets stuck with a bad man. I have heard of women giving stories where a Saudi wife has been seen tied with a rope to the tow hook of a car and dragged around the roads in high speed until she dies. She has displeased her husband in some way. No one has ever heard of any punishment for these crimes.

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