Tuesday, December 23, 2008

With Friends Like This

And we wonder what drives moderate Muslims into the arms of Islamist extremism.

In Saudi Arabia, a court has refused to grant a divorce for an 8-year old girl sold by her father to a man an even half-century older than his bride. From The Guardian:

Lawyer Abdu Jtili said the divorce petition was filed by the unnamed girl's divorced mother in August after the marriage contract was signed by her father and the groom. "The judge has dismissed the plea because she [the mother] does not have the right to file, and ordered that the plea should be filed by the girl herself when she reaches puberty," lawyer Abdullah Jtili told the AFP news agency.

A spokesman for Human Rights Watch says this case matches a pattern of divorced fathers using their children to exact revenge on their former wives.

If we in the West are serious about bringing reform to the Middle East we're going to have to start with our supposed friends - Egypt and Saudi Arabia. We've chosen, instead, to back anti-democratic, repressive regimes because we fear democracy. That's right, we fear democracy. We fear democracy would lead to the election of governments that hold a resentment toward us. So, better than a democracy we don't like, no democracy at all suits us just fine.

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