Courtesy of the BBC, here are two interesting stories.
The End of the World, Again
First up, members of a bizarre Orthodox Christian cult in Russia have holed themselves up in a cave. They believe that the end of the world will take place next May and they have stocked enough food and fuel to last them through the winter. What they are going to live on if the world ends next spring isn't mentioned.
The cult members have threatened to ignite their petrol supplies if authorities try to force them out. Hopefully for their sake they don't have any cigarette smokers among them.
But She Had it Coming
Out of Saudi Arabia comes another sad story of appalling treatment towards women. A young Saudi woman was gang-raped about a year and a half ago and was sentenced by the Saudi court to six months in prison and 200 lashes for violating the laws that forbid unrelated men and women from associating with each other!
Her sentence was actually increased after she appealed the decision! In its mercy, the Saudi court did sentence the seven convicted rapists of up to five years in prison.
Of course, conservative Muslims will draw the wrong lesson from this episode. From their point of view, if the woman had behaved like a good Muslim woman and not interacted with other men, she would never have been raped. This is proof, for them, of the wisdom of the laws she violated.
What they fail to see, being the retrograde troglodytes that they are, is that it is precisely these kinds of laws that convey the message that women who are in the company of men who are not their relatives or family deserve to be raped! (Italics mine) In other words, when a Saudi man finds himself in the presence of a woman who is a stranger, because of the conditioning he has received from his culture, he believes he has a right to rape her. And the best way to combat this mindset is to grant women full and equal rights to associate with whom they please in public and to put the blame for rape squarely on the rapist and not the victim.