Situational awareness from the USCG training here:
Situational Awareness is the ability to identify, process,
and comprehend the critical elements of information about
what is happening to the team with regards to the mission.
More simply, it’s knowing what is going on around you.
This phrase comes to mind when thinking about several stories in the news lately regarding the fate of western women reporting rapes in the Muslim world. I shake my head and I wonder-just what were they thinking? Had they no inkling about the laws in the countries they visited for work? These were not happy-go-lucky tourists without a clue, but women working for western companies; someone should have known better. I bring you two stories of western women not afraid to speak out about their experiences with sharia; rest assured many, many rape stories will never see the light of day.
One story concerns a woman named Alicia Gali, an Australian who accepted a job with Starwood Hotels in the Dubai in 2008. She was drugged and gang raped by colleagues in the hotel where she worked, and then arrested and imprisoned when she reported the rape. Shocked? Well you shouldn’t be-under sharia, there is no rape unless four muslim men attest to it, which effectively means that the crime of “rape” doesn’t exist!
It is hard for me to understand why Alicia didn’t do her own due diligence about the laws of the land in which she lived and worked, but even harder for me to comprehend that Starwood didn’t make her aware of her lack of rights under the sharia as part of her training before going abroad. Don’t they do “cultural sensitivity” training? The lack of information seems criminal to me. Although if they told these women just how few rights they have in sharia countries, I guess no one would ever go to work there!
But why would you surrender your passport to ANYONE when working or traveling in a foreign country? What was she thinking? It boggles the mind!
The other story concerns a Norwegian woman, Marte Deborah Dalelv, raped on a business trip, also to Dubai (to be clear, this could happen to any woman in any muslim country-look at Lara Logan), and also had no idea what she was doing when she reported the rape. Again, why did she not understand the sharia? She worked in Qatar, but still had not a clue about rape under sharia?!
Fortunately I think both of these stories ended with the women safe at home, but hopefully the attention they garnered will make any woman traveling (or considering travel) in a sharia country sit up and take notice-this is the risk you face-being raped with absolutely no recourse for justice. Alicia Gali tells her story to the Australian press at the Blaze link above-my heart goes out to these women but what were they thinking?
Make no mistake, this is not crazy or unexpected, but only the sharia, and as long as there are countries ruled by it, and western governments that refuse to acknowledge that THIS IS ISLAM, “human rights” groups won’t make a damn bit of difference. Certainly international public pressure may have freed these women, but rest assured these stories are only the tip of the iceberg.
All of this brings me back to situational awareness. We’ve all read lists of tips to stay safe when traveling abroad, or even in a big city in our country; how could anyone then go abroad without doing all the necessary due diligence? Again, my mind is boggled!
My tips for women travelers:
1) Don’t go anywhere outside of your own country without understanding the law and legal system. This pertains to any travel of course, but is especially important when deciding to live and work somewhere.
2) For heaven’s sake, and maybe this should be number one on the list, NEVER, and I mean NEVER, surrender your passport to anyone, for any reason whatsoever! I am flabbergasted that Ms. Gali surrendered her passport without a whimper; what was she thinking? If your employer requires the surrender of your passport, walk right out and get on the next plane home!
3) Don’t go to countries ruled by sharia law. Don’t go to muslim majority countries at all! Even if sharia is not the law of the land officially, the powers-that-be in these countries will have little sympathy for a western girl in trouble. As far as they are concerned men are free to use women as they will with no restraints, especially infidel (non-muslim) women, even if the official law says otherwise.
4) If you must go to these countries, keep your wits about you at all times. Do not drink, and never go anywhere without a western man accompanying you. If anything happens to you, do not expect the police to be on your side; as the stories above demonstrate, they will turn it around and make you the criminal!
Situational awareness-practice it, live it, be it, all the time ladies. Remember that as women in the civilized world, we enjoy freedom unparalleled in history, and unknown in much of the 21st century world. Never be lulled into thinking that you carry this freedom around the world like a shield, because in much of that world, we are lower than low, with no rights or protections.
Cherish your freedom, ladies, but guard it at all times. It is an unprecedented gift.