December 1, 2006, - 9:43 am
By Debbie Schlussel
Something I never thought I’d see: Saudi Arabia’s official English language daily, Arab News, cites me with approval, in today’s edition. (The paper also says it’s “The Middle East’s Leading English Daily.”)
Arab News Senior Editor and columnist Rasheed Abou-Alsamh actually agrees with my column on the absurdity of Colorado Attorney General John Suthers’ recent trip to Saudi Arabia and the egregiousness of Saudi Arabia’s continued insistence that convicted slaveholder/rapist (among other things) Homaidan Al-Turki is somehow a “victim” of the American justice system.
His column, “No Tears for Homaidan Al-Turki” is excellent in its own right, but especially when you consider that it’s a Saudi state-sanctioned publication that regularly spouts extremism. Here’s the quote:
American commentators in newspapers and on blogs were outraged that an American official had to fly to Saudi Arabia to explain why Al-Turki had been found guilty and sentenced to jail time. . . .
“In an utter display of American weakness and shame, Colorado Attorney General John Suthers traveled to Saudi Arabia to apologize. Apologize for the American justice system and virtually everything else that America stands for,” fumed conservative blogger Debbie Schlussel.
“Suthers said that, under Saudi law, four eyewitnesses are needed to prove a rape case. Memo to Suthers: You are the Attorney General of Colorado, not Saudi Arabia. The four witnesses is taken from Islamic law, since Saudi Arabia is a theocracy. We are not. And that should be the end of the story.”
I’ve been a frequent critic of Arab News’ extremist positions and “reporting,” but Abou-Alsamh’s column on this particular issue is a breath of fresh air. Upon doing further research on him, it turns out he is also a reporter for the excellent Washington Times (but he also reports for the extremist Egyptian state-sanctioned Al-Ahram and the hate-America Christian Science Monitor). Abou-Alsamh is a Saudi-American raised in Europe and South America.
Shukran (Thank you), Rasheed. Mabrouk (Congrats) on your brave position on this issue. Moumtez (Excellent). But we must all be careful to note that this is an aberration, not a trend, in the Saudi media.
Tags: Al-Ahram, America, Attorney General, Colorado, Debbie Schlussel, Debbie Schlussel Something, Editor and columnist, Europe, Homaidan Al-Turki, John Suthers, Middle East, official, Rasheed Abou-Alsamh, reporter, Saudi Arabia, South America, Washington Times