Dr. Hayat Sindi is a Saudi Arabian medical scientist and a woman who has earned respect for extraordinary accomplishments in a country that denies women basic liberties. She is not only an award-winning scientist but one of the first female members of the Consultative Assembly of Saudi Arabia. Ranked by Arabian Business as the 19th most influential Arab in the world and the ninth most influential Arab woman, it is not surprising that Harvard University has brought her to the country as a visiting scholar. However, a nasty lawsuit in King County has raised deeply disturbing allegations about Sindi’s efforts against women who she accuses of hacking her emails. According to counsel for one of those women, Sindi worked to have another woman flogged for writing on Facebook that she had had an affair with her husband. On the other side is Samia El-Moslimany, a women’s activist and photographer who lives in the U.S. and Saudi Arabia, who is fighting to keep Sindi from forcing the disclosure of the women, who would face medieval Sharia justice in Saudi Arabia.
All of this began when El-Moslimany posted statements on social media in 2012 alleging that Sindi had had an affair with her husband. Sindi responded with a Saudi defamation case and, according to an affidavit submitted by El-Moslimany’s lawyer, she wanted El-Moslimany flogged. The effort backfired. A Saudi judge decided last year that El-Moslimany should spend four days in jail for the public defamation while Sindi should spend two months in jail for forming an illicit relationship with El-Moslimany’s husband. Neither has served their sentences.
Sindi however has continued to try to force disclosure of the names of the women commenting on the Internet under the claim that she was hacked. A King County Superior Court judge decided Friday not to sentence a Burien woman to jail or to levy a $500 fine for each day of withholding the names in light of the danger to these women.
Judge Mariane Spearman denied Sindi’s request to hold El-Moslimany in contempt of court because Sindi’s new lawyer could not specify which Facebook comments might be a basis for investigating any of the women.
The idea of a Harvard academic fighting to have women flogged for alleged defamation is deeply troubling. The fact that Saudi Sharia law allows for medieval justice does not excuse a demand for such justice over the exercise of free speech. Even if such speech was defamatory, it should not be a criminal matter subject to flogging. Whatever the truth of the adultery, it should not be relevant to Harvard or anyone else other than those involved in these families. However, flogging for posting matters on the Internet raises significant issues of due process and free speech.
Should Harvard be involved in such dispute when one of its faculty seeks to have women flogged under Sharia law or this is simply a private matter under the laws of another country?
563 thoughts on “Did Harvard’s New Saudi Scholar Try To Have Women Flogged For Revealing Her Affair?”
If she wants those women to be flogged under Shariah, then she should also subject herself to Shariah. The judge who sentenced her to 2 months obviously was lenient on her, probably because of her public stature (she is highly celebrated in SA and held up as a model for young women). The Islamic punishment for her would be either 100 lashes if she herself is unmarried, or stoning to death if she is married. And yes, the man she cheated with would also be stoned to death if Shariah were to be applied strictly. She is lucky she is getting away with no punishment.
(Note: I am not saying I agree with those punishments – just pointing out her hypocrisy)
To answer your questions:
Yes, she was married at the time of the alleged affair.
The man, with whom she had the affair, was also married to someone else at the time.
Goes to show you, even under Islamic law, some are more equal than others. Money and influence speak volumes. Unfortunately, this lowlife, inbred professor will remain at Harvard because of all of the Saudi money poured into that bastion of idiots.
I followed the same link you provided, it took me to a wiki article that basically challenges the claim of infant baby crisis in Kuwait.
It was not an Iraqi source, it was a wiki source that YOU provided.
I never said anything about Bush, nor do I need to defend Iraqis.
The following is from the wiki link that, once again, YOU provided:
“The campaign has been described by critics as corrupt, deceptive and unethical and charge that it was used to spread false or exaggerated tales of Iraqi atrocities.
Lantos was criticized for his withholding the information.
The testimony has been regarded as false by the Chicago Tribune, Huffington Post and numerous other publications.”
Po – Lets meet in the middle here as to say Iraq was innocent is a joke
the firm arranged for an appearance before a group of members of the U.S. Congress in which a woman identifying herself as a nurse working in the Kuwait City hospital described Iraqi soldiers pulling babies out of incubators and letting them die on the floor.
The story was an influence in tipping both the public and Congress towards a war with Iraq: six Congressmen said the testimony was enough for them to support military action against Iraq and seven Senators referenced the testimony in debate. The Senate supported the military actions in a 52–47 vote. A year after the war, however, this allegation was revealed to be a fabrication. The woman who had testified was found to be a member of Kuwait’s Royal Family, in fact the daughter of Kuwait’s ambassador to the U.S. She hadn’t lived in Kuwait during the Iraqi invasion.
Maybe is one of those Dan Rather False but true things.
Paul C. Schulte
I was just sayin. Someone else was sayin on another thread somewhere that Kuwait was actually the 19th province of Iraq. Can you imagine that? Did you see that? Do you think that Saddam Hussein – Had he lived – would have written an Eastern version of “Laurence of Arabia” about himself?
Happypappies – Saddam Hussein’s claim to Kuwait was that it was the 19th Province of Iraq or something. There did not seem to be any historical background behind it, just rationale.
Paul C. Schulte
Saddam of Iraq and the 19 Provinces
The order formalized Hussein’s statement earlier this month that Iraq was annexing Kuwait, which it invaded Aug. 2. But clearly, there was deeper meaning.(Historiography)
Within hours of Hussein’s order Tuesday, the printing presses were working overtime at the government’s map department, producing hundreds of thousands of copies of his newest blueprint for Iraq’s present and future–the new official map of the Iraqi nation that pictures what was Kuwait shaded in pink in the lower-right corner.
“This is very significant,” said Naji al Hadithi, the urbane and articulate director general of publicity in Iraq’s Ministry of Information and Culture and one of Hussein’s few, selected communicators with the outside world.
“What this means is Kuwait is and always has been part of Iraq. And now, Kuwait has become a part of Iraq forever. This is non-negotiable,” he declared.
Iraq’s longstanding claim to all of Kuwait dates from the time of the Ottoman Empire, which ended during World War I. Kuwait came under British tutelage after the war and was given independence in 1961, despite Iraqi assertions of sovereignty.
Furthermore, the way this played out it was obvious that Bush, as usual, acted with his heart and then later on, everyone played him. This was very common. “Oh, it was only 12 babies not 22 and the PR firm and soldiers planned this as a coup” right.
That link you offer actually says the opposite of that. It says that it was a propaganda affair created to demonize Iraqis and get the US to turn against Iraq.
There was no such thing as the infant baby crisis in Kuwait.
Yes there was Po. It was not Propaganda. It was Wikipedia and from the highest courts in the land. Of course the Iraqi’s are going to say it’s propaganda to Demonize everything in the world about George W Bush but there is way too much evidence to the contrary. It went to the highest court. Just google it and the only thing against it is Counter Punch. Bush was no angel but no one is all demon and you would be guilty of what you accuse the US of by proselytizing Bush as a Demon. I agree that not all Muslims are ISIS. I know that is patently ridiculous but I am not going to have a war of links here when I was alive and well and have an eidetic memory regarding events from the past symbolically if nothing else.
Thanks for the interest, PR, knowledge, even for its own sake is something to value.
Unfortunately, the books I tend to seek out on these issues tend to be rather complex, and require previous knowledge.
i’ll look into it however.
But if you have a smartphone and a bluetooth headset, listening to anything by shaykh Hamza Yusuf, or perhaps Ali Nouman Khan on youtube while you do chores or gardening would be very useful. Especially the former, he has a very accessible style and his information feels less religious than just historical or intellectual.
Thank you for the link. I look forward to reading it. 🙂
Regarding the link, though, do you have any books about this issue? An article is only the beginning of becoming informed.
Western imperialism in what sense? There are no more colonies (or, do the current problems extend back that far?). I am guessing you mean puppet dictators like Mubarak. Or the Iraq War that was for who knows what purpose. Or CIA involvement in Syria to assist the “rebels”. Or the Stuxnet virus. The news we get about “why they hate us” is stilted; you know, the “they hate us for our freedoms” business that so many here believed. What Western imperialism do you mean?
I know some will have an issue with this, but every issue we are dealing with right now around the globe, and especially in the Middle east has for proximate or distal cause the West, the legacy of colonization, of pitting groups against groups, or arbitrary borders, of annexing resources and people, of refusing the colonized self determination, and when given, of taking out the leaders they choose, and putting in place dictators that rule for 30 plus years, robbing the country blind and insuring that the rolling anger of generation after generation leads to extremism.
Our military is subjugated to the politics of capitalism, of corporation, it is at the service of the oil industry, and all of our rationale for supporting one dictator or another is based on oil availability
And yeah, our invasion of Iraq was based on false premises, lies actually, which led directly to IS.
Ukraine was being used to pressure Russia, which lead to the Ukraine about to come apart.
Bashar assad was being targeted, and the rebels were being supported by the CIA…now Syria is about to blow up.
Libya was bombed by Nato, for all of a sudden, Qaddafi was a bad guy. The media kept telling us about the massacres his troops were committing against the population. Now that Qaddafi is gone and Libya is in a civil war, we learn that those reports were false.
“Exporting by Saudi Arabia”
Funding terrorists/terrorist organization or something else?
That nad muchm much more 🙂 Please check out this link, explains a great deal of it.
Po- the thing about huffpo is that it slants everything the US does wrong and never brings out the things we do right. We have oil men in the US and no one denies that. But what about the fact that we have done things internationally to help, like the infant baby crisis in Kuwait? This is awful
Internationally criminal killing of babies to harvest machines for cancer patients
Booger, that is where the spirit of the law got lost to the letter. The lashes the Prophet doled out were from switches, flexible branches picked from tree. The public flogging was punishment in itself, the pain was never meant to be incapacitating.
What the Saudi and others use are whips, leather whips that take skin and flesh off. Says much about what they have done with Islam. Then again, the whole point of wahabism is that it doesn’t do subtle, it does not deal with spirit, only letter of the law.
You clarified that the penalty imposed for the crime of adultery, according to Islamic law, is 100 lashes, not death. I guess that I have to ask, who survives 100 lashes? Isn’t it basically the same as giving someone the death penalty? I can barely survive a paper cut.
Thank you for the thoughtful reply. 🙂
“Most Islam however, especially islam from non-arabic nations, have no issues with women shaking hands with men…”
These are the Muslims I know.
“One of the oddest things about Saudi Arabi separating men from women is that at the hajj in Mecca, women and men mingle freely, which they did also in the time of the Prophet AS.”
Ah, the irony! 🙂
“They tend to be very patriachial, and want to live a form of Islam that is as close to the original as possible, to the point of sacrificing the believer to the ideal.”
When people worry about Islam, this is what they worry about.
“unfortunately, though these forms of Islam are rather new theologically, they are spreading quite rapidly spurred by western imperialism and its exporting by Saudi Arabia.”
Western imperialism in what sense? There are no more colonies (or, do the current problems extend back that far?). [My Middle Eastern history education is lacking and needs to be remedied.] I am guessing you mean puppet dictators like Mubarak. Or the Iraq War that was for who knows what purpose. Or CIA involvement in Syria to assist the “rebels”. Or the Stuxnet virus. The news we get about “why they hate us” is stilted; you know, the “they hate us for our freedoms” business that so many here believed. What Western imperialism do you mean?
“Exporting by Saudi Arabia”
Funding terrorists/terrorist organization or something else?
Booger, it depends on the locality, but islamic law, if based on the Quran, prescribes 100 lashes for adultery. Not stoning. Stoning is NOT found in the Quran, it hasn’t stopped some communities from using it.
Your wild guess sounds quite informed to me.
It is my understanding that the husband of the accuser is also Muslim. I’m sure that Po will correct me if I am wrong, but I thought that the penalty, under Islamic law, for the offense of adultery was death. Glad to read that the parties are only receiving jail time. As a member of a Judeo_Christian society, I personally find it appalling that there are societies in the 21st century where flogging is an acceptable form of punishment for personal indiscretions. Yes, of course, we have prisons that house criminals for an assortment of crimes; however, there are rules governing how we treat offenders. Cruel and unusual punishment is not allowed.
Just a wild guess, but I have a feeling that the professor may come from a prominent family in Saudi Arabia. It would explain the seemingly mild punishment dolled out to her. Lucky lady.
“She wants Saudi justice, in the form of punishment, for them as well. My question is still how that could be possible under Islamic law, now that the accusations against her have been proven.
I suspect it just a matter of honor, by protesting much, she may convince many that in spite of the verdict, her accuser is wrong.
The alternative is for her is to remain silent, which, in her mind, and most minds, is a sure sign of guilt.
Or, there was just not enough evidence for her guilt. Short of 4 trustworthy witnesses being presented, a pregnancy (if she is not married), an admission of guilt or perhaps a video recording, according to saudi law, there was no guilt. Which makes the verdict perplexing.
What I was suggesting but failed to stress, is that if the website you clicked on is salafist or wahabist, then the answer you would get will be extreme. Generally, salafism and wahabism are extreme forms of Islam, akin to super-orthodox judaism or some forms of Christianity. They tend to be very patriachial, and want to live a form of Islam that is as close to the original as possible, to the point of sacrificing the believer to the ideal.
Fortunately, this type of Islam coincides only with the few Arabic countries which are theocracies, or where patriarchy still remains strong. It is not in Egypt, in Indonesia, in Nigeria, and in any other place where normal sunni islam or sufi islam exist.
unfortunately, though these forms of Islam are rather new theologically, they are spreading quite rapidly spurred by western imperialism and its exporting by Saudi Arabia.
So those strains of Islam refuse women any liberty, they veil them and would rather keep them invisible. Most Islam however, especially islam from non-arabic nations, have no issues with women shaking hands with men. Not have them issue with women having the same rights and means of expressing them as men, including working outside the house, driving, being a government official…
One of the oddest things about Saudi Arabi separating men from women is that at the hajj in Mecca, women and men mingle freely, which they did also in the time of the Prophet AS.
So, no, Islam does not require that. It is not in the quran, though some hadith suggest it.
Also, there is no single, comprehensive Islam that is unified and singular. There is a consensus between different schools about baselines that are agreed upon (the 5 pillars of Islam) and others that may or may not be agreed upon (whatever is based on jurisprudence.)
For example, if you were to attend a Friday prayer at the mosque, you’d see that not everyone prays the same exact way. But while most sunni muslims would live and let live, the salafis would stress the importance of praying as they pray, which they claim is the only true way, and the wahabist may declare someone an apostate for praying differently from the salafist.
Yes, some Muslims take the quranic injunction not be friends with Jews, Christians and polytheists as relevant to these times (as they do with everything else in the Quran), while the general consensus has always been that it only applied to those Muslims in the time of the Prophet AS, and it referenced those Christians, Jews and polytheists who were of those at war with the Muslims.
But the QUran also says a muslim can marry a Christian or Jewish woman, and the Quran says a muslim must honor family ties whether by blood or marital, so how could he not be friends with and honor the family of his wife?
In terms of my comment about theocracies being by nature extremist, I mean to say that any government that rules by an interpretation of a divine will is de facto extremist. It is based on the idea that one group is on the true path and is chosen, while the member of that group are somehow lesser. So a theocracy is structurally biased for some, and for that, I do oppose the idea, whether it is Iran and Saudi Arabia, Israel or our Rick Santorum and Huckabee calling for Biblical law to inform the laws of this country.
“She may be within her legal right under the Saudi system, but is it RIGHT?
Notice that all my comments regarding this matter have been in the perspective of Saudi law or shariah law. But if you are asking my personal opinion then obviously not! No one should be flogged, for anything! Only Nick and Trooper! And perhaps sometimes Pogo!
Regarding my comment that every question in Islam has been answered, I should have said that every issue has been explored in depth, and that the extremists trying to rewrite the religion are being blind, both purposely and also due to ignorance.
But, here is a great site that deals with many of the misconceptions in Islam, using the Quran alone.
If you want the long view of Islam however, the historical and intellectual view, look up Shaykh Hamza Yusuf.
This video answers the issue of friendship with Christians and Jews, the first interview, Nouman Khan. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_WPGmCF2M9s
You are welcome, Paul.
Isis does strike fear everywhere, including in the heart of those who helped create it, the Saudi, Qatar and Israel, an unholy alliance seeking to destroy Iran and Hezbollah. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QHLqaSZPe98
Saudi Arabia will ultimately fall to it, unless it is stopped. Al Baghdadi won’t be the legitimate ruler unless he also rules over Mecca and Medina.
I am a little behind in replying to your posts.
–“Some women don’t shake hands with men, other women do. Some for they choose, some for they must”
But the site I referenced saying Muslim women forbidden from shaking hands with men is a site by Muslims explaining what Islam requires. It expressly stated that women are forbidden from shaking hands with a man. This is not a moderate stance. If Islam requires it, then aren’t all Muslim women bound by it? And, by extension, Shariah requires it, too, correct? Or, is this backwards, an instance of haddith being used to interpret Islam? Or, does this fall under the different perspectives of Islam (Sunni, Shiite, etc.)?
The same site also noted that Muslims should not be friends with non-Muslims. 🙁 That kind of advice saddens me; it is divisive–and there are many people who look to this website for wisdom.
–“The bottom line is that the moment you are discussing a theocracy, you are discussing an extreme case. “
So, you believe that theocracies should not be created?
As I cited earlier from Pew, many, many Muslims do want theocracies: why is that, do you think?
–“Muslims have protected Jews since the beginning of times, as exemplified most recently by the muslim clerk as the jewish store in Paris.”
There needs to be more people like that clerk in the world.
–“In that light, the professor is within her right, under Saudi system, to demand the wife be flogged.”
She may be within her legal right under the Saudi system, but is it RIGHT?
–“Ultimately, every question about Islam has been answered”
That is unfortunate. That would mean the end of exploration, the end of learning, the end of new and greater understanding.
Do we know that the posts online appeared PRIOR to the finding, by an Islamic court, that the professor was guilty of a wrongdoing? I can’t seem to determine that fact, and that appears to be relevant. If these remarks online were POST conviction, after an Islamic court has already determined culpability on the part of the professor, then where is the harm with regard to these online remarks? They may be nasty or cruel, but what rule was violated by posting what was obviously found to be fact by the judge? The Islamic judge did not base his finding of guilt on a bunch of online posts, even if they did precede the finding of guilt. If one assumes that the finding of guilt was not baseless, since it complied with all the extensive Islamic requirements, how can one even suggest that the accuser had no proof of the alleged misdeed. Obviously, ample evidence was presented to arrive at the final determination of guilt. Any suggestion that the accuser did not have the prerequisite proof of adultery by the professor is contradicted by the ultimate ruling which found culpability on the part of the professor.
By the way, the professor isn’t only gunning for her accuser. She also wants anyone else, who posted remarks online, to be subject to punishment. She’s been found guilty. Period. She can’t say that they had no proof. Obviously, sufficient proof existed to convict her.
*God’s wrath on him/herself IF he/she is guilty.
“And those who accuse chaste women of adultery and then do not produce four witnesses — lash them with eighty lashes and do not accept from them testimony ever after. And those are the defiantly disobedient. Except for those who repent thereafter and reform, for indeed Allaah is Forgiving and Merciful”.” [Quran 24: 2-5]
Comments are closed.