The Start of an End V
I hated being Saudi…
Being raised there is what I would describe as an affliction. The people of Saudi that were in my immediate surroundings accelerated my devastation, anger and sadness. This is a country where a woman is taught that her entire physical being is erroneous and unacceptable.
After all it is all in the that book they call the word of allah; the Quran.
In Saudi – as in many other Muslim majority countries – a woman is defective by nature. We are also so incapable and inept that we need to be handled in every aspect of our lives and led by our presumed superior counterparts. We need papers signed from Mahrams and approval from anything male to handle some very personal and in many cases life altering decisions.
So don’t bother falling in love because you have no choice in whom you marry as a woman. Don’t bother planning a future for yourself either because it must be planned on your behalf by a man who knows what is best for you. If you don’t fall under this law then you are one of the lucky ones who has a nice enough male guardian that approves your decisions for you, making you think it was actually your choice and that you are free to do what you want.
Do not be fooled young Muslimah…for you remain on a leash…
This becomes apparent when as a Muslim Saudi woman you are harassed, abused or sexually assaulted. All of a sudden it is your behavior, your wrong ways that caused this deserved harm and by all means you must be punished. Suddenly, you become not only responsible but devious enough to have mastered a way to bewitch our all-knowing and ever so wise male counterparts into committing a sin.
Women are ordered to cover up for what reason exactly? What bogus modesty claim is this? How is it that by uncovering or putting perfume on or wearing make up we are blameworthy for a man’s beastly urges? Who decided it is a must that we be punished MORE after we have been torn to shreds by a raging lunatic who believes we wanted it?
Is it not enough that we are beaten with sticks in the street if one of our eye lashes is showing in the name of allah and modesty. Is it not sufficient to teach us that we are the demons who want nothing but to drag men into our sexual webs of sin. That we are whores by default. Does it not suffice that we are the criminalized victims of bipolar teachings.
Why did you not report it when it happened?
My answer: WHY WOULD I HAVE?
I was not Canadian (i.e.; I had no rights.) I was a Saudi in Canada on a work permit and I was fully funded and controlled by the Saudi government. If I were to open my mouth about this by going to the police there was no doubt that I would lose my funding and training spot when the Saudis found out (which eventually happened as I had predicted). I would have been dragged back to Saudi where who knows what the outcome might have been. Most likely, knowing the corrupt system they call Sharia law over there, I would have ended up being lashed and jailed for being alone with a man I did not know.
To sum it up: I worked with my attacker for another year after the incident happened without notifying anyone but those I worked with. I watched him become more popular and more supported. Once I could no longer take it I went to the police as well as informed the Saudi Bureau who swiftly terminated my position but not his (Yes he was a Saudi too.) Then I was sent a bill of 200,000 dollars for a refund of the money the Saudis had wasted on me during this scholarship.
Luckily by then, I had met my husband, gotten married and immigrated. So I had full and equal rights as any other Canadian and thus was untouchable by the Saudis.
Did other Saudies in positions of power do everything possible to get me deported back to Saudi so I could face punishment? Yes.
I divulge this information to explain how and why I came to the decision of delaying reporting the attack. The teachings of shame that are ingrained in those like myself and the horrid abusive lifestyle of constant victimization make it impossible for a person from this background to stand up…to not be victimized again. I grew up with no rights and it is hard for people who have not experienced it to fully comprehend the consequences of that experience and world-view.
How does one claim something they never had??
The moral code of those in the current culture I live in sadly was no better (at least not at the time I made my attack public.) I found myself battling misogynistic teachings from the East while confronting victim shaming/blaming from the West.
The blend was a vile mix and repugnant enough to push anyone into the depression/suicide frontier.
At some point you turn on your own self and life no longer becomes worth the constant battle. Giving up becomes the better, often more sane option…
And that is when connecting with those who care becomes a literal matter of life and death. Finding a community that will support you without feeding the victim inside. People who empower you and stand with you in solitude.
I dedicate this series to the on-line Atheist community who went above and beyond to help me and my family in this battle for justice. I am so lucky to have you all.
Thank you for hearing my voice,