And we call these people our friends? (Egypt)
A few days ago, I posted a note entitled "And we call these people our friends?" about a victim of a gang-rape being sentenced to 200 lashes in Saudi Arabia. I like the idea of pointing out the horrible nature of such "friends" enough that I'm going to make it an occasional series, maybe one piece a week, pointing out the very bad behavior of people whom we give far too much support to, stupidly thinking that it's in our best interest...like supporting various other dictatorships in the past, some of which, like the Shah, didn't end up putting us in a winning long-term position. Instead of giving money to places like Egypt and Saudi Arabia, we should be threatening them in the short-term and long-term. In the short term, they must stop being barbarians. In the long term, if the even more barbaric within the country take over, we will pulverize them if they try to implement their fanaticism, directly or indirectly, one foot outside their own borders. As if the original story of the gang-rape in Saudi Arabia weren't bad enough, the newer versions make it clear that the man whom the woman in question was with at the time was also gang-raped by the same group of assailants...as punishment for those two being out together. There is no doubt that the "strategic" nature of our relationship with Saudi Arabia removes a lot of leverage over them. We don't give them enough foreign aid for eliminating it to matter. (Only a couple million dollars a year....though even that is ridiculous.) We could threaten to prevent them from buying US military hardware, but then they'll just buy from the British or the French, and maybe they'll also buy civil aircraft from Airbus just to spite Boeing. And, we don't exactly want them defenseless. So, we're in a very tough spot. But every country has their areas of sensitivity. And we should be pushing the Saudis, telling them that if this rape victim (or any other rape victim) gets punished, we will do something they don't like. The key is that we must really do it after we threaten it, or we'll be the country that cried wolf forever. For today's entry, we have this lovely piece of work from Egypt, which is (tell me if I'm wrong) the second-largest recipient of US aid (after Israel): Egypt Jails Christian Woman for Father's Conversion http://www.christianpost.com/article/20071124/30207_Egypt_Jails_Christian_Woman_for_Father's_Conversion.htm Basically, the story is this: 45 years ago, a woman's father converted briefly from Christianity to Islam when he left his Christian family. Shortly thereafter, he returned to his family and resumed living as a Christian. Under Egyptian law, when the man converted, it automatically converted all his children, even if they never knew he converted, and it's basically impossible to convert away from Islam in Egypt (though easy to convert to it.) When the woman, Shadia Nagui Ibrahim, got married in 1982, she listed "Christian" as her religion on her marriage certificate. The government of Egypt has just sentenced her to three years in jail for fraud for doing so, despite it being exceptionally unlikely that she ever knew of her father's brief conversion to Islam and its impact on her. As far as she's known, she's been Christian her whole life. Indeed, could it be possible to charge someone with "fraud" or anything else if she believes that what she's saying is absolutely (and obviously) true? As I mentioned, Egypt is a country that we have much more leverage over with our foreign aid of over $1 billion a year to them. We should tell Mubarek that our foreign aid will be cut by $1 million for every day Ms. Nagui Ibrahim spends in jail. It's time to stop just accepting (and paying for) this bad behavior by Islamic barbarians and instead try to bring them out of the stone age before they bring the stone age to us.
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