• Mon. Jan 18th, 2021

Saturday Night Owls: Sen. Murphy calls on Biden to review ties with Saudi Arabia over women's rights

ByAdiantku

Nov 29, 2020

Night Owls, a themed open thread, appears at Daily Kos seven days a week

Juan Cole at Informed Consent writes—Hyper-Patriarchal Saudi Arabia equates mild feminism with terrorism, as Sen. Murphy calls on Biden to review ties with kingdom

Al Jazeera points to the call by Senator Chris Murphy addressed to the incoming Biden administration urging a review of US ties with Saudi Arabia, given the kingdom’s miserable human rights record, including its mistreatment of feminist dissident Lujjain Hathloul, 31.

Ms. Hathloul was produced in court on Wednesday. She has been imprisoned for two years, during which she was allegedly tortured and subjected to sexual abuse. She spent a year under those conditions before even being first brought to an ordinary criminal court in March, 2019. Her sister Lina says that this Wednesday, she was weak and shaking uncontrollably, as she learned she would be remanded to the court that deals with terrorism. She had read out in a subdued voice a four-page defense of herself, according to another sister, Alia. Ms. Hathloul has been on a hunger strike to protest her imprisonment.

Her crime? Something substantially less than Gloria Steinem-style second wave feminism. She wanted to be able to drive. She wanted to be able to travel without her father’s, or husband’s permission. Some of the goals she advocated have actually been achieved under the de facto rule of crown prince Mohammed Bin Salman, though the ultra-patriarchal guardianship system has only been slightly loosened. Bin Salman is so worried about someone else getting credit for the reforms, however, that he seems determined to send Lujjain to the gallows for daring speak up in the first place.

She stands accused of “communicating with foreign parties.” She was arrested in 2018 in the United Arab Emirates on returning from an international conference in Geneva on discrimination against women, which is apparently the “foreign parties” being referred to. The UAE then turned her over to the Saudi police. Imagine it being a form of terrorism to attend a women’s rights conference in Switzerland. The Saudi press is calling her and her family “traitors.”

The sinister role of the United Arab Emirates here should not be forgotten.

Her husband, Saudi stand-up comedian Fahad al-Butairi, was also arrested in 2018 and remains in prison.

Saudi Arabia is one of the world’s last absolute monarchies, which practices beheadings and stonings (neither punishment is in the Qur’an, which is supposedly the constitution of the Saudi state). It really should be pointed out that there is nothing in Islam that forbids women to drive, and all the 900 million Muslim women have all along driven except in Saudi Arabia. The crimes Ms. Hathloul has committed are against a repressive, authoritarian state.

Murphy spoke out in a Tweet:

Advocating for women’s rights in Saudi Arabia is now considered terrorism. The Biden Administration must reset our relationship with Saudi Arabia. America cannot be a credible human rights voice if we keep looking the other way. https://t.co/XqD90YgP94

— Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) November 26, 2020

THREE OTHER ARTICLES WORTH READING

QUOTATION

“A pre-emptive war in ‘defense’ of freedom would surely destroy freedom, because one simply cannot engage in barbarous action without becoming a barbarian, because one cannot defend human values by calculated and unprovoked violence without doing mortal damage to the values one is trying to defend.” ~~Sen. J. William Fullbright, The Arrogance of Power (1967)

TWEET OF THE DAY

Senator Perdue shouldn’t be afraid of debating me again. It can’t possibly go as badly for him as last time.

— Jon Ossoff (@ossoff) November 28, 2020

TOP COMMENTS •  RESCUED DIARIES

BLAST FROM THE PAST

At Daily Kos on this date in 2006—San Francisco Values:

Did you hear that O’Reilly invented the slur “San Francisco values”? Yeah, he also thinks he invented sliced bread and fire.

But let’s talk about “San Francisco values”, you know—tolerance, entrepreneurship, and creativity.

Since O’Reilly boycotts everything he hates, I look forward to his boycott of all Bay Area-origin products. Same with every conservative who bashes San Francisco and the Bay Area. So no iPods or anything Apple. No HP computers. No Google. No Yahoo. No eBay. Those conservative bloggers using Blogspot, MovableType, or TypePad? Sorry. Those products are Bay Area-based.

Also no Adobe or Macromedia products. No computers, either, since most run on AMD or Intel. No tax preparation using Intuit products. Cancel your Netflix subscription. Cancel your TiVo subscription. Remove your Network Associates or Symantec virus protection software from your computer. Unplug your Netgear wifi router.

Don’t wear Levi’s (or any kind of jeans), Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, or buy your kids Gymboree. Avoid LeapFrog learning toys. Boycott Pixar movies. Boycott any movie using George Lucas’ ILM special effects shop.  Stay away from Treos and other Palm devices. Don’t let Charles Schwab manage your portfolio. Don’t bank at Wells Fargo.

Yeah, those “San Francisco values” sure are dragging the region down. Making it weak as it falls behind the rest of the country—the parts that don’t share “San Francisco values”—economically and socially.

Or, maybe—just maybe—it’s made the region a magnet for the world’s smartest, most innovative, most entrepreneurial individuals and an incubator of the world’s most dramatic technological advances.

Monday through Friday you can catch the Kagro in the Morning Show 9 AM ET by dropping in here, or you can download the Stitcher app (found in the app stores or at Stitcher.com), and find a live stream there, by searching for “Netroots Radio.”

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