Saudi executes Indonesian maid for killing her rapist – blame it on Shariah

(Picture nor original; for representational purpose only) 

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has executed an Indonesian maidservant who killed her employer while she was being raped, reports the Daily Mail.

The execution of Tuti Tursilawati, mother of one, has shocked the world and triggered outrage in Jakarta. According to the report, Tursilawati was working in the city of Ta’if. The Shariah court found her guilty of killing her employer in June 2011.

The report said Indonesian President Joko Widodo called Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister, Adel al-Jubeir, demanding to know why Jakarta had not been informed about Monday’s execution. It was the fourth time in three years that Saudi Arabia had failed to notify Jakarta before executing an Indonesian migrant worker, the report added.

This is not the first time such a case has come up.

Maids are treated as slaves in Shariah

“And successful are the believers who guard their chastity … except from their wives or those that their right hands possess.”…. Quran, Chapter 23:1-6

The Quranic verse refers to sexual relations which are forbidden with any woman unless she is a spouse or ‘those their right hands possess’. To be clear, this means a concubine, bondmaid or a slave.

Shariah laws were framed on the basis of Quranic injunctions. Many locals consider maidservants to be their sex slaves. Although slavery is banned, in many Islamic countries, local citizens treat their domestics as malikat (slaves). Owing to complaints of ill-treatment and abuse, several Asian countries have banned their female nationals from domestic work in the Gulf. Now, recruitment agencies are turning to poor African countries for ‘slaves’.

Also, there is an inhuman system of kafala by which migrant workers are tied to their employers. “This system facilitates slavery,” says Nicholas McGeehan, who reports for Human Rights Watch on conditions in the desert camps where most such workers live. The Gulf region has about 2.4 million domestic workers. They are not protected by any labour laws. They work under hostile conditions and many a time fall prey to sexual exploitation.

Countries like Saudi Arabia which follow Wahabi form of Islam have done precious little to stop the abuse. Critics are often branded as Islamophobics. These countries do not allow human rights organisations to operate, making the situation hostile for domestics.

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