Turned up to eleven: Fair and Balanced

Thursday, March 14, 2002

I was going to blog on some esoterica today, but I came across this story at CNN.com via Rand Simberg's site that left me completely speechless.
Saudi police face deaths criticism
The article headlines the rare criticism by the Saudi press of the Saudi religious police, but the real (horrifying) story is captured by this;
Saudi media and families of the victims have been incensed over the deaths of the girls in the fire that gutted a school on Monday in the Muslim holy city of Mecca. Most of the girls were crushed to death in a stampede as they tried to flee the blaze.

The al-Eqtisadiah daily said firemen scuffled with members of the religious police, also known as "mutaween," after they tried to keep the girls inside the burning building because they did not wear head scarves and abayas (black robes) as required by the kingdom's strict interpretation of Islam.
(emphasis mine)
I will post here the comment I made on Rand's site, because it is how this makes me feel;
That is the most horrible thing I have ever read. I can't think of anything else to say. It is hard for me to believe that I could say that about anything after 9/11, and maybe, in some sense, it is just the shock of it, but forcing someone to stay in a burning building because they are dressed wrong is absolutely inhuman.
Somehow, I don't think Iraq should be our next target. Someone else got left out of the "axis of evil."