"QATIF GIRL" PARDONED.

Saudi King Abdullah has pardoned "Qatif girl," the young Saudi Shia woman who was kidnapped and raped, then sentenced to 90 lashes for the crime of being alone with a man to whom she was not related, then sentenced to prison time and an additional 200 lashes for appealing the first sentence.

The "Qatif girl" case caused an international outcry with widespread criticism of the Saudi justice system.

The male and female victims were in a car together when they were abducted and raped by seven attackers, who were given jail sentences up to nine years.

Press reports say King Abdullah's move did not mean the sentence was wrong.

Not wrong, so much as the product of institutionalized hardcore misogyny and male privilege dressed up as "piety." Now maybe King Abdullah can do something about the roving gangs of Saudi fundamentalist religious thugs who regularly beat up women who aren't appropriately covered up--oh wait, the Mutaween are an arm of the Saudi state. Such allies we have!

--Matthew Duss

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