A Saudi judge has ruled against a U.S. woman who was seeking custody of her girl because she was exposing the girl to “western values.”
Er, what are those values exactly? That women should have their own free will and not be completely subject to the will of a man at all times?
Here’s more about what happened:
Though she succeeded with the divorce, her custody battle appeared to reach a dead end on Sunday, when a Saudi judge awarded custody of Zeina to her father’s mother, who lives with him, despite video evidence Ms Vierra submitted to the court that she said showed her ex-husband doing drugs and verbally abusing her in front of their daughter.
“It’s like 10,000 times worse here because so much is at risk for women when they go to court,” Ms Vierra said, near tears, in an interview on Sunday. “I genuinely thought that there would still be justice served here, and I kind of put everything on that.”
Saudi courts prioritise ensuring that children are raised in accordance with Islam. According to court documents, the judge accepted Ms Vierra’s ex-husband’s arguments that she was unfit to raise Zeina because she was a Westerner, and furthermore, because she ran her own business, a yoga studio, leaving her with little time to devote to her child.
“Since the mother is new to Islam and a foreigner in this country and embraces customs and traditions in the way she was raised,” the judge wrote in his ruling, “we must avoid exposing Zeina to these traditions.”
To be sure, our culture isn’t perfect, but to be so hostile to our values that a judge would cut custody of a woman from her child is pretty extreme.