This story from Saudi Gazette/Okaz, if reported accurately, has to stand as the idiocy of the day.
A man takes in the abandoned children who were the responsibility of their uncle, who moved away. Two of the children are teenage girls. The Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice charge him with khulwa, illicit seclusion with members of the opposite sex, a sin and a crime in Saudi Arabia, and are set to jail him for a month.
It may help the man’s case that he had been asking for help from the Ministry of Social Affairs—responsible for family and child services—for about a year beforehand. It might help, too, if the Saudi government established a minimum age for marriage so that these girls would have been considered too young to establish a state of khulwa.
Hai’a charges man helping desolate kids with ‘khilwa’
Abdul Kareem Al-Murabba’
MAKKAH – The former neighbor of two homeless girls and their brother who he took into his home while attempting to find them suitable care through official channels has described his dismay at facing a month in prison after the Commission for Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice (Hai’a) charged him with khilwa, or illegal seclusion with non-related members of the opposite sex.
“It is ironic that I now face a month in prison after the Hai’a arrested me for being in illicit seclusion with the girls,” said the former neighbor of the 13 and 14-year-old girls and their nine-year-old brother. “The case is still being looked into by a court in Makkah.”
The children had been living on the street after being abandoned by the uncle in whose custody they had been placed following their father’s imprisonment and their mother’s remarriage, until their former neighbor saw their plight and took them into his home with his own family while the Ministry of Social Affairs resolved the issue.
He has now spent nearly a year trying to resolve the situation through the Ministry of Social Affairs, the Committee for the Care of Prisoners, and Makkah’s Social Protection Home.
An official from Makkah Social Affairs, which has taken up the case, said the children had been subjected to violence by their uncle, and that an application for urgent shelter had been submitted to the Ministry of Social Affairs. – Okaz/SG