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. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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”.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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!!!

  11. 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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