This is a shocking expose of the oppression, discrimination, intolerance and violence that is perpetrated in the name of the law in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. A deaf-mute woman waiting for her brother to pick her up is arrested by the Saudi 'morality police' on suspicion of prostitution. The next week she is stoned to death in public. A German woman married to a Saudi man makes the mistake of taking a taxi downtown without a male escort. For her 'crime' she is arrested, raped, and incarcerated. Are these implausible but true incidents merely aberrations, the result of a few officials acting outside the reach of a generally law-abiding society? Unfortunately, they are all too common in the theocratic police state that is contemporary Saudi Arabia. As author Sami Alrabaa vividly recounts in this shocking expose, in the wealthy Saudi oil kingdom there is such thing as secular law or modern courts. Instead, Saudi princes create the laws, based on Sharia, the Islamic law derived from the Koran and Hadith, where the muttawas act as judges, enforcers, and executioners. This revealing portrait of intolerance and social oppression presents an image that foreign reporters seldom see in the carefully controlled KSA.
Sami Alabraa is a professor of anthropology and sociology, and the former deputy chair of the Department of European Languages and Translation at King Saud University, Saudi Arabia.