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The following is Jean Sasson’s response to readers about this situation. Everything she says is correct. Jean lived in the Kingdom for many years and had access to the previous King. There is one quote however, that is partly wrong. The quote is this:I can’t think of a single person in the world who can “make” this king let those girls go.” There is one who can change the mind of a king. God (the same as Allah, regardless of how you call His name he can answer). Millions of prayers can help change the situation. God can change a human’s heart.
The problem is this: We are nearly helpless. And, anytime the media or the public announce their words, the father will be even more harsh against them. None of us can make a man in Saudi Arabia do anything he does not want to do. The harder we push, the harsher their punishment. I’m like everyone else, I am very upset but am trying to figure out what we might do to help any of the women in Saudi Arabia. You are right that any woman, these princesses or others, who are abused by a man is suffering under the most cruel situation. I don’t want to tolerate any woman being abused, whether in Saudi Arabia, the USA, or the Congo… It’s just that none of us can demand for the king to do the right thing — he won’t listen or care. I would write about it on my blog, but it would only increase their punishments — at some point they will probably never be heard of again and we won’t know if they are dead or alive. I don’t have the power to get them out — my princess friend(s) do not have the power. Most likely they would be locked up with these daughters IF they dare to criticize… Believe me, IF the president of the United States or the prime minister of Germany were to ask him to release them, he would totally ignore them. This is a BAD situation and nearly impossible to change it. Some of the princesses close to these girls say that it is not nearly as bad as they are saying; yet, you are right — any punishment is uncalled for — a bad divorce and bitterness between their mother and father should not be taken out on the daughters. When the mother left the kingdom, she should have known he would be vindictive — she had the power at that moment when they could travel to take them with her — it was a mistake on her part but of course, she probably never dreamed this would be the result. They will probably die there in their rooms and I can’t think of a single person in the world who can “make” this king let those girls go. It’s a tragic truth that I deal with every day of my life and I feel so very sad and powerless…
You are right — I tried to push women in the Middle East to rebel and to join forces to fight against the injustice and it was nearly impossible to get a group together — SOME women in Saudi Arabia are now working for freedom and it is greatly enlightening and wonderful. But for the most part, they are too afraid that they will have their children taken from them if they fight against the men. Don’t forget, too, that many women in the area are as harsh against other women as the men are — it is an extremely complicated issue to get women to work together against the unfair rules used against them all….
AND, most of what I got was people criticizing me, telling me, “Who are you to criticize our system?” Basically I was told (mainly by westerners believe it or not) how dare I criticize — I always thought it was my absolute DUTY to fight against tyrants no matter where they were found. So we share very similar feelings, but when it comes to the MIDDLE EAST, no man can be shamed because the vast majority of the men there agree with this kind of treatment of women and about half the women, from my own observations, also agree that women should be ruled by men.