The AP reports: "Doctors removed 13 nails and five needles from a Sri Lankan maid who says the couple she worked for in Saudi Arabia hammered them into her body. L.G. Ariyawathi, who was hospitalized with severe pain after returning Saturday from Saudi Arabia, has said the family she worked for punished her by heating the nails and needles before sticking them into her. X-rays showed that she had 24 nails and needles in her body," according to her doctor in Sri Lanka.
The nails ranged in length from one to two inches (2.5 to 5 centimeters) while the needles were about one inch (2.5 centimeters) long. They were removed from her legs and forehead. Her doctor also reported that there remained six more needles in her hands that could not be removed because to do so might damage her nerves and arteries, but that they would not be harmful to her.
Apparently this torture was punishment because the woman complained of not being allowed to rest, and of not being paid. She had been in Saudi Arabia since March but had only received two months' salary. Apparently also, the Saudi wife heated the nails and needles, then held the maid down while her husband inserted the needles and nails into the maid's body.
Some 400,000 Asians work as immigrant workers in Saudi Arabia. This particular victim, L.G. Ariyawathi, was saving the money she had earned to build herself a house when she returned to Sri Lanka. Sri Lankan authorities have made a formal complaint through the Saudi embassy, and have been assured that they will look into the allegations.
Now, before anyone accuses me of being racist toward Arabs, I do not post this to try to say only in Arab cultures do atrocities such as this happen. This, of course, would simply not be true. Human beings all over the world, of any faith or no faith, have proven themselves time and time again to be capable of ridiculous cruelty toward animals, and other humans.
I do post this in partial response to those who continually describe Islam as solely a religion of peace and harmony. Islam, just as Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Mormonism and any other religion you can name, has its share of sick twists who would inflict this kind of punishment and torture on other human beings. Radical fanatics aside, it is qualitatively no better or worse than any other major religion, and on this score at least, should not be granted any different privileges or treatment than any other. In other words, no double standards, please.
A recent story here in Lexington, Kentucky, provides an interesting contrast. A local church, a denomination within the Christian faith, sought to purchase a retired elementary school in an older neighborhood in Lexington, to convert the building into its church. Many neighbors expressed concerns about traffic, parking, activity levels, etc., that would be generated by a church moving in. The local government board charged with approving such transfers did issue its approval, but after many conditions were placed on the building's use by the church, the church decided to back out and seek other quarters.
Is this really so different than the Manhattan Mosque story? Yet no one in this area is accusing the neighborhood, or the planning board, of any sort of religious discrimination in rendering its decision.
The double standard continues.