Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Man arrested by the religious police for helping his neighbor

What kind of a religion doesn't allow kindness and compassion?

Members of Saudi Arabia's controversial religious police have arrested a Nigerian man who converted to Islam for being alone with a woman he was not married to or related to. It happened after the African man helped the sick woman by taking her to hospital.

The incident, reported in Saudi media, comes at a time when the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice is under unprecedented scrutiny over abuses committed while enforcing the kingdom's strict Wahhabi interpretation of Islam.

Arab News reported that Ibrahim Mohammed Lawal, a Nigerian student of Islam in Riyadh, learned that his 63-year-old neighbor was in need of medical attention and took her to hospital.

While checking on her condition several days later, he was arrested by members of the plain-clothed vice squad, known in Arabic as the muttawa or muttaween.

The reports said the man, who had been in custody for "50 days and counting," said all he wanted to do was to return to his home country.
The money may be good but you lose so much of your freedom by going to a repressive country like this. One in which the police have an unhealthy amount of power and discretion over what is considered a violation. They can pretty much write the rules as to what constitutes a vice.