Home      |      Weblog      |      Articles      |      Satire      |      Links      |      About      |      Contact

Militant Islam Monitor > Articles > Saudi financed slave holder/publisher Homaidin Al Turki's terror ties ignored - Dept.of Labor charges him with worker violations instead

Saudi financed slave holder/publisher Homaidin Al Turki's terror ties ignored - Dept.of Labor charges him with worker violations instead

Terrorists easier to prosecute and sentence using immigration, tax, and labor laws then proving radicalism
December 28, 2005

MIM: It appears that is is easier to prosecute terrorists and their supporters using tax,immigration and labor statutes. The Al Arian trial debacle, where a known terrorist leader was aquitted on most counts because in essence, the jury had not seen any cancelled checks written out to suicide bombers. In the case of Homaidin Al Turki, who ran a Saudi funded Wahhabist publishing house,which promoted the work of radical cleric Jamal Zarabozo, was an arm of the Islamic Assembly of North America (several of whose members were jailed on terrorism charges). The U.S. government's decision to prosecute Al Homaidin on labour law violations may mean an easier conviction then a terrorism case, but will mean no jail time.

The omission of mention of terrorist charges against someone whose bail and legal fees are being paid directly by the Saudi government, and received widespread support in the Saudi media points to as Dr.Pipes asserted :

"...The Turkis were arrested for forced labor, aggravated sexual abuse, document servitude, and harboring an alien, and they are under a "full fledge investigation" because he is suspected of being "closely aligned to terrorists and may be providing material support to terrorism," but what are the feds throwing at them? The U.S. Department of Labor yesterday filed a civil suit against the couple for illegally paying their enslaved and raped woman less than the minimum wage and failing to keep records of her employment. They allegedly owe her about $62,500 in unpaid wages and the court would be authorized to order damages of that amount or higher.

Comment: I smell the stench here of the Saudi government throwing its weight around; how else to explain such a drastic reduction in charges?



http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle.asp?xfile=data/theworld/2005/December/theworld_December145.xml&section=theworld&col= US Labour Department sues Saudi couple accused of enslaving Indonesian woman

6 December 2005
DENVER - The US Labour Department has filed a civil lawsuit Monday against a Saudi Arabian couple accused of keeping an Indonesian woman as a virtual slave for four years while the husband repeatedly sexually assaulted her. Homaidan Al Turki and his wife Sarah Khonaizan already faces federal criminal charges of forced Labour, document servitude and harboring an illegal immigrant. Al Turki also faces state charges of rape, kidnapping, false imprisonment and extortion, and Khonaizan faces state charges of kidnapping, false imprisonment and extortion. Both face up to life in prison if convicted. A federal indictment released in June said the Indonesian woman was allegedly paid less than the equivalent of $2 a day over four years to cook, clean and care for the couple?s five children and was sometimes loaned out to work for four other families when her host family traveled. Court documents said the woman told investigators she worked seven days a week with no regular days off from 2000 to 2004 while living with Al Turki?s family in suburban Aurora, Colorado. The Labour Department?s lawsuit accuses Al Turki and Khonaizan of illegally paying the woman less than the minimum wage and failing to keep records of the woman?s employment. John Richilano, one of the couple?s attorneys, did not immediately return a call. The lawsuit said the couple owes the woman about $62,500 in unpaid wages and said the court would be authorized to order damages of that amount or higher. The woman, whose name is being withheld by The Associated Press because she?s an alleged sexual assault victim, was 17 when she was hired by Khonaizan through an employment agency, the indictment said.


MIM: Dr. Daniel Pipe's account of the Al Homaidin story:


Saudis Import Slaves to America

by Daniel Pipes
New York Sun
June 16, 2005

Homaidan Ali Al-Turki and family

[New York Sun title: The Problem of Saudi Slavery]

Homaidan Ali Al-Turki, 36, and his wife, Sarah Khonaizan, 35, appear to be a model immigrant couple. They arrived in America in 2000 and now live with their four children in an upscale Denver suburb. Mr. Al-Turki is a graduate student in linguistics at the University of Colorado, specializing in Arabic intonation and focus prosody. He donates money to the Linguistic Society of America and is chief executive of Al-Basheer Publications and Translations, a bookstore specializing in titles about Islam.

Last week, however, the FBI accused the couple of enslaving an Indonesian woman who is in her early 20s. For four years, reads the indictment, they created "a climate of fear and intimidation through rape and other means." The slave woman cooked, cleaned, took care of the children, and performed other tasks for little or no pay, fearing that if she did not obey, "she would suffer serious harm."

The two Saudis face charges of forced labor, aggravated sexual abuse, document servitude, and harboring an alien. If found guilty, they could spend the rest of their lives in prison. The government also wants to seize the couple's Al-Basheer bank account to pay their former slave $92,700 in back wages.

It's shocking, especially for a graduate student and owner of a religious bookstore - but not particularly rare. Here are other examples of enslavement, all involving Saudi royals or diplomats living in America.

  • In 1982, a Miami judge issued a warrant to search Prince Turki Bin Abdul Aziz's 24th-floor penthouse to determine if he was holding an Egyptian woman, Nadia Lutefi Mustafa, against her will. Mr. Turki and his French bodyguards prevented a search from taking place, then won retroactive diplomatic immunity to forestall any legal unpleasantness.

  • In 1988, the Saudi defense attaché in Washington, Colonel Abdulrahman S. Al-Banyan, employed a Thai domestic worker, Mariam Roungprach, until she escaped his house by crawling out a window. She later said that she had been imprisoned there, did not get enough food, and was not paid. Interestingly, her work contract specified that she could not leave the house or make telephone calls without her employer's permission.

  • In 1991, Prince Saad Bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud and his wife, Princess Noora, lived on two floors of the Ritz-Carlton in Houston. Two of their servants, Josephine Alicog of the Philippines and Sriyani Marian Fernando of Sri Lanka, filed a lawsuit against the prince, alleging they were held for five months against their will, "by means of unlawful threats, intimidation and physical force." They say they were only partially paid, were denied medical treatment, and suffered mental and physical abuse.

  • In March 2005, a wife of Saudi Prince Mohamed Bin Turki Alsaud, Hana Al Jader, 39, was arrested at her home near Boston on charges of forced labor, domestic servitude, falsifying records, visa fraud, and harboring aliens. Ms. Al Jader stands accused of forcing two Indonesian women to work for her by making them believe "that if they did not perform such labor, they would suffer serious harm." If convicted, Ms. Al Jader faces up to 140 years in jail and $2.5 million in fines.

There are many other similar instances, for example, the Orlando escapades of Saudi princesses Maha al-Sudairi and Buniah al-Saud. The writer Joel Mowbray tells of twelve female domestics "trapped and abused" in the households of Saudi dignitaries or diplomats.

Why is this problem so acute for affluent Saudis? Four reasons come to mind. Although slavery was abolished in the kingdom in 1962, the practice still flourishes there. Ranking Saudi religious authorities endorse slavery; for example, Sheikh Saleh Al-Fawzan insisted recently that "Slavery is a part of Islam" and whoever wants it abolished is "an infidel."

The U.S. State Department knows about the forced servitude in Saudi households and laws exist to combat this scourge but, as Mr. Mowbray argues, it "refuses to take measures to combat it." Finally, Saudis know they can get away with nearly any misbehavior. Their embassy provides funds, letters of support, lawyers, retroactive diplomatic immunity, former U.S. ambassadors as troubleshooters, and even aircraft out of the country; it also keeps pesky witnesses away.

Given the American government's lax attitude toward the Saudis, slavery in Denver, Miami, Washington, Houston, Boston, and Orlando hardly comes as a surprise. Only when Washington more robustly represents American interests will Saudi behavior improve.

From www.danielpipes.org | Original article available at: www.danielpipes.org/article/2687

Printer-friendly version   Email this item to a friend