Friday, October 8, 2010

Saudis arrest 12 Filipinos and a priest in raid on Catholic Mass, charge them with proselytizing

The silence of Islamic groups in the West about the unbelievable depth and breadth of human rights abuses that happen every day in Saudi Arabia is deafening. Over the centuries, Islam has shown itself ever eager to confront and obliterate anything that smacks of heresy, so it is curious how the various "misunderstanders" of Islam who commit such abuses are not addressed with the same enthusiasm, but rather with lip service for non-Muslim consumption, in the most minimal way that Islam's apologists feel they can get away with. If they are asked to do more, out come the accusations of "Islamophobia."

No, really, they're working on it. It just takes time. 14 centuries and counting. But hey, let's try Sharia in your country, and maybe this will be the time it actually brings peace and justice. (Disclaimer: your mileage may vary.)

Imagine the uproar if this happened to a Muslim congregation anywhere.

The twelve Filipino men and the priest, whose nationality was not specified, were "charged with prosyletising," the daily quoted an official from the Philippine embassy in Riyadh as saying.

They were all released Sunday on guarantees by sponsors or embassies, the report said.

Saudi Arabia bans the practice of any religion aside from Islam. However, small, low-key prayer services inside expatriate compounds and in Filipino gatherings are tolerated by officials.

With more than one million workers in Saudi Arabia, Filipinos comprise the bulk of the Christian community inside the kingdom....

An update: "Saudi Arabia: conditional release for 12 Filipinos accused of proselytizing," from AsiaNews, October 7 (thanks to Geoffrey):

Manila (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Saudi authorities have conditionally released the Catholic Filipino migrant worker arrested on 1 October in Riyadh along with 11 other compatriots - released Oct. 3 -, while attending a Mass along with 150 foreigners celebrated by a French priest. At present, the 12 Filipinos have been entrusted to their employers and representatives of the embassy in Manila in Saudi Arabia are negotiating with the authorities for their repatriation. The fate of the others present at the Catholic mass remains unknown.

According Exxedin H. Tago, charge d'affaires of the Philippines Embassy the 12 are not yet completely out of danger. "It is still unclear - he says - if their case was closed. They were accused of proselytizing and if the authorities deem them guilty they could return to jail".

Saudi Arabia forbids the construction of churches, and other non-Muslim temples, the wearing of religious symbols, or hanging of images in homes. The religious police (Muttawa) has tightened controls to impose these laws. Only rarely does the government allow the celebration of Mass in private. The availability of work, however, continues to attract migrants who put up with terrible working conditions, the risk of forced conversions and sexual abuse.

In early September, a Filipino nurse employed at the Kharja Hospital died in hospital after being raped and left dying in the desert by her rapists. Two weeks later, again in Riyadh, three nurses in the National Guard Hospital were abducted and raped while returning from work and are now in serious condition.....


  1. I can only say that it is a shame that stuff like this keeps happening and there's so little we can do about it

  2. I agree entirely with KillerKun. It's hard to directly relate, since so many of us live in sheltered little first world bubbles, but I have nearly unfathomable respect for people who live under these conditions.

    All I can genuinely hope for is that the people responsible have to one day face justice.

  3. I respect all religions, Islam included, but I feel that many of it's members cry "woe is us" yet they are doing terrible things. This is a shame.

  4. When life hands you lemons, keep em... cuz hey... free lemons...

  5. Yeah, its fucked up how they are given so little accountability in our society *and* get to impose themselves on our lifestyle.