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Saudi To Get 90 Lashes For Hiring Women

From Arab News:

Eatery Owner Faces Flogging for Hiring Women

Huda Al-Shayeb, Arab News

QATIF, 8 April 2006 — Restaurant owner Nabeel Al-Ramadan said he was surprised by a phone call from a local court judge asking him to meet him immediately.

When Al-Ramadan asked if it was all right to bring his lawyer, the judge told the businessman that he wanted to see him alone.

When Al-Ramadan arrived in the court, the judge informed him that he had been sentenced in absentia to 90 lashes to be administered in clusters of 30 apiece. The charge against him was violating dignity and decorum.

After further inquiries, Al-Ramadan found out that his crime was employing two young women at his restaurant “Ranoosh” to take orders by phone. That was a year and a half ago when locals reported this supposed infraction to authorities.

Al-Ramadan had reduced the girls’ schedule to four hours a day due to pressure from local authorities.

He was questioned and the girls were laid off even though the girls worked from beneath their veils, Al-Ramadan pointed out at the time.

“The girls were very respectable and worked while covering their faces. Nobody was violating any manners,” said Al-Ramadan.

The story was virtually forgotten until two weeks ago when Al-Ramadan received the call from the judge. Al-Ramadan has since appealed the verdict.

The restaurant owner said he is unapologetic about hiring the young ladies. He says that he supports women’s right to work, and that there is nothing forbidden under Islam in this regard.

“I’m not the only man that thinks that women should be able to work,” he said. “Other people also think that this is the right situation. Some have even tried to do it just as I did.”

A similar incident happened in Qatif a couple of months ago when a woman who worked in an optical shop to help women customers was stopped as the news of her job spread.

Where’s NOW?

(Rhetorical question.)

This article was posted by Steve on Saturday, April 8th, 2006. Comments are currently closed.

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