Ameena: The Latest Victim of the Religious Police

Many people in Saudi Arabia have probably heard the story of Ammena Al Maskeen, a Shiite 19-year-old female student at KSU who was attacked by the religious police in an awful incident. If you have not read/heard about this, here is the (short) story…

On April 27, 2006, Ameena was waiting near the gates of the females campus, when two men from the religious police attacked her and forced her into their car. She was taken to a nearby center of the religious police. They held her for several hours, and then sent her to something called the girls’ penitentiary. Later, her family arrived and took her home.

The story above has two different versions; one from Rasid, a Shiite news website, and another one from Al Sahat, an extreme Wahhabi website.

Rasid claims they have contacted the girl, and on their website they are reporting the story by her words. She says what happened to her was set up by a Sunni girl who pretended to be her best friend. That girl was cooperating with the religious police to plot a conspiracy against her, so they could come and take her. While in the car, the two men abused Ameena physically and verbally. She was locked in the bathroom of the religious police center, and she received many fake charges there, and later when she was sent to the the girls’ penitentiary.

Meanwhile, a member of Al Sahat said that Rasid are lying. He says that he called a member of the religious police who told him the following: Ammena has come to the campus with a young man, and when he tried to drop her off, the religious police arrested both of them, and took them to their nearest center. The girl was then sent to the the girls’ penitentiary, and the man to the police station. He added that the girl was treated “like any other girl that gets arrested by the religious police,” which I suppose means she was treated properly.

When I first read this story on Rasid, I did not want to post about it here because I wanted to make sure it was true. But after reading that thread on Al Sahat, I was convinced the story is true. Now, the question is: which version should I believe? Maybe Rasid have some bias against Wahhabis, just like Al Sahat have a bias against almost everybody other than Wahhabis. However, the Rasid version of the story is stronger, and makes much more sense to me. They have reported the full name of the girl and provided many details, while, on the other hand, the Al Sahat thread did not even name the member of the religious police who told the other version of the story.

History is not on the side of the religious police here. The past few years have witnessed many incidents on which the brutality and ruthlessness of their members was unforgettable, and some of these stories has even made it to the local press, breaking a taboo on publishing such stories in the past. Ameena’s story deserves to be on the front pages of newspapers, but I don’t think that would happen, because her story has a sectarian aspect and most newspapers will avoid getting into that area.

Ameena is now back at home and safe with her family in Saihat, a city in Qateef in the eastern province. She has told Rasid she does not want to comeback to Riyadh, even if she had to sacrifice her education.

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8 thoughts on “Ameena: The Latest Victim of the Religious Police

  1. i hate al sahat, it think it should be closed down, the goverment should do something about it.
    about the story of ameena, i have read both sides of the story, i am not trying to take sides, but i think both are somewhat to one extreme.
    al sahat obviously is not a very reliable source, and al rasid might have taken the story so the she didnt actually do anything.

    i am just waiting for the day that saudi gets rid of the relegious police, and we could live as civilized people for a change, i seriously think that it does more harm than good. even though its kind off part of the relegion to have some kind of relegious police, obvioulsy the government gave them too much power, and they should seriously rethink that.

  2. Hi Ahmed,

    This kind of story will never end as long as The RP have the uper hand.

    Regardinng the source, I think both Al Sahat & Rasid are not relaibe, they both are in exreme oppsit sides, and they relay on sectarian aspects.

  3. Hey, I really liked reading your blog (at least the latest few posts here), and i put up a link to your page in my blog. Hope that’s okay with you…but do let me know if you want it taken down.

  4. Ahmed;

    Really enjoying reading your blog. My “sunni” heart goes out to Ameena. This whole sectarian issue is becoming sadly commonplace in today’s Islam. How would our Prophet and Sayidna Ali feel were they here to witness it? Lets hope that the efforts of this generation can bridge the unnatural divide between these two groups of people. When it comes down to it, we’re all Muslim. And that’s what’s truly important.

  5. Yazeed: even though its kind off part of the relegion to have some kind of relegious police

    Only in Saudi Arabia – the rest of the Islamic world manages very well without nutcases like the mutts.

    And most of the rest of the world thinks it’s OK for a boy and a girl to be alone together. And they don’t need religious police to tell them otherwise.

  6. @Yazeed: The government can’t do much about Al Sahat because it is hosted in the UAE. I don’t think the religious police is a part of religion. Maybe it is our duty as Muslims to advice guide each other, but we do not need an authority with unlimited power to interfere in people’s lives and violate their freedoms.

    @Riyadhawi: Yeah, and I’ve said it before.

    @Nowal: Thanks for the complement. You are free to link to me; the web is a free world, you don’t need permission from anyone to link to them.

    @Noor: I hope so. I, for one, have some sunni friends, and I’m really proud of them. Let’s pray that people like you, me, and readers of this blog would bridge the divide.

    @Keefieboy: What’s killing me is that some people are really happy about it. They would go shamelessly like: yeah, we are the only country in the world with religious police. So much for خصوصيتنا السعودية!

  7. Although both stories appear extreme I really don’t doubt that a Sunni girl set up a shia girl. No doubt at all. As sad and pathetic as one has to be in order to do it I do believe it.

    Why a shia would go to riyadh is beyond my comprehension. I couldn’t imagine trying to live there, go to school there or work there as a shia in ,well, a very closed minded center of this country.

    I’ve heard the “shias are out to kill all the sunni” stories right here in the Dammam area.. yes we tend to be smack dab in the middle of shia towns yet they haven’t gotten over this yet. And the prejudices due to sects.. oh my!!

    I’ve always said, we don’t need outsiders to destroy us (Muslims) we tend to do a very good job of it on our own.

  8. I don’t like your tone. It clearly shows your lack of common sense and hatred for Sunnis . The Shia girl could’ve just been out with a guy. This isn’t about Sunnism vs. Shiasm, it’s people doing illegal things and the RP doing their job. But dimwits like you are so quick to make judgements without having all of the evidences necessary to make a judgement and that’s what’s killing muslims.

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