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January 21st, 2010
07:00 PM ET

13-yr-old Saudi girl sentenced to 90 lashes for bringing cell phone to school?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

A 13-year-old girl in Saudi Arabia has been sentenced to 90 lashes in front of her classmates. Her crime? She brought a cell phone to school.

FILE PHOTO: A Saudi woman poses for a  photo in the city of Riyadh. This is not the 13-year-old girl from this story.

FILE PHOTO: A Saudi woman poses for a photo in the city of Riyadh. This is not the 13-year-old girl from this story.

A Saudi account of the story printed in "The Daily Mail" says a court also sentenced the child to two months in jail.

The girl reportedly assaulted her teacher after she was caught with the phone. Cell phones are banned in girls' schools in Saudi Arabia. This punishment is harsher than what some Saudi thieves get.

This is sick. Saudi Arabia is one of the United States' closest allies in the Middle East - because they have all that oil. And this is how they treat children. But as long as we need their oil, we just look the other way.

The country is an absolute monarchy that uses one of the strictest versions of Sharia - or Islamic law - anywhere.

They interpret the law to justify cruel punishment like amputation, stoning, public beheadings and crucifixions.

Saudi women are not allowed to drive - and in public, they must be completely covered and accompanied by a male relative at all times. Flogging is mandatory for "moral" offenses like adultery or being alone with an unrelated person of the opposite sex.

The ruler, King Abdullah, has supported some social reforms in the last few years - but in many instances, the religious clerics have so much power they can pretty much call the shots.

Here’s my question to you: What does it say when America’s ally Saudi Arabia sentences a 13-year-old girl to 90 lashes after bringing a cell phone to school?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Deb writes:
It says we can be bought. We are nothing but a whore for their oil and money, always have been. Why should a 13-year-old girl getting lashed to death or close to it be a reason to rock this boat now? It is very sad and embarrassing, but it’s reality. By the way, aren't the Bushes long-time close "friends" of some of the big Saudi royal families? Out of "concern," couldn't they throw a word or two in there to stop this?

Mehra writes:
We should respect the cultures of other countries as well as the rules of the school, both of which come above all else. The student should be punished since this is a matter of discipline. She was aware of the rules and defied the rules of the kingdom as well as school boards.

Deb writes:
It says we can be bought. We are nothing but a whore for their oil and money, always have been. Why should a 13-year-old girl getting lashed to death or close to it be a reason to rock this boat now? It is very sad and embarrassing, but it’s reality. By the way, aren't the Bushes long-time close "friends" of some of the big Saudi royal families? Out of "concern," couldn't they throw a word or two in there to stop this?

Mehra writes:
We should respect the cultures of other countries as well as the rules of the school, both of which come above all else. The student should be punished since this is a matter of discipline. She was aware of the rules and defied the rules of the kingdom as well as school boards.

Benjamin from Westerville, Ohio writes:
Considering we were unwilling to do anything at all after Saudi Arabia sent most of the 19 men to blow up our World Trade Centers, I'd say no one will have much to say about this girl. I am against all military action taking place at the moment, but would proudly fly our flag if our troops were in Saudi Arabia setting things right.

Alan from Canada writes:
I'm from Alberta, Canada, a place demonized by Al Gore because of the carbon-intensive oil sands, which offer the U.S. secure, reliable non-Saudi oil supply. Your choice, America: Child-floggers or your friends to the north.

Mike from Denver writes:
Their country and their laws, like it or not. I am sure we have laws that are offensive to people in other countries, including to our allies. If we want to tell others how to run their country, we need to be open to their criticisms as well.

Eashaan writes:
It says that radical Islamic behavior is not being adequately condemned by the U.S. or any kind of unified Islamic leadership. It is time to abandon the notion that all foreign cultural practices should be unquestionably respected and condemn states that are seemingly stuck in a medieval state of mind.

Tory from Georgia writes:
Just taking away the girl's phone is punishment enough for a teenager.

Benjamin from Westerville, Ohio writes:
Considering we were unwilling to do anything at all after Saudi Arabia sent most of the 19 men to blow up our World Trade Centers, I'd say no one will have much to say about this girl. I am against all military action taking place at the moment, but would proudly fly our flag if our troops were in Saudi Arabia setting things right.

Alan from Canada writes:
I'm from Alberta, Canada, a place demonized by Al Gore because of the carbon-intensive oil sands, which offer the U.S. secure, reliable non-Saudi oil supply. Your choice, America: Child-floggers or your friends to the north.

Mike from Denver writes:
Their country and their laws, like it or not. I am sure we have laws that are offensive to people in other countries, including to our allies. If we want to tell others how to run their country, we need to be open to their criticisms as well.

Eashaan writes:
It says that radical Islamic behavior is not being adequately condemned by the U.S. or any kind of unified Islamic leadership. It is time to abandon the notion that all foreign cultural practices should be unquestionably respected and condemn states that are seemingly stuck in a medieval state of mind.

Tory from Georgia writes:
Just taking away the girl's phone is punishment enough for a teenager.


Filed under: Saudi Arabia • U.S. Global Image • United States
soundoff (195 Responses)
  1. Mark, Bradenton,FL

    Well Jack, other countries other rules. We need strict discipline in our schools here. My wife is a teacher and I tell you what it is a dangerous and frustrating job dealing with spoiled brats.

    January 21, 2010 at 2:40 pm |
  2. Has

    It says that the US is in bed with a country which sowed the seeds, provides nurturing care and a lot of TLC to the fundamentalist Islam. This is a country where they let girls burn inside a school because fireemen were not allowed to enter. So much focus on Iran these days. despite not being an Iranian myself pictures I see of cafes, universities, and general social life in Tenhran Vs Riyadh tells you US may be after the wrong country here. One can see total absence of women from saudi social scene while women appear in walks of life in Iran. Yes, they cover their heads but then Amish women do that too and some Jews as well so that can not be a justiification for branding them in anyway different. who is funding th Taleban? its not Iran . so if US can find the answer then may be we get somewhere.

    January 21, 2010 at 2:53 pm |
  3. Julie Donnelly Palmdale,California

    America will make huge exceptions to common moral decency if you will be partners with us in oil.

    January 21, 2010 at 2:53 pm |
  4. Tom, Avon, Me, The Heart of Democracy

    It says the president is correct, oil is an addiction. We have cozied up to any pusher who would promise a pint. Going to clean alternatives will not only end the wars for oil, it will save our national soul.

    January 21, 2010 at 2:55 pm |
  5. Conor in Chicago

    It reinforces the notion that people who thought that we invaded Iraq to "Free the Iraqi people" didn't have a clue about life.

    January 21, 2010 at 2:58 pm |
  6. Phil-Wenatchee, WA

    I'll answer your question with a question...What does it say when America's Saudi Arabia whelped the majority of the 9/11 attackers? What does it say when America ships billions of dollars of military weapons to Saudi Arabia (and Israel)? It says that America has turned a deaf ear to anything...except OIL.

    January 21, 2010 at 2:58 pm |
  7. paul

    they know how to run a school. we should take note.
    paul ames iowa

    January 21, 2010 at 2:58 pm |
  8. boomer49

    It just shows that if you have OIL we will leave our backbone at home in the closet.
    Jim
    Cripple Creek CO

    January 21, 2010 at 3:01 pm |
  9. Adam Simi Valley, CA

    The Saudi's are no better than any other kingdom run by religious fanatics. Their Civil rights are only slightly better than China. They marginalize women and they have no respect for anything other than a show of force, which is why they are our "ally". They prefer to subtly fund terrorism and foster radicalization abroad, ratther than at home. The is a whole lot of badness in the Middle East, not just Iran.

    January 21, 2010 at 3:07 pm |
  10. kishen c.rao

    Jack, that is not our problem right now. Our problem is how to fix economy, and health care mess, and immigration.

    January 21, 2010 at 3:07 pm |
  11. ben stockton, calif

    there is a mentality that think this cell phone will somehow set off a bomb in a classroom. these are the times we live in sad to say.maybe in some way we could curtail cell phone use in our country with very servere penaltis like taking away the phone, the vehicle.impound it and a hefty fine say $500.00 for using it while driving . a $20.00 fine today is pocket change to most teens

    January 21, 2010 at 3:15 pm |
  12. Keith - Twinsburg, Ohio

    I wonder how many lashes she would receive if she was 16 & caused an accident while driving & texting??? This is more than extreme Jack, it's inhumane...

    I'm sure there's a lesson here for someone...

    January 21, 2010 at 3:25 pm |
  13. SLM

    I'll bet you she never does that again. It means other countries don't tolerate bad behaviour the way America does. And we wonder why our jails are overflowing with prisoners who have rights.

    January 21, 2010 at 3:26 pm |
  14. Tom Walsh

    What does it say that Saudi Arabia is a U.S. ally at all? As I recall, most of those involved in 9/11 were from Saudi Arabia. With friends like that, we still get enemies.

    January 21, 2010 at 3:27 pm |
  15. KEN IN PINON HILLS CALIFORNIA

    Acceptable inhuman insane uncivilized punishment on our part, until the oil runs out
    For those in a so called civilized America who choose to use their phones and text while driving let the lashings begin. Wake up folks these people maim and kill at the threat of a piddling fine, and that ain't civilized.

    January 21, 2010 at 3:27 pm |
  16. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    We need to hire Saudi teachers for our inner city schools. A few decapitations and all our problems would be solved.

    January 21, 2010 at 3:27 pm |
  17. KarenB, central Florida

    Last I heard, in Singapore chewing gum wasn't "allowed" and if you threw it on the ground, you got lashes – Every country seems to have it's rules/laws etc... good or bad, apparently we have no control over what our allies or our enemies "proclaim." That doesn't mean it's right – it just means we don't have a "say" in the laws or the punishment. Whether or not the "punishment suits the crime" might be looked at between the state dept. and the country – but it's their law and probably the state dept. wouldn't even touch it if it doesn't involve US citizen.

    January 21, 2010 at 3:29 pm |
  18. Paul Dean

    Jack, It says that oil and money is worth more than the rights of a 13 year old child.

    January 21, 2010 at 3:30 pm |
  19. Conor in Chicago

    You need to be talking about the supreme court decision that just legalized corporate dictatorship Jack. No this nonsense that doesn't matter to americans.

    January 21, 2010 at 3:31 pm |
  20. Karen, Idaho Falls

    It says, Jack, that the rules in Saudi Arabia are made to be followed and that teen agers aren't in control of their lives. Maybe we need a few rules in America (not lashing) restricting the use of cell phones in our classrooms. Our kids might be more disciplined and teachable if they knew the teachers were in charge.

    January 21, 2010 at 3:32 pm |
  21. bob, oshawa, ontario

    Jack, it says that their religion allows this to happen. Yes, it;s stupid but what to do? One answer would be to have the U.S. invade yet another country and bludgeon the population into being more democratic, like the Americans. Would that solve the problem? Probably not. The lesson here is that you can't always interfere in the internal affairs of another nation. If the U.S. hasn't learned that by now you will be at war for many more years to come.

    January 21, 2010 at 3:33 pm |
  22. doug

    It says that our government does not consider having different morals on appropriate punishment to override other matters where we share a mutual interest with a country. In other words, oil > human decency.

    Doug
    Stamford, CT

    January 21, 2010 at 3:35 pm |
  23. Mike S., New Orleans

    It says we've been in bed with terrorists for years, and now it's coming bad to haunt us.

    January 21, 2010 at 3:35 pm |
  24. A. Smith, Oregon

    Jack, where is the surprise in this? Are American taxpayers actually surprised that Trillions of Oil dollars we have given to Saudi Arabia hasn't provided them with a single iota of decency and compassion? They push for Sharia Law around the world so future 13 year old girls will get the same punishment, go figure!

    January 21, 2010 at 3:37 pm |
  25. Layne Alleman

    Jack, It says that if the U.S.A. doesn't start RIGHT NOW on sustainable energy sources here at home, we will be forever making excuses and turning a blind eye to these cave-dwellers. If that were to happen here, the people involved would have no where to go and nowhere to hide. Prison wouldn't even be an option. The other prisoners would kill them instantly. Layne A. Antioch, Il.

    January 21, 2010 at 3:37 pm |
  26. Randy from Salt Lake City

    Mulitinational corporations, who own Murika, don't give a rat's ass what goes one in Murika or other countries. They only care about profits whether it comes from war, torture, disasters or plain old greed.

    January 21, 2010 at 3:39 pm |
  27. Doug - Dallas, TX

    It says that Saudi Arabia enforces their laws. They also cut off a hand when someone is convicted of stealing. If we did that, our prisons would be filled with people with no hands!!! Everyone who lives there know the consequences of breaking their laws. The fact that we don't like it and they are our ally doesn't make any difference. Because they enforce their laws, they do not have the crime issues we do so you can draw your own conclusions from that.

    January 21, 2010 at 3:42 pm |
  28. Dennis north Carolina

    we should worry about our children not others. we have many children on drugs and crimes yet we worry how another country disciplines a child. what a laugh or joke???

    January 21, 2010 at 3:44 pm |
  29. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    Because they have laws and expect them to be followed unlike our country when it comes to most anything. Good for Saudi Arabia. Go to school to learn, not talk on the phone or play games, what a novel idea.

    January 21, 2010 at 3:52 pm |
  30. Richard McKinney, Texas

    Jack I never had a cell phone in school and did ok. I think what we need to ask ourselves is why a child needs a cell phone in school in the first place. Of course I was raised in a crib with lead paint on the rails. We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, locks on cabinets and when we rode bikes we had baseball caps not helmets on our heads. We drank water from a garden hose and not from a bottle. We ate cupcakes, white bread, real butter and bacon. We drank Kool-aid made with real sugar and were not over weight because we were always outside playing from sun rise until the street lights came on. We did not have computers, cell phones X-box or any other video game and we got by just fine. Technology may not be all that it is cracked up to be Jack.

    January 21, 2010 at 3:54 pm |
  31. John -Texas

    It says that we, as a country, are no better than them.
    My grandma used to say: You are no better, nor worse, than the people you are surrounded with...

    January 21, 2010 at 3:57 pm |
  32. David

    Saudi Arabia is similar to North Korea except they have 'something' we're addicted to. Our government makes allowances for human rights when we're afraid they might withhold our drugs (oil).
    David, Las Vegas

    January 21, 2010 at 3:57 pm |
  33. Elizabeth from Toronto

    That the US like other countries is powerless to affect any change unless people in the countries where these archaic rules are practiced start political movements to make real change. In this case at least the Iranians are trying. I praise them. Keep protesting.

    January 21, 2010 at 3:59 pm |
  34. Ben, Baton Rouge

    It means that even the "good ones" are uncivilized.

    January 21, 2010 at 4:03 pm |
  35. JENNA

    What does it say when America’s ally Saudi Arabia sentences a 13-year-old girl to 90 lashes after bringing a cell phone to school?

    When I was a girl in school, if you did something you were not suppose to do in school you were sent to the pricipals office and "popped" with the paddle a number of times.

    Students then were respectful in the classroom and their was never any violence on campus.

    We can't say the same today – can we. Classrooms are out of control and their is no respect for authority. We are to blame! Corporal Punishment never killed anyone.

    While 90 lashes is excessive, no other kid will be caught bringing their cell phones on campus again. I am sure it will be reduced.

    Jenna
    Roseville CA

    January 21, 2010 at 4:09 pm |
  36. Tom in Desoto, Tx

    Unlike the U.S., the Saudi's take education serious. No means no, it's unlikely she'll forget. (Actually, it's absurd but just the threat could change things.)

    January 21, 2010 at 4:17 pm |
  37. Sandy

    It says we should 'MIND OUR OWN BUSINESS". Other countries have their own laws and customs and not every country conforms to our beliefs. Is it right for these people to be treated this way? NO, but it is their ways and we need to butt out. We can't even take care of our own much less other countries.

    January 21, 2010 at 4:19 pm |
  38. Todd

    That's simple Jack....

    Oil and ethics don't mix!!

    Todd
    Taunton, MA

    January 21, 2010 at 4:26 pm |
  39. John from Alabama

    Jack: Saudi Arabia is a backward nation which believes in the extreme punishment for a minor crime. Take the cell phone away from the girl. Why beat her for owning or possessing a cell phone. Saudi Arabia only exist to because of oil. Take away the need for oil or lessen it, and Saudi Arabia might disappear into the desert. The United States has only one friend in the Middle East Israel.

    January 21, 2010 at 4:27 pm |
  40. Ted Jones

    The United States has been in bed with the Saudi Arabia ever since the oil fields were nationalized. Our government will give quite acquiessence and approval of anything the Saudis do as long as the Arabs keep the oil coming and keep buying billionsof dollarsworth of our armaments. Our current government would say we must keep cordial relations with the Saudis as they are the least radical of the moslem nations. Take a look at what their universities produce and realize that this kind of Sharia law is what we should expect. One day the radicals of their own country are going to throw the royal family out for being cozy with the west and then we'll be dealing with a truly dangerous country which we have armed with the latest weaponry.

    January 21, 2010 at 4:28 pm |
  41. Wilhelm von Nord Bach

    it says "Oil Money Talks and Everything Else Walks", Jack

    ALL the Arab "Oil States", not just Saudi Arabia but Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates as well, are some of the most repressive countries in the world. they are a Muslim version of Middle Age feudalism with a few ultra rich families controlling the government and ecomomy while the majority of the population live hand to mouth and have NO rights.

    their ultra-conservative Wahabist Muslim beliefs, which began in Saudi Arabia in the 18th century, gave rise to terrorist organizations like the Muslim Brotherhood and al-Qaede. it preaches hatered of all people that don't blindly follow their warped view of the Muslim religion and advocates the murder of all "non-believers"

    IF all three of the "Oil States" didn't have economic leverage and political connections because of their oil wealth, NO western democracy would want anything to do with them. they would be outcasts in the world community just like Yemen, Somalia and Afghanistan.

    January 21, 2010 at 4:34 pm |
  42. Michael

    That's one way of getting students to pay attention. Maybe, we should try it here.

    January 21, 2010 at 4:38 pm |
  43. honestjohn in Vermont

    90 lashes??? Sounds about right...in Saudi Arabia anyway. Tell me Jack, just how do they decide upon the magic number of 90? Why not 10 or 50 or 100? Why any lashes at all?

    January 21, 2010 at 4:40 pm |
  44. Roy

    Jack, its none of our business. We don't need to be sticking our nose in other countries business. What would you think if some towelhead arab told you what to say or do on your program?? Let those people run their own country, if we leave them alone long enough they will all kill each other off. Problem solved!!

    January 21, 2010 at 4:42 pm |
  45. Ann from Hampton, New Jersey

    They have no regard for the civil rights of any of their people, especially females, even though they are the ones who brought them into this world. Too bad they can't also take them out.

    January 21, 2010 at 4:43 pm |
  46. Paul Round Rock, Texas

    It says yet again we seem to make the wrong allies time and time again. Needless to say this punishment is way beyond just.

    January 21, 2010 at 4:44 pm |
  47. Maria

    It says what most of us have known all along. Saudi Arabia is an ally to us when convenient and an enemy the rest of the time. They like the media to see them as liberal, reasonable people. Which of course, they are not. And I strongly believe this young woman is being punished because she's a female with access to the technology the goverment wants to restrict. I stongly doubt this would happen to a 13 yr. old male.

    Maria

    Brunswick,MD

    January 21, 2010 at 4:45 pm |
  48. The Broker.

    "The world allowed them to get away with it in the past! 'They play king's and you continue to let them' They think you need to dictate, to be great'.

    January 21, 2010 at 4:47 pm |
  49. Mari Fernandez, Utah

    It says that Saudi Arabia is still centuries behind the U.S., Jack.

    January 21, 2010 at 4:51 pm |
  50. BOB WHITE, Kansas

    It says that humanity all across the earth has accepted punishment in place of discipline, i.e. teaching.

    January 21, 2010 at 4:55 pm |
  51. Victor in Saanich, B.C. Canada

    Simple Jack, it tells you how corporate, and by silence, national greed can turn a 'blind eye' to the lunacy of such 'third world' and religious zealotry leadership !!!

    January 21, 2010 at 4:57 pm |
  52. Charles

    Right now administrators in my district are pushing for a program that will put a laptop in the hands of every high school student for school use.

    We may be 10 years late in joining the 21st Century, but I guess it could be worse. This poor girl is stuck in a society that's barely joined the 20th.

    Charles
    Hampton, Iowa

    January 21, 2010 at 5:03 pm |
  53. David Turner

    Jack:

    Not news that the philosophical/religious "divide" between major religious beliefs is sometimes very, very wide. Lest we forget, though, the Protestants and Catholics were killing each other in Northern Ireland and each claimed to be "in the right".

    January 21, 2010 at 5:03 pm |
  54. Jeff in E. Lyme, CT

    Jack, you're missing the big picture. The Saudis are not our allies, they are not our friends. They are tolerated only because hundreds of millions of years ago what is now Saudia Arabia was a shallow sea and became the Earth's largest deposit of light crude oil. The Saudis are neither human nor humane. These are the same sick, twisted murderers who locked the doors and watched as schoolgirls burned to death because they weren't wearing the correct clothing. In that region, girls & women are "property", with the same value and rights as your hamster. No Jack, they are not an ally, they are the enemy. The sooner we eliminate them as our source for petroleum, the sooner we can eliminate them & their barbaric ways.

    January 21, 2010 at 5:06 pm |
  55. Kevin, Chester Springs PA

    Well, it says this ally is still living in medieval times and we should do our best to influence a humanitarian change in their policies. Having said that, I wouldn't mind implementing a 90 lashes policy for some loud obnoxious adults using cell phones in restaurants! (only kidding... I think.)

    January 21, 2010 at 5:12 pm |
  56. Rick McDaniel

    Same thing it says about Islam......that women will be forced to be subordinate, and inferior to men, ........or else.

    Just because they are an ally of opportunity, doesn't mean they want or accept western methods, or lifestyles. They can also become an adversary, at any moment.

    January 21, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  57. Marty

    That is cruel, yet here they drive around talking and texting with their phones which causes unnecessary pain and suffering as well.

    January 21, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  58. Randy Holder

    It says to me It'sNoneOfOurBusiness. All too often American Altruism and Good Faith has strings and catches....usually cultural. I dare say we could use a very mild dose of UseTheRod a bit more here in this country where kids run wild and do as they please.

    It's Saudi Arabia, not Oklahoma, leave'em alone!

    January 21, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  59. GWTripp, Mch'sburg, PA

    That is what you get when justice is decided by adherence to blind faith and religious intollerence. Saudi Arabia is as backwards as any Arab nation could be. If it weren't for the the fact that the ruling monarchy needs us to keep them propped up at the head of their givernment, we'd have been outcast long ago. The Saudi government is not interested in democracy or religion, but power. We have made the wrong bedfellows here. 9/11 is the proof.

    January 21, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  60. Rory Murray

    Jack,
    What it says is that as long as we are dependent on their oily product, they won't give a damn what we think.
    Rory Murray
    San Bernardino, CA

    January 21, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  61. Ed from Harrisburg

    Saudi Arabia is no more America's ally than Al Quada and Osama Bin Laden. When is America going to wake up and realize that these oil sheikdoms have us by the short hairs because of our own greed for gas guzzlers and that little girls with cell phones and Israelis, our real allies and future for democracy are paying the ultimate price with their lives

    January 21, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  62. Jerry Jacksonville, Fl.

    Tell me that she should have followed the rules.

    January 21, 2010 at 5:36 pm |
  63. Dan, Chantilly VA

    It's simple really; we just plain don't care about anyone outside the US. We only thrown around words like freedom and democracy to justify wars that would otherwise make us look really, really bad. We don't actually care about other people's freedom, the public just wants revenge, and the politicians want to pretend they're heroes while receiving some kickbacks from defense contractors.

    January 21, 2010 at 5:36 pm |
  64. Michael Alexandria, VA

    It says that Boone Pickens is right and we need to get off of Arab oil.

    January 21, 2010 at 5:41 pm |
  65. Mike, Albuquerque, NM

    What your article doesn't report is that her cell phone fell out of her clothing as she ATTACKED THE PRINCIPAL... I know that whipping is an extreme punishment. But I have no more sympathy left in me for out of control teenagers. Todays teenager need a good whipping.

    January 21, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  66. Katja in Florida

    It says that our politicians are so far in bed with the Saudis, that they simply don't care! It is horrible that in the second decade of the 21st century that women are still being treated like that, religion or not.

    January 21, 2010 at 5:44 pm |
  67. Al Portland Ore.

    It will certainly make her think twice about doing it again. Perhaps she has a "rap" sheet that extends beyond this incident. It seems quite extreme but the law in Saudi Arabia, is in fact, their law. It is subject to their interpetation not ours.

    January 21, 2010 at 5:44 pm |
  68. jim, concord, nc

    At root, despite all the surface modernity, this is a Stone Age society,like all fundamentalist theocracies. We need to apply more leverage– and yes, we have it, even given our slavish dependence on Saudi oil– to end barbarities like lashing children.

    On the other hand, lashing ADULTS here at home who yak incessantly or text on their cell phones while attempting to drive their cars and truck has a certain appeal!

    January 21, 2010 at 5:47 pm |
  69. Peggy Smetana

    Regarding the fact that the U.S. remains so friendly toward Saudia Arabia, despite their inhumane treatment of women, because Saudi Arabia has oil –

    This shows that America desparately needs to become independent of all other countries. We need to develop ALL our energy sources NOW, including oil, gas, nuclear, coal, wind, solar, geothermal.

    We need to free companies from over-regulation. We need to drill in ANWAR and off our coastlines. We will safeguard our environment better than other nations drilling off our shores.'

    BECOME ENERGY INDEPENDENT – develop NOW what is economically feasible NOW. Reduce environmental regulations to effect energy independence. Our lives and freedoms, and the lives and freedoms of other peoples, depend on it.

    January 21, 2010 at 5:49 pm |
  70. Remo, from beautiful downtown Pflugerville, Texas

    Jack, the punishment was disgusting, but the real question is, why didn't she follow a "known" rule? We all have rules, most prefer to think they're above it all. We have so many rules here that we don't enforce, yet we make more.

    January 21, 2010 at 5:51 pm |
  71. Lee

    Stop getting involved in the laws of other countries. The student should not have brought a cellphone to school if it was against school rules. A pity we do not flog people in the USA for texting while driving, we wouldn't have so many road fatalities.

    January 21, 2010 at 5:52 pm |
  72. Brian Delray Beach, FL

    It says we need to get rolling on alternative fuels and get off the oil addiction. Only then can we get new allies who are not sadistic nut cases who ship a big chunk of the money we pay for oil to the other nut case criminals who kill our soldiers and citizens. This dependence on oil and the protection of the American monopolies who refine and distribute it is a sin against humanity as it makes us ignore such acts of cruelty in fear of retibution from these slime balls.

    January 21, 2010 at 6:00 pm |
  73. Steve

    Would they still be an ally if they did not have all that oil?

    Steve,
    Laguna Niguel, CA

    January 21, 2010 at 6:02 pm |
  74. Jim

    Jack,

    Yes it is sick and disgusting from our viewpoint. On the other hand, our attitudes towards guns, alcohol, drugs, and sex probably seem pretty sick to many devout Muslims. Until we're all raised under the same philosophical teachings, we're going to be different. We could choose to officially condemn such behavior but, as you pointed out the economic and political realities stand in our way. So we look the other way. That's just how it is.

    Jim
    Reno, Nevada

    January 21, 2010 at 6:03 pm |
  75. Bob, St. Thomas Pa.

    It says we shouldn't be buying oil from them. This is one of the results of this country's complete lack of an energy policy, unless you count doing nothing as a policy. We send $500.000 per minute to the middle east- when is this going to stop?

    January 21, 2010 at 6:03 pm |
  76. Paulette in Dallas,PA

    It says that these people are sickos. Hillary Clinton should be sent there to intervene on this poor young girls part. The kid could die from all of those lashes. Why people are are not particularly fond of Muslims is directly related to radical actions like the ones in this story.

    January 21, 2010 at 6:04 pm |
  77. Steve Batts Edna Kansas

    Saudi Arabia beheads criminals for major crimes, They stone women to death for adultery. They cut of hands of thieves. 90 lashes is a slap on the wrist,
    What are we going to do slap the hands that rape our economy with their oil?

    January 21, 2010 at 6:07 pm |
  78. Walter Wilson

    That they're becoming more progressive?

    Walter Wilson
    Los Angeles

    January 21, 2010 at 6:07 pm |
  79. Wayne from New Brunswick Canada

    Sorry, but you're judging other cultures by your standards. Its not too hard to figure out that Islam is a religion designed to maintain men's power over women and that is exactly the way they want to keep it. (and you wonder why they fight tooth and nail in Afghanistan and Pakistan!) It is a man's world over there! Sometimes I think women have pushed it too far in our society; if you are a man accused of a sex offence you're toast. Change in other cultures is a very gradual thing; you're probably looking at a 100yr timeline.

    January 21, 2010 at 6:08 pm |
  80. Kyle, Irvine, CA

    Jack,
    As long as we get their oil, we will look the other way just like you said. The way women are treated in Saudi Arabia is an outrage. But that's the way it's been and it is not likely to change.

    January 21, 2010 at 6:09 pm |
  81. Jeff Redondo Beach, CA

    Lashes in Saudi Arabia, female genital mutilation orther arab countries; stoning in Iraq. It goes on and on. Without modern communication devices, none of these horrible incidents would have been known in this country. They have been going on for years and years. Obviously acceptable behavior in the muslim countries, but criminal acts in western countries, often punishable by death. It sickens us, yet we are unable to do anything. Let's say we sanction them. What will they do? Nothing, as they do not care at all what we say or do. They will not change because they are religious zealots whose intrepretation of their religion allows these behaviors to continue. It is up to the President and Congress to decide what action should be taken. However, they will never do anything because they do not have the guts to take on the Arabs.

    January 21, 2010 at 6:10 pm |
  82. John

    With friends like Saudi Arabia who the hell needs enemies? Remember that the majority of the members of the hijackers involved in 9/11 were Saudi's.
    Thanks
    John Marshell

    January 21, 2010 at 6:11 pm |
  83. Loren, Chicago

    It says that the world is a complex place and our values are necessarily anyone else's values. That being said, Saudi Arabia reflects what happens when power is concentrated in the hands of a few - they will do whatever it takes to maintain that power. The rulers of Saudi Arabia live lavish lifestyles at odds with those of their citizens and have made a pact with the religious clerics to protect their own lavish lifestyles, trading off the citizenry's freedom. As to what it says of America, it says the same as it does of every other country that buys Saudi oil, that we are all willing to look the other way to maintain our lifestyles.

    January 21, 2010 at 6:13 pm |
  84. Peter Holmes

    It says that America respects the laws and cultural rules of other independent sovreign nations. While we all generally agree that the 90 lash punishment to a 13 year old girl for bringing a cell phone to school (and her subsequent assualt on her teacher for busting her) is extreme, America as a nation has no business in mettling in Saudi legal matters UNLESS the one being punished is an American...in that case, America as a country has an obligation to protect its citizens. Just as we will always marvel at the beauty and uniquesness of many aspects of foreign cultures, we will also always be disgusted and repulsed by other aspects of them. We have no business in judging others as a nation, unless they represent a tangible threat to America as a nation, not for what we "stand for" as a people.

    January 21, 2010 at 6:17 pm |
  85. Adam Simi Valley, CA

    It says that we should all be grateful that we have the fortune to live in America, where we men and women are created equal and there is a crucial need to separate church and state. It reminds us that America is the best country in the world and we should act like it instead of bowing to barbarians like the Saudis and apologizing for protecting our interests. It also shows the need to release the shackles on our creative minds and think seriously about where our future energy supplies will come from so one we won't be beholden to this kind of scum.

    January 21, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  86. Alex

    Jack, it says quite clearly that economic alliances (money) are far more important than civil liberties and human rights. If this girl were from a wealthy family, she wouldn't be touched.

    January 21, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  87. Rahim

    Why does CNN care how Saudi school officials punish there teens? Who are we to judge, look at the American school system, its terrible! How about they write articles on American schools, where teachers are having sex with students. How about they write articles on the poor quality of American schooling, how many teens are graduating illiterate. Focus on your own problems! Is this even the whole story? Like in America do schools always release all details to foreign media. You're just looking for anyway possible to bash Islam, desperate and pathetic.

    January 21, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  88. Thom Richer

    It is for reasons such as this that should make us realize we have no business doing business with countries under religious fanatics rule. We are aware of their primitive customs and religious "beliefs" and still we choose to do business with them and call them an ally. When we know damned well they are not, in the true definition of the word, our ally. Yet, we do not have the courage nor conviction to refuse support of such governments because of pure and obvious coroprate and political gain through greed. It plainly shows the real reasons we deal with such governments and you can bet your sweet ass what they do tor do not do to13 year old girls does not enter in to it.

    Thom Richer
    Negaunee, MI

    January 21, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  89. mary

    It says very clearly that this religion is full of evils and threatens to take the world back to the dark ages if it could............Why are we afraid of them

    January 21, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  90. mamie

    Jack, it says the same thing as it does about everything else our goverment does. it is all about greed and damn those who should get in the way.
    we have become a very pathetic nation when we can hold hands with the saudi while they treat their women and children this way. Oil is blood money and they care not whose they blood they spill. this greed started in Texas many years ago, and it gets worse every year.

    January 21, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  91. Rahim

    Read your OWN article! The girl assaulted her teacher! That's why she was punished, not because she had a cell phone? I'm sorry does it disturb you that harsh punishments are given to teens. Perhaps you would like it more if there teens were modeling American teen girls who dress like whores, strip for old men online, have multiple sex partners by the age of 15, lack any respect for there parents or authority in general. Who are you to judge? Look what's going on in your own backyard, western teens are a disgrace to the world.

    January 21, 2010 at 6:29 pm |
  92. Bert

    This is a perfect example of the way these people think,there values and there way of life!How can you reason with this kind of mentality?
    Who are we to think we can bring our western ways into there back yard and change them?We come from different backgrounds so let them kill each other if that is what they want!Sounds crude and cruel but to each his own!
    Lets focus on our country,our people and our security and let all other countries live how they want in there country!Very simple and most of our problems would go away!
    We can't change the world,continue to support the world and have wars with everyone.Until one man stands up and leads our country and our country alone we will continue to get deeper in debt and be a divided country.
    This idea that we can support,control,lead and bully any nation is a political failure and the distruction of our infra structure and nation!
    God help us!

    January 21, 2010 at 6:36 pm |
  93. A. Smith, Oregon

    Why is America continuing to support these people and principally the Royal Family in Saudi Arabia who has more skeletons in their family closet than any average US Senator ever will.

    Cheap plentiful Oil? Is that a reason to totally dump the entire core of American values? Why is America continuing to fight proxy wars for Saudi Arabia?

    No American majority will ever support Sharia Law in America, and yet Saudi Arabia is the largest promoter of Sharia Law for the entire world!

    America needs to cast off the enslavement of Big Oil and leave Saudi Arabia to its own debauched pathetic natures.

    January 21, 2010 at 6:40 pm |
  94. sohail zahoor

    discipline, my friend !

    to each his own!

    the reason you and your fellow colleagues are employed in such prestigious organizations as CNN.

    The reason why your pants don't hang below your butt crack

    the reason why you can speak english properly

    the reason why you wonder what happened to america as we all knew it.

    the reason why we all wonder about post spanking american child ( and i don't mean like bastards , to hurt a child )

    a child is not a child when they reach puberty that's my view any way.

    January 21, 2010 at 6:41 pm |
  95. Ralph Spyer chicago Il

    We have our own religious clerics that are nuts did you hear what they have said about Haiti or when they try to cover up sex abuse. Then we have the nuts who say it O.K to kill doctors because he will give a woman free choice we live in a glass house Let the Saudi alone

    January 21, 2010 at 6:41 pm |
  96. Will from San Jose, CA

    All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing. As long as we are dependent on foreign oil, we will not only do nothing, but we will watch our President's kiss and walk hand-in-hand with the rulers of Saudi Arabia.

    January 21, 2010 at 6:51 pm |
  97. Fred (Maryland)

    Crazy! Absolutely Crazy!! But she knew the rules, and rules are rules.
    Still think it's wrong.

    January 21, 2010 at 6:51 pm |
  98. Walter David

    Is there drunk drive incidents, how about theft, what about murder, child abuse? Is this country doing something different than the so called democracy nations ? Leave their culture based right to to them.

    Walter,Quebec

    January 21, 2010 at 6:53 pm |
  99. 0sman

    Well,jack this henious and disgusting act is not only against human rights and childrens rights but it also shows us and especially you americans that you shouldnt take anything for granted no matter how small it may be.

    January 21, 2010 at 6:58 pm |
  100. E.J. in Tacoma

    It is absurd that we support this country with it's archaic laws and principles. The master minders of 9/11 and corporal punishment for 13 year olds who carry cell phones. It's true Jack women have walk behind their husbands and be totally covered when out in public just the eyes peering out into the world. Practices have not changed since biblical times. Being a woman heaven forbid I write something like this in Saudi Arabia.
    E.J.Mohammed

    January 21, 2010 at 6:59 pm |
  101. James in anaheim california

    That we need to rely on our own resources instead of those from barbaric countries such as saudi arabia and kick their lily white buts to the curb!

    January 21, 2010 at 6:59 pm |
  102. Gigi Oregon

    I think it has something to do with oil. We did nothing when they flew planes into the WTC. Yes, they were from Saudi Arabia.

    January 21, 2010 at 6:59 pm |
  103. Mark

    This kind of real TORTURE is done in Saudi Arabia and not one word from all the people who are so concerned about the RIGHTS of terrorists in U.S. custody? Where are they? Where is the President? and most of all where is the outrage from companies that do business with that Unholy country of Saudi Arabia?

    Mark
    Oklahoma City, OK

    January 21, 2010 at 7:00 pm |
  104. Vivien from NY

    Saudi Arabia is not the only country that treats women cruelly. Doesn't say much for us now does it that we don't speak up about it .

    January 21, 2010 at 7:02 pm |
  105. Lisa, Costa Rica

    It's all about the oil, isn't it, Jack?

    January 21, 2010 at 7:05 pm |
  106. Ed from California

    This is sick! How about we stop buying their oil. Or...how about we just stop buying their oil.... once a month. We are addicted to their oil and we just go along with their perverted "policies", excuse me, "religious beliefs' that include hating women. Of course they don't hate women when it soot's them. Jack, does the "common" citizen of that country go along with this, nonsense? Maybe the only answer for that entire region is turning it into a sheet of glass. It'll keep a kid from getting beat.

    January 21, 2010 at 7:08 pm |
  107. Antonio from Washington D.C.

    Do not let your kids do stupid things or else get flogged!

    January 21, 2010 at 7:11 pm |
  108. Suleyman Osman

    This is beyond madness, really it defies logic.
    just because she brought a phone to the school she gets 90 lashes? what if God forbid she brought a laptop? perhaps they would have chopped her head.
    This insanely run kingdom ought to be told when to quit been unreasonable. Or is it an unofficial cry for notice from the west?
    Islam is built on logic. Be logical Saudis, wisen up and drop this type of fanaticism.

    January 21, 2010 at 7:19 pm |
  109. Lance, Ridgecrest, Ca

    Jack, It says we Americans are more afraid of losing our gas priviledges than we are concerned about the criminal beating of defenseless women and children. It says we really need energy independence, so we can be free to condemn this kind of inhumanity, instead of turning our backs for the sake of a few million barrels of oil. This child may die from this beating, and surely will be scarred for life. So how about it environmentalists? Can we drill in our own backyard as we work toward energy independence or are we going to continue to ignor things like this for the sake of oil?

    January 21, 2010 at 7:21 pm |
  110. phreddnmichigan

    The United States has given the Saudis carte blanche. The US long ago sold its soul and honor for Saudi oil. As long as the Saudis provide oil they are free to do as they please, to include being the home for radical Islamist doctrines and the major monetary source for terrorist endeavors.

    January 21, 2010 at 7:22 pm |
  111. Sue From Idaho

    I wish cell phone were banned in all schools, let these kids leave them at the door. If they want to say something to another student let them pass notes like we did, at least they will learn to write and spell.

    January 21, 2010 at 7:31 pm |
  112. Linda in Arizona

    You already stated what it says about our oil dependence. What you didn't say is Obama isn't going to do any more about it than bush did. He won't say one word about it, even though he has daughters of his own. Shame on us, and shame on him.

    January 21, 2010 at 7:31 pm |
  113. Carolyn, Pensacola, FL

    It says that deep down, they really hate women. This 13th century mentality persists in spite of all the progress mankind has made. Women's groups have been complaining about these things for years, but it is only when an unusually shocking case like this one that people pay attention. Maybe someday the oil rich nations will run out of oil and will have to toe the line just like everybody else does. Until that day, they will obviously continue to torture their women with no repercussions from anybody. U.S. is no help in spite of all the talk about human rights. Nobody seems to really grasp the fact that women's rights ARE human rights.

    January 21, 2010 at 7:32 pm |
  114. Laura

    It says with friends like that, who needs enemies? Actually, what it REALLY says, is that all the US really cares about is the power of its allies, couldn't give a damn about their values. Kinda sounds like our polticians, doesn't it? It breaks my heart to know how women are treated in other countries, and to me, if there is any justification for our meddling in the Middle East, it is that somehow some social reform will come about because of it.
    Laura

    January 21, 2010 at 7:35 pm |
  115. T.Thomas in Abilene Tx.

    It says we need different friends plus a good, renewable energy policy.Seriously,though, why are we surprised? The U.S. looked the other way(because the "leaders" were anti-Communist) when Haiti had that famous duo-Papa Doc and Baby Doc Duvalier,among others, greedily ravishing their own country .How well has that worked out?

    January 21, 2010 at 7:37 pm |
  116. Ron Yarborough

    Scarey isn't it?....we have got to do something to make this a better world......Maybe all we can do is PRAY for a better world....this incident shows that the bad folks are in charge and that needs to be changed.

    Ron Yarborough
    Fort Mill SC

    January 21, 2010 at 7:37 pm |
  117. Caryn

    It says that if you have the money, or in this case the commodity, you can buy anything from airtime to blatantly lie to the public, to a senator, to friendship with the US. The US isn't a humanist, a Christian, or a democratic nation. First and foremost, we are capitalist, and until we individually start to care about the lives of others more than we care about our own luxuries, things will stay this way.

    January 21, 2010 at 7:37 pm |
  118. Luci - Illinois

    I guess she should not have broken the rules. Thirteen years old is old enough to know right from wrong.
    I'm sure King Abdullah would not interfere in this country.
    Maybe you could send Bush over there to kiss and hold his hand and he will let the girl be.
    Do you think we should go to war with them too? That seems to be the way the Republicans way to solve anything.

    January 21, 2010 at 7:40 pm |
  119. charles halasz

    It is all her fault. Kids told no cell phone in school, she did not obey the order now she pays for it.But the punishment is to hars. Charlie from Toronto, Canada

    January 21, 2010 at 7:56 pm |
  120. Mike from Denver

    Their country and their laws, like it or not. I am sure we have laws that are offensive to people in other countries, including to our allies. If we want to tell others how to run their country, we need to be open to their criticisms as well.

    January 21, 2010 at 8:01 pm |
  121. Richard Rogstad

    Exactly what limit can be placed on corporations, through unlimited money to office holders? Nothing. Our democracy is dead!!!. How can almost anyone in America not see the danger?

    The democrats must use the nuclear option that was threatened by the Republicans.-51 Senate votes to pass any legislation or appointments. First order of business: expand the Supreme Court to 15. Immediately appoint new members. Vote for Public Financing of all elections only.

    January 21, 2010 at 8:04 pm |
  122. Steven; Cottage Grove, MN

    We should consider if it is the right of any government to act in ways that harms its own citizenry using cruel and unusual punishments, whether or not it has the actual, tacit, or manufactured consent of its people. There must be a humanitarian principle that supercedes the powers of government. What Saudia Arabia is doing seems to be a human rights violation that should be taken up in a world court.

    January 21, 2010 at 8:05 pm |
  123. Gino Flangt

    I find it completely sick that the US is lettibg Saudi Arabi get away with it. I, a devout muslim, think the only readon the US will just ignore it is because Saudi Arabia can blackmail us by cutting off our oil if we retaliate negatively.

    January 21, 2010 at 8:19 pm |
  124. Eashaan Vajpeyi

    It says that radical Islamic behavior is not being adequately condemned by the US or any kind of unified Islamic leadership. It is time to abandon the notion that all foreign cultural practices should be unquestionably respected and condemn states who are seemingly stuck in a medieval state of mind.

    January 21, 2010 at 8:19 pm |
  125. David Alan Arnold

    Saudi Arabia has not moved into the modern world, because it works for the men who are in power. What other country would we tolerate such actions from? Clearly, we just go belly up instead of confronting, because they got the oil. They are little better than Iran.

    January 21, 2010 at 8:20 pm |
  126. John Morris

    If she was warned not to do it, then she earned the reward for her action. Would thieves think twice about stealing if their hand could be cut off?

    January 21, 2010 at 8:21 pm |
  127. Mehra

    We should respect the cultures of other countries as well as the rules of the school Both of which come above all else. The student should be punished since this is a matter of discipline. She was aware of the rules and defied the rules of the kingdom as well as school boards.

    January 21, 2010 at 8:22 pm |
  128. Alan Beaulieu

    I'm from Alberta, Canada, a place demonized by Al Gore because of the carbon-intensive oilsands, which offer the U.S. secure, reliable non-Saudi oil supply. Your choice, America...Child-floggers or your friends to the north.

    January 21, 2010 at 8:22 pm |
  129. Tory in Georgia

    Just taking away the girl's phone is punishment enough for a teenager.

    January 21, 2010 at 8:22 pm |
  130. pamela holt

    what does it mean jack, when after we were attacked on 911 and were told that the majority of terroists involved were from saudi arabia, and our leader attacked iraq? whenever obama was irritated at irans president, he made the statement, we are a nation of laws. funny how that statement doesn"t apply when laws pertaining to illegal immigration, etc. come into play. the american citizens deserve better....

    January 21, 2010 at 8:22 pm |
  131. Andy

    Regarding the 13-year old Saudi girl: Another reason why we need to be rid of our dependence on Saudi oil – maybe if they didn't have our money, they'd need to pay more attention to world opinion and try to be more civilized. Just building a tower in the desert won't do it. Speaking of which, has anyone noticed which Middle Eastern country is the only one to jump into Haiti? That would be Israel – where are all the Arab countries with all the money now that the world needs them?

    January 21, 2010 at 8:23 pm |
  132. Jose Gomez

    What it says is that this country's government has for long embraced a hypocritical stance on human rights. It demands that nations that lack the resources we need such as cuba and north korea to change their ways, but when it comes to countries whose resources it needs it ignores vile, inhumane abuses. Of course it all goes back to the U.S. gov't protecting the investments of U.S. oil conglomerates in abusive dictatorships like Saudi Arabia.

    Allentown,PA

    January 21, 2010 at 8:26 pm |
  133. Adam Solomon

    As a muslim, I will tell U jack that this is not sharia law. just like the rest of the middle east, saudia arabia is blinded by power and have a phobia of change. About oil, I think America should start moving forward to renewable energy sources. jsut remeber that saudi arabia is a very moderate country when dealing with the Israeli palestinain conflict

    January 21, 2010 at 8:26 pm |
  134. TBones

    Jack,

    Why would we do anything? We need oil and the Saudies have oil so we look the other way. We say we're for human rights but we don't do anything to change it. We hire cheap labor from China because big corporations can make big profits, we spend money on war so gun makers and make big profits, and we look the other way so we can make big profits. So why should we do anything when a 13 year old girl is punished when we can do nothing and make big profits.

    TBones

    January 21, 2010 at 8:26 pm |
  135. Tom from Vermilion, Ohio

    We need to start living within our means. Saudi Arabia and the other Islam Nations need to get a strong message. We don't need you. By continuing to reward these countries with the American Dollar only encourages such behavior. Call it isolationism...so be it!

    January 21, 2010 at 8:27 pm |
  136. Steve

    Well Jack, Women aren't the only opressed groups. The country is just like Iran – No Homosexuals either. This is strictly forboden. One in ten persons there is A State-Mandated Celibate. I'd take the lashes.

    January 21, 2010 at 8:27 pm |
  137. Jon

    Saudi Arabia is a sovereign nation, Jack.

    January 21, 2010 at 8:27 pm |
  138. David Williams, Louisville, KY

    Am startled. Saudis embraced modernity and civilization from its face value, but clinch to retrogressive practices. When has bringing cell phone to clas becomes an offence of such proportion?

    January 21, 2010 at 8:28 pm |
  139. jim wade

    If this is the rule of law in the school, then she needs to pay the price of being discipline. It seems harsh, but so what.

    January 21, 2010 at 8:29 pm |
  140. Ms Hussein

    It is unacceptable and inhumane to inflict such pain on a child and Islam does not at all agree to such behaviour, then where do these Sharia Laws come from? This is what islam says :

    "One cannot beat the child in a manner that a wound is inflicted, or a bone fractured or broken, or a bruise appears or an internal disorder results (to the heart or brains, etc.). If the limits are transgressed as described above in any way, even by a single stroke, such a person will be regarded as sinful"

    January 21, 2010 at 8:29 pm |
  141. John Morris

    Women in Saudi Arabia are not economic slaves for their nation. Their responsibility is to continue the lineage of Abraham and assist the children in their development. Why do they need to drive??? The best prayer of the Muslimah woman is the one that is performed in the home.-Prophet Muhammad

    January 21, 2010 at 8:29 pm |
  142. John Thomason

    I cannot say openly what I think of the Saudis and their 90 lashes, but rest assured it would not be good what I would say. By the way, what has Saudi Arabia contributed to Haiti thus far??? And, why does the USA purchase oil from the likes of such inhumane people while chastising Chauvez of Venuezula who has come to the aid of Haiti???

    My o My...

    January 21, 2010 at 8:30 pm |
  143. jim

    thats ok with me we should try it our kids do ut time and time again bet she will not do it again

    January 21, 2010 at 8:31 pm |
  144. Sean

    What can America really say? It is their law. Do I feel that a punishment of that extent is a little much...of course. But truthfully America needs to adopt stricter penalties for breaking the law. By making an example out of this little girl unfortunately, I promise you it will be less likely to happen again. Crime here in the states would drop if we adopted harsher penalties. Thank you for your time.

    Manassas, Va

    January 21, 2010 at 8:31 pm |
  145. Dr. Vishwanath Ayengar

    Jack, 90 lashes to a 13-year old girl for any reason shows that according to the mullahs in Saudi Arabia their Islam is a very sick religion, very sick indeed.

    Vish Ayengar
    USA

    January 21, 2010 at 8:31 pm |
  146. Don from Belleville, Ontario

    The USA is only one country with one set of values. The world is a diverse place. Helping out in a situation like Haiti is one thing, and most commendable. Trying to force American values on the rest of the world is probably one of the reasons the USA gets involved in so many useless wars.

    January 21, 2010 at 8:31 pm |
  147. Eric

    Why should America care? The girl knew the rules and she added to her offense by assaulting her teacher. America needs to consider the Saudi's policy instead of criticizing it.

    January 21, 2010 at 8:32 pm |
  148. Frandy

    It's none of our business how anybody raise their kids cause what works for one household may not work for the other so sometimes we have to be a little bit stricter but it all should be done in love and not of appearance to the public eyes

    January 21, 2010 at 8:33 pm |
  149. Simmy

    Ain't religion great!?

    January 21, 2010 at 8:34 pm |
  150. Mary Lou Monfils

    Giving a 13 year old any lashes at all, much less 90, just goes to show there is truly evil in the world.

    January 21, 2010 at 8:34 pm |
  151. Maryjane from Ohio

    I think that is just silly. I am sorry but why do women always get the brunt of the punishment and these punishments are carried out by women. I don't know but I feel this is another form of Chauvinism. I feel women, especially mothers, in Saudi Arabia are not fans of older men having sex with their underage daughters. The change has to come from the Saudi women.

    January 21, 2010 at 8:34 pm |
  152. Randy

    If we did the same to Osama Bin Laden here The Saudi's would probably be up in arms, probably people here too. Kind of reminds me of the Salem witch trials. Its kind of hard communicating with people from the 17th century. Even that era is too modern for them, we may have to go way back before B.C.

    January 21, 2010 at 8:35 pm |
  153. Gayle G.

    Jack,

    Do you REALLY believe that the Saudis are going to lash this girl so bad that she is going to die or be really hurt? Come On!!! They just want to teach her a lesson. They have laws just like we do. There are broken and you pay the price. I was spanked in Elementary school with a big wooden board. It hurt! It was suppose too! Why try to make a bad deal out of this and try to make Saudi Arabia look bad???

    January 21, 2010 at 8:35 pm |
  154. Maryjane from Ohio

    I think that is just silly. I am sorry but why do women always get the brunt of the punishment and these punishments are carried out by men. I don't know but I feel this is another form of Chauvinism. I feel women, especially mothers, in Saudi Arabia are not fans of older men having sex with their underage daughters. The change has to come from the Saudi women.

    January 21, 2010 at 8:35 pm |
  155. Kofiro

    Jack I am Muslim and I very much dislike Saudi’s cruel acts of crime against its people. That is what it is. I can say with certainty that there are no verses in the Quran or in the Teaching of Mohamed Peace of Allah be upon him that says to lash a child 90 times for bringing a cell phone to the class room. There is no viable government in Saudi Arabia. There is only a kingdom, a tyrannical one that commits shocking crimes against its people. And the sad thing is no one is going to anything about.

    January 21, 2010 at 8:35 pm |
  156. linda in Memphis

    It says the U.S. is about as socially moral as these fanatics in Saudi Arabia. I'd rather sit in line for gas or pay $5 a gallon than countenance this, not to mention the 12 school girls who died in a fire, thanks to the "Religious Police". We supported abolishment of apartheid so why are we condoning such outrageous cruelty???

    January 21, 2010 at 8:36 pm |
  157. Robert Bee

    Jack..Once again the kingdom of Saudi Arabia brutalizes it's own people. There will be outrage for awhile and then the "king" will be shown walking hand in hand with the president. It takes guts to do what should be done.Cut all ties with these brutal brutal people and, yes tell them to keep their "bloody" oil. You seen anybody in your country (or mine) with that kind of guts....Me neither. Nor for a long time!

    January 21, 2010 at 8:36 pm |
  158. Frieda

    Thanks, Jack, for putting this shameful injustice on the air. Saudi Arabia needs to be shamed over how they are treating their children and women. They need to take another look at their religion before using it to justify treating God's – or Allah's – children with such incredible brutality. Haven't they progressed since the Dark Ages?

    January 21, 2010 at 8:36 pm |
  159. Paula Willbanks

    King Abdulah is a pawn of the religious zealots. This punishment is inappropriate by civilized standards and frankly sick. If the USA government, under any party's leadership, continues to buy oil from these perverts, then, by default, we as a community are sick too.

    January 21, 2010 at 8:37 pm |
  160. Mike Goblan

    This piece of news is "misleading" and "overrated". the kind of lashes they are talking about in the news piece is nothing more than a "soft hand lashes with a wood ruler" just to discipline the girl. and according to the local Saudi media and independent news feeds the girl abused and destroyed the teachers' face causing severe scratches and bruises. Just using such a piece of news to say "overrated" things about Saudi is unjustified. That country might be strict but NOT THAT STRICT. The US is an ally not because of the oil industry itself, but because Saudi itself purchase weapons and military artillery and equipment. just as the US did sell such things to terrorists, "Communists" and "Dictatorial" states. it's just politics, or in this case: business

    January 21, 2010 at 8:37 pm |
  161. Patricia Henry

    I believe it is a disgrace to the Saudi government to make a statement in punishing a child with ninety lashes and to top it off putting her in jail. If these women would stand together and fight for what is right in that country things will change. May god deal with them because of the way women are treated in Saudi Arabia. Our president Obama should find another way to get oil and maybe things will change for the better.

    I will pray for this thirteen year old girl that she live through this abuse.

    Brooklyn, NY

    January 21, 2010 at 8:37 pm |
  162. Judy - Iowa

    This plainly says we are opportunistic friends out of necessity. What other choice do we really have? Those with the oil hate us, so to obtain our 'fix' we are obligated to look the other way. Until the day comes when we get serious about becoming independent of our addiction to oil this is the way things will be.
    In addition to the lifelong scars from the punishment doled out by the Saudi Courts, this poor girl will also be facing the wrath of her father.

    January 21, 2010 at 8:37 pm |
  163. Reality Check

    It shows we are the brown nosers of any county that sells oil. We have lost our morals and our values. Yet, we send our children to die.

    January 21, 2010 at 8:38 pm |
  164. keith a. johnson

    The Saudi Arabian girl sentenced to receive 90 lashes is a prime example of an oil-rich country that has too long dominated the will of its female population from birth to death by dictating their lives and lifestlyes based on a male-dominated ruling system anchored in exorbitant wealth and justified by religious zealots.

    January 21, 2010 at 8:38 pm |
  165. stacy

    Oh Jack here is the problem: We can't say a damn thing. They own us until we figure out how to move forward on our own... isn't that what we were supposed to be doing when we had the Revolution... way back then... this is wrong and we should say so but... oh how the money flows.
    Good luck out there.

    January 21, 2010 at 8:38 pm |
  166. Lalu Vaswani

    Justice that does not provide punishment that is proportional to the infringement alleged does not promote respect but rather fear and anxiety. It also promotes doubt that the sentence is in consonance with the fundamental principles of Islam. There is urgent need to transform the excessive practices by use of diplomacy.

    January 21, 2010 at 8:38 pm |
  167. Shirley Ellis

    This is an outrage! This is Sharia Law? The United States, England and any other country that would think of allowing Sharia Law has got to wake up!! Our country is on good terms with Saudi Arabia? We should let them know that this punishment of a young girl is unacceptable and must not happen! We should rethink who our friends are! Is oil really so important to us when we have plenty under ground waiting to be drilled?

    January 21, 2010 at 8:39 pm |
  168. vic

    my question to you jack is why the united states has allowed the building of suadi financed mosques with the whahabbi philosophy that el queda is steeped in. we are talking about a foreign power-saudi arabia-subverting other forms of islamic teaching and spending hundreds of millions to radicalize our north american society. as well as other countries in europe and australia/new zealand and of course canada. no other religions are legally permitted their own version of a house of worship. Most of all the saudi arabia legal system permits slavery. is this a true ally?

    January 21, 2010 at 8:39 pm |
  169. Adam ( age14)

    I'd rather see the US stay out of this issue. We should not feel the need to go into other countries and change their ideals. We should allow countries to evolve to meet the global standards. LIke we did during the American Revolution, the best way to learn to change your ideals for example freedom, is for a country to go through the problems and journey themselves, not shoved through the buraecratic meat grinder that America offers. Saudi's have their veiws and we should respect it, our relationship at this point is business. Like with Hiati and Iraq we should only enter countries or confront countries seriously is if their city's and town's infastructures are in need of structural repare and enter countries if they are commiting universal crimes like trying to take over other countries. This is a harsh punishment, but don't Saudi's think it's crazy that our women wear bathing suits? Whats the standard?

    January 21, 2010 at 8:40 pm |
  170. mark

    Yes, Jack, lets take over this country, like Iraq, because they don't think like we do. Lets take out the leaders, and send millions of dollars and soldiers over there! Worked real well in Iraq. Turns out an Iron hand was a little better than democracy for THOSE people. Or, cut off negotiations , and all business ties, so we can have another middle eastern country that hates us . Great idea!

    January 21, 2010 at 8:41 pm |
  171. Vey Gamache

    thy live by totaly differtent rules and guidlines. why is this . the rest of the world is kept out of their countries and children are overly protected. Realy it wastn't all that long ago that it was much the same all over the world.
    But over time women started their climb out of this mental prison. Now we are very lucky and have laws to protect most lf us. But stop and think there are pockets of women in the western hemisphere who don't do anything but obey the men in their lives,and they allow this to occur. vey canada

    January 21, 2010 at 8:41 pm |
  172. Gayle G.

    Like some people have said on here, the Muslims don't want their women running around without clothes on like in the U.S. and they don't want millons of people locked up in prisons. You do the crime and you pay a price, a big price. If the U.S. did the same we wouldn't have millions of criminals running around. Drug dealers woudln't exist. They'd have their heads cut off!!! Good punishment!!!

    January 21, 2010 at 8:42 pm |
  173. Deb - Santa Cruz CA

    I expect President Obama to speak out in her defense, or at least do something behind the scenes to stop this. If he does not stand against such brutality because he is afraid of insulting the Saudis, then all is lost.

    January 21, 2010 at 8:43 pm |
  174. Kathleen from Ketchum, Idaho

    I think it is time to re-think who our allies are and what their moral values are. The reason we have the relationship that we do with Saudi Arabia is because of oil. We need to have a foot hold in the Middle East, politically and to preserve our ability to get oil. Forget the women, children and Osama Bin Laden!!

    January 21, 2010 at 8:44 pm |
  175. Patty Neidert

    We need to give the Saudi's 40 million verbal lashes for what they are doing to all women everywhere, because when one suffers, we all suffer! Let's make some noise America! Send texts and messages of all sorts to let the Saudis know what we think and connect with Saudi women via facebook and send moral support whenever possible. we will overcome!!!

    January 21, 2010 at 8:44 pm |
  176. cait in manhattan

    If these Shariah lawmakers were in this country they'd be in jail for criminal activity. They are psychotic maniacs, and they should be hauled to International Criminal court, and prosecuted for crimes against humanity. We should leverage sanctions against Saudi Arabia until they change these Medieval laws. I thought President Obama would be the kind of man to speak out against these kinds of inhumane acts. I would think this is where he should be more vocal, and we will follow. Enough is enough! How can we stand by when these cruel acts are taking place against women and children?

    January 21, 2010 at 8:44 pm |
  177. Musebullah ibn Qubbullah

    what is wrong! is to allow a murder to keep his life, and if he is allowed his life, it is wrong for him to keep his hands, you place madmen in jail for a term and let them free, to, more than likely commit the crime again or worst.
    lapidation is self asserted corporal punishment and is to be forgotten upon admitting you were wrong for a crime against ummah and would like to prove you will change.

    As Salaamu alaykum
    we have bad people in power in many places of the ummah.
    just as you do.

    forgive any misspelling

    January 21, 2010 at 8:45 pm |
  178. Davin

    Hey Jack, we need to remind Amerian politians and private companies who invest our dollars and jobs into Saudi oil, of where did 15 out of the 19 hijackers come from. They are the ones who deserve the 90 lashings.

    Davin in Sacramento

    January 21, 2010 at 8:45 pm |
  179. Gayle G.

    Mike Goblan, you see the principal as it is and not over rate it.

    January 21, 2010 at 8:46 pm |
  180. Greg

    First of all, I love how CNN became a neutral station on issues. I consider myself as a left-leaning progressive and when I want to see what the other side would say about an issue, I switch to CNN. Anyway, about this 13-year-old girl being lashed 90 times, I am sure that as a Christian nation, this is a horrific act. But, like what Mr. Cafferty said "...it's the religious clerics who wield all the power..." This just strengthens what the constitution says about the separation of the church and state and we here in the U.S. are very fortunate to have this. Imagine if religion will control the decisions that is reserved for the government (just imagine what's happening in Saudi Arabia, a 13-year old being lashed 90 times and that's just one of it). It is sad how some people would just like the status quo (and sometimes retrogress) because they are highly influenced by their religion. I was to comment something on my facebook that one of the parameters we can use to see if you did the right thing is by checking the people around, were they happy when you did something? Nobody was hurt in any way? If so, I believe what you did is the right thing. I hope that the future of America will not be decisions biased on religion but by making decisions that will NOT hurt our fellow human beings in any way. Otherwise, how different are we to the Saudi clerics?

    January 21, 2010 at 8:47 pm |
  181. aziz

    It is the rule and convention of education ministry of Saudi Arabia to ban the cell phones in schools... (So this is a regulation)

    The report states: "The girl reportedly assaulted her teacher after she was caught with the phone."

    Therefore, it obvious the sentencing is due the assaulting or something not published, and not just for carrying cell phone to school, (Even it could be if the ruler approves it since it is offense).

    January 21, 2010 at 8:47 pm |
  182. Toun

    Jack, I wish you would let the 13 year old be disciplined in the ways of their culture. Look around here the thirteen year olds have no respect for authority, disrespectful of rules and laws. she knew already that it was against the rule she tested the waters now will have herself to blame. U.S.A should stay out of this, relationship or not between governments , oil or no oil everyone can not be manipulated based on our idea of humanity. I bet no other female will commit the same blunder.

    January 21, 2010 at 8:48 pm |
  183. Julie Michigan

    Barbaric needless male domination. When they run out of oil maybe they will become more human. They will run out.
    I believe that the entity of person's that allow bad things like this come back and the same thing happens to them. Why their is so much grief in the world. Whomever allows this girl to be beaten will come back and they will experience the same. Buddist religion, but, makes sense to me.

    January 21, 2010 at 8:48 pm |
  184. pamela holt

    good question jack, here"s mine, why didn"t ALL , the media alert the public as to why didn"t we attack the country were most of the involved terroist came from, instead of of iraq, after 911?? ok, delete, you don"t want everyone to know the truth, perhaps they can"t handle it... again delete foley al. 251-943-2175 pamela fuller holt

    January 21, 2010 at 8:48 pm |
  185. Jasmine in Germany

    It is a reminder that a separation of church and state is a good policy and that we (the USA) are behind the times as far as developing renewable energy goes. I'm very sad for the girl, she was just being a young teenager and the punishment does not suit the crime, it is primitive. But, I'm more angry with the US politicians who use religion in politics and the presidential candidate who yelled "drill, baby, drill!" as part of his policy last autumn. Those things are very primitive, too.

    January 21, 2010 at 8:48 pm |
  186. Dave

    This treatment of the Saudi girl makes it even more urgent that we start using more Nat . Gas in this country and pass House bill 1835.
    We wouldn't be as dependent on middle east oil!

    January 21, 2010 at 8:49 pm |
  187. Liz - Toronto -

    Jack; This is barberic behaviour. These men are afraid of women and their potential. All of the oil and money in the world connot buy qualities such as basic human dignity and decency. Liz.

    January 21, 2010 at 8:52 pm |
  188. pamela holt

    good question jack, heres mine, why didn"t ALL the media ask why we didn"t attack saudi arabia.....after 911?????

    January 21, 2010 at 8:53 pm |
  189. Ian MacKenzie

    What does it say when America’s ally Saudi Arabia sentences a 13-year-old girl to 90 lashes after bringing a cell phone to school?
    It says it's all about religion and faith. Religions have different names, but they all rely on that one fundamental common denominator: Faith. The same faith that blinds most Americans to believe the earth was created in six days less than 10,000 years ago is the same faith that allows religious laws to lash a 13-year-old girl in Saudi Arabia. Without our secular government we would probably still be burning witches, and most likely homosexuals. at the stake. When religion and politics combine, the conviction with which the righteous pronounce judgment on others reaches levels of inhumanity that history endlessly confirms. Blind faith marches on.

    January 21, 2010 at 8:54 pm |
  190. Kristy Howard-Clark

    The problem with male oriented societies is that females get a pay off
    from this set up. Females do not have to mature and be responsible for themselves. I witnessed this in the past in the old South with the submissive women in the Christian churches. Until women stand up for themselves and stop allowing men to do evil to them, all of the disapproval in the world that is thrown at the men in their society will not help change anything. Men who are idiots and jerks are valued over and above women who might be more intelligent and more together but will not assert their God given right to equality. This treatment of women as second class citizens is not a part of the religion but it is imposed by tradition.

    January 21, 2010 at 8:58 pm |
  191. john

    Saudi is the birth place of most 9/11 hajackers, bin ladin leader of terror and so on. I don't see thepunishment as a new thing in capital of fanatic muslim country. The only thing I can say is for non muslims it shame and inhummane but for the muslim world proud of it.

    john,arizona

    January 21, 2010 at 8:59 pm |
  192. Patricia

    Jack hi....this was so hard to listen to......we just turned the tv on so did not know mright a way of the topice.....Jack I really only have 1 thing to say and that is

    Mehra you do not deserve to live in our country if you think this punishment is the right way to be.

    January 21, 2010 at 8:59 pm |
  193. R. Singh

    Mr. Cafferty:
    Please face Mecca and read this story again. Allah will fix the problem. God is Great. I wanted to say – give it to the President to solve, but he is "Weatherpoofed"." While he makes a comeback(smart presidents have to be successful) and re-embraces capitalism, Mrs. Clinton should be given a chance to fix the problem.

    Fremont, California

    January 21, 2010 at 8:59 pm |
  194. Edward Adler

    The Saudis can run their country as their religion tells them, as long as I can get high test for my Corvette, which now, after the horsepower upgrades, only gets about 12 mpg.

    January 21, 2010 at 8:59 pm |
  195. Ross

    She wont bring it to school again! There has to be severe consequences for your action. She did assault her teacher! Why are you not reporting that? If you cut the hand off of a drug dealer in he USA regardless of age; Do you think more or less people will sell drugs? Cut off a finger for any first time shoplifters. Cut their hand off for a second offender. Guess what! Shoplifting will go down and so would cost of goods! Don't cry about crimes unless you really want them to stop.

    January 21, 2010 at 9:00 pm |