Clinton, Obama Weigh-In on Saudi Rape Victim

Democratic presidential hopefuls have widely condemned the punishment of "The Girl from Qatif," calling on the Department of State and President George W. Bush to condemn the sentence in the interest of human rights. So far, both the White House and the State Department have been silent on the matter, as a delicate balancing game between the price of oil and the price of a woman's life are weighed.
The first to issue a statement was Senator Barack Obama who wrote a letter calling for the condemnation of the sentence and diplomatic intervention to Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice. He wrote, ""That the victim was sentenced at all is unjust, but that the court doubled the sentence because of efforts to call attention to the ruling is beyond unjust."
In a statement issued by Senator Clinton's office, she condemns the sentence and calls on Preisdent Bush to put pressure on the Saudi government to intervene, saying, "I urge President Bush to call on King Abdullah to cancel the ruling and drop all charges against this woman."
Meanwhile, other Democratic presidential contenders have also issued statements, including Senator Joseph Biden, who is the co-author of a bill to promote the end of gender-based violence.
"I'm outraged by the decision of a Saudi Arabian court to punish the victim of a brutal gang-rape," Biden said.
The White House has refused to meddle in the affairs of Saudi Arabia, turning a blind-eye to its human rights violations in the interest of maintaining its strongest OPEC ally. High-level government officials have repeatedly stated to the media that it is a matter to be settled by the Saudi courts internally and that no significant, if any, diplomatic pressure will be put on Saudi Arabia's leadership to reverse the sentence of "The Girl from Qatif."

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About Elle Alexandra Jerome

A. Scheherezada Jerome is an Anglo-Ottoman Instructor of Islamic Studies at York College of Pennsylvania. She graduated from Dickinson College in 2003 with a self-developed major in Middle Eastern Studies and Spanish. In 2004, she graduated from the School of Oriental and African Studies with an M.A. in Islamic Societies and Cultures. Finally, in 2005 she finished her second M.A. in Gender and Identity in the Middle East (Summa Cum Laude) at the University of Exeter. After finishing the first stages of her postgraduate work, she was an intern in Women’s Affairs at the Embassy of Afghanistan. In addition to her academic work, she manages her non-profits, The Shaherazade Project and Women Against Crimes of Honor. She’s also the coordinator for postgraduate students in the Association for Middle East Women’s Studies. Currently, in addition to her teaching duties she is the editor of Kohl an anthology of Muslim-American women’s writing to be published in 2007 and is working on research for her second novel, Hürrem Sultan.

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