Monday, November 19, 2007

Why It's Sometimes Good to Be A Woman in America

Someone is beating and raping women in my immediate neighborhood. The first three assaults took place right outside my front door. There are warning notices plastered all over the inside of my condo building and the same print-outs are prominantly displayed on the walls of my office building down the street. The police are becoming more and more visable, especially early in the day when I leave for work. The word is out there and the entire community is rightously and rightfully outraged at these attacks on it's female citizens.

Springfield, Alexandria Masked Assaults Analyzed

A woman walking in the Springfield area of Fairfax County was sexually assaulted early Wednesday, and police are investigating whether the attack is linked to three recent similar incidents in Alexandria.

All four episodes occurred before dawn by a man with the same general description, Fairfax Officer Eddy J. Azcarate said. In Springfield, an 18-year-old woman walking in the 6900 block of Industrial Road about 5:45 a.m. was approached from behind, forced to a remote area and assaulted by a man in a black ski mask, police said.

In Alexandria, women walking alone between 5 and 6 a.m. were dragged off sidewalks and assaulted Aug. 31, Nov. 5 and Nov. 9. Detectives from Fairfax and Alexandria met yesterday to compare the cases, Azcarate said. The assailant in the most recent incident was described as being 5-foot-7 to 5-foot-10, with an average build, wearing a black ski mask, a black nylon jacket and bluejeans. The assailant in the second and third Alexandria attacks also wore a ski mask, Alexandria police said.

Quite a different scene than this one that's playing out in Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Court Ups Punishment for Gang-Rape Victim

(CNN) -- A court in Saudi Arabia increased the punishment for a gang-rape victim after her lawyer won an appeal of the sentence for the rapists, the lawyer told CNN.

The 19-year-old victim was sentenced last year to 90 lashes for meeting with an unrelated male, a former friend from whom she was retrieving photographs. The seven rapists, who abducted the pair, received sentences ranging from 10 months to five years in prison.

The victim's attorney, Abdulrahman al-Lahim, contested the rapists' sentence, contending there is a fatwa, or edict under Islamic law, that considers such crimes Hiraba (sinful violent crime) and the punishment should be death.

"After a year, the preliminary court changed the punishment and made it two to nine years for the defendants," al-Lahim said of the new decision handed down Wednesday. "However, we were shocked that they also changed the victim's sentence to be six months in prison and 200 lashes."

The judges more than doubled the punishment for the victim because of "her attempt to aggravate and influence the judiciary through the media," according to a source quoted by Arab News, an English-language Middle Eastern daily newspaper.

As if that weren't enough punishment meted out - her lawyer's had his license to practice law revoked for even taking her case in the first place.

Don't worry, though, The United States is on top of things - or are they?

Read the article and you'll understand why we, as a country, really ought to be a lot more careful about whom we get into bed with.

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