Tale of the Maid and my response.

KUWAIT CITY, April 10: Security authorities at the Kuwait International Airport are on full alert after receiving information about terrorist groups planning to hijack and blow up planes in the Gulf States, reports Al-Anba daily.

A top level security source said tough security measures have been adopted in all offices of Kuwait Airways worldwide.

Tale of a maid: In a strange tale of twists and turns, a policeman reportedly arrested an absconding Indonesian housemaid, took her to his apartment, had ‘fun’ with her and then set her free, reports Al-Rai daily.
The maid, however, was extremely surprised when an Arab man knocked her door and asked her to file a complaint against the policeman.
The Arab accompanied the maid to the police station where the maid once again received a great shock when the attending police officer directly called the first policeman.
The policeman then allegedly gave the maid some money and a mobile phone and asked her to withdraw the complaint. The maid accepted the offer and was set free again.
Incidentally, the maid was detained at a checkpoint and she narrated her bizarre story to policemen. Security men conducted intensive investigations, arrested the policeman and referred him to Criminal Investigations Department.
Now, the question is: How did the Arab man come to know what transpired at the policeman’s apartment and how did he get the address of the Indonesian? And who sent him?

My Response I emailed to the Paper in Question:

Salaam alaikum wr wb,

I am deeply disturbed by three things 1. the lack of journalistic integrity exhibited in this article and 2. tone of the article and 3. the lack of outrage at the violation of the right of the maid by the writer.

As a journalist- the sole duty is to report the facts and not make light of such grievous matters as an individuals rape especially at the hands of an individual in a position of power – a police man – an individual who by the very nature of their job – is there to – protect and serve. Across the Arab world, abuse of power and position is one of the main complaints of most individuals and as an individual living outside the Arab world – I see how these abuses of power and position oppress the masses and allow a select few to live lives of luxury and privilege others can not even conceive of.

Abuse in all its forms – Mental, Sexual, Financial, Emotional, Physical, Verbal and Digital are all real and serious traumas. Abuse boils down to a systematic use of tactics to control or power over another. The author of this piece attempts to make light of what are two extremely serious matters first the abuse of a woman and secondly the abuse of power and position by the police officer. Sadly the tone of this piece is just one more contribution to the idea that any victim of abuse is somehow to blame or earned the abuse they have received – which is false. Why would anyone simply expect to be abused?

Nabi (pbuh) states “the best among you are the best to your women.” He also stated in his last khutbah “All men are like brothers: the black has no superiority over the red, nor has an Arab any preferential claim on a non-Arab. All are sons of Adam and Adam was made out of clay.”

I have to wonder at the lack of outrage by both the journalist and the Ummah itself at the sexual violation of another individual. As the race, age, sex or religion should not prevent individuals from seeing the victim as a person. Would people have been outraged if this was an Arab Muslim woman? Why is it so different because it is a non Arab Muslim woman who happens to be a maid? The journalist unwittingly airs the unspoken belief that abuse is ok – as long as its an outsider or “other” that is getting abused.

Is the reason the author uses a joking tone because it allows him to pretend distance himself from the reality that situations such as these are an unspoken epidemic among the Arab States? Abuses such as deliberately having workers living in substandard conditions as they work at below a living wage in many Arab states in addition to the sexual, mental and physical abuse many are enduring in an attempt to simply improve their situation in life – have become the status quo.

The treatment of slaves has been discussed at length in the Qur’an-” Serve Allah . . . and do good – to parents, kinsfolk, orphans, those in need, neighbors who are near, neighbors who are strangers, the Companion by your side, the way-farer (you meet), and what your right hands possess [i.e. your slaves] . . . “(4:36)

Where is the shame in the fact that this happened and no one attempted to help this individual except to abuse the person further? Finally where are the organization and services to help all victims of abuse that could have helped this poor woman?!

While many among the Muslim Ummah may think that abuse is not an issue because of the glorious religion of Islam.. the reality is that abuse is real and its happening to men, women and children alike – reality humans are prone to sicknesses of the heart, weakness and sin. Abuse doesn’t discriminate because the abusers themselves come from all walks of life, all socioeconomic groups and all cultures – not to mention religions.

When one reports such cases of abuse of position and power one should be conscious about whether or not as a journalist they themselves are contributing to the oppression or abuse by not reporting the issue accurately, in an informed manner or contributing to stereotypes.

Let us not forget there is no veil between Allah (swt) and the dua’s of the suffering and oppressed.

May Allah (swt) help us all to be better individuals and learn from our mistakes so we don’t repeat them. Ameen

Wa alaikum Salaam wr wb
Sister Ally A

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