Piety. “Saudis order 40 lashes for elderly woman for mingling,” from CNN, March 9 (thanks to Kapil):
CNN — A Saudi Arabian court has sentenced a 75-year-old Syrian woman to 40 lashes, four months imprisonment and deportation from the kingdom for having two unrelated men in her house, according to local media reports.
According to the Saudi daily newspaper Al-Watan, troubles for the woman, Khamisa Mohammed Sawadi, began last year when a member of the religious police entered her house in the city of Al-Chamli and found her with two unrelated men, “Fahd” and “Hadian.”
Fahd told the policeman that he had the right to be there, because Sawadi had breast-fed him as a baby and was therefore considered to be a son to her in Islam, according to Al-Watan. Fahd, 24, added that his friend Hadian was escorting him as he delivered bread for the elderly woman. The policeman then arrested both men. […]
This subject gained publicity in the West after a bizarre fatwa from Egypt’s Al-Azhar University in 2007. More on that, and the hadith it is based on, can be found here.
Al Watan obtained the court’s verdict and reported that it was partly based on the testimony of the religious police. In his ruling, the judge said it had been proved that Fahd is not the Sawadi’s son through breastfeeding.
The court also doled out punishment to the two men. Fahd was sentenced to four months in prison and 40 lashes; Hadian was sentenced to six months in prison and 60 lashes. In a phone call with Al Watan, the judge declined to comment and suggested the newspaper review the case with the Ministry of Justice.
Sawadi told the newspaper that she will appeal, adding that Fahd is indeed her son through breastfeeding.
The case has sparked anger in Saudi Arabia.
“It’s made everybody angry because this is like a grandmother,” Saudi women’s rights activist Wajeha Al-Huwaider told CNN. “Forty lashes — how can she handle that pain? You cannot justify it.”…