Don't ever drive in Saudi without a navigation system

The horrible death of James Kim in the Oregon wilderness reminds us of the potential danger in taking a wrong turn. A number of scary movies, such as 2003's Wrong Turn, remind us that uncivilized territory inhabited by barbarians can also be lethal to the unwary who don't stick to the established routes. Our troops and contractors in Iraq have had to avoid wrong turns, and too many of them have died or been injured by making a mistake in navigating hostile territory.


News comes from India of an unfortunate soul who made a wrong turn, and ended up on the road to Medina.  From the Newindpress: (registration required)

Losing one's way in Saudi Arabia could mean losing one's life. Jojo Joseph, 31, a native of Mariyapuram, near Edathua, in Alappuzha district stumbled on this great truth on Monday. What saved him from the sword was the timely intervention of the Union Government.

Jojo, an employee of an electronic firm in Jeddah in Saudi Arabia, who had gone to a place near Madina to see his wife Sheeba, a nurse, and their new-born, lost his way and ended up on the road to Madina.

Jojo, who did not know that the road was out of bounds for people belonging to other religions during the pilgrimage season, was arrested by the police at Al-Azeez, a place near Madina. The Saudi religious court ordered that Jojo be beheaded at noon (IST) on Tuesday ‘for trespassing into the area.'
Jojo was saved at the last minute only because the Indian Prime Minister's Office intervened, and insisted the Indian External Affairs Ministry pressure the Saudi government to forgive the capital offense of being non-Muslim and in the wrong place.

The same sort of thing could happen to any American who is not a Muslim, and happened to take a wrong turn in Saudi. CAIR, which gets awfully excited when Muslim imams behaving provocatively are asked to leave an airplane shoudl address this issue. After all, "relations" are a two way street, and the jeopardy that Americans face in the homeland of Islam strikes me as more extreme than having to take a flight at a later time.


Hat tip: Ummah News Links 

Update: A Muslim reader forwards an article from Saudi-published Arab News, claiming Jojo njever faced a serious penalty: 

The Indian ambassador to the Kingdom said yesterday that a non-Muslim Indian expatriate who strayed into the “Muslims Only” part of the holy city of Madinah earlier this week was never facing any stiff penalties for his trespass. His comments were made to clarify media reports in India that said the man faced a long prison sentence or even the death penalty for his alleged crime.


“It’s all fabricated stories and in fact Jojo was never tried or given the death penalty,” Indian Ambassador M.O.H. Farook told Arab News yesterday. “Rather he was released (on Tuesday) by the Saudi police.”


Police detained Jojo Joseph, a non-Muslim from the south Indian state of Kerala, early this week while he was traveling in a taxi within the area of the holy city near the Prophet’s Mosque that is reserved for Muslims.

The horrible death of James Kim in the Oregon wilderness reminds us of the potential danger in taking a wrong turn. A number of scary movies, such as 2003's Wrong Turn, remind us that uncivilized territory inhabited by barbarians can also be lethal to the unwary who don't stick to the established routes. Our troops and contractors in Iraq have had to avoid wrong turns, and too many of them have died or been injured by making a mistake in navigating hostile territory.


News comes from India of an unfortunate soul who made a wrong turn, and ended up on the road to Medina.  From the Newindpress: (registration required)

Losing one's way in Saudi Arabia could mean losing one's life. Jojo Joseph, 31, a native of Mariyapuram, near Edathua, in Alappuzha district stumbled on this great truth on Monday. What saved him from the sword was the timely intervention of the Union Government.

Jojo, an employee of an electronic firm in Jeddah in Saudi Arabia, who had gone to a place near Madina to see his wife Sheeba, a nurse, and their new-born, lost his way and ended up on the road to Madina.

Jojo, who did not know that the road was out of bounds for people belonging to other religions during the pilgrimage season, was arrested by the police at Al-Azeez, a place near Madina. The Saudi religious court ordered that Jojo be beheaded at noon (IST) on Tuesday ‘for trespassing into the area.'
Jojo was saved at the last minute only because the Indian Prime Minister's Office intervened, and insisted the Indian External Affairs Ministry pressure the Saudi government to forgive the capital offense of being non-Muslim and in the wrong place.

The same sort of thing could happen to any American who is not a Muslim, and happened to take a wrong turn in Saudi. CAIR, which gets awfully excited when Muslim imams behaving provocatively are asked to leave an airplane shoudl address this issue. After all, "relations" are a two way street, and the jeopardy that Americans face in the homeland of Islam strikes me as more extreme than having to take a flight at a later time.


Hat tip: Ummah News Links 

Update: A Muslim reader forwards an article from Saudi-published Arab News, claiming Jojo njever faced a serious penalty: 

The Indian ambassador to the Kingdom said yesterday that a non-Muslim Indian expatriate who strayed into the “Muslims Only” part of the holy city of Madinah earlier this week was never facing any stiff penalties for his trespass. His comments were made to clarify media reports in India that said the man faced a long prison sentence or even the death penalty for his alleged crime.


“It’s all fabricated stories and in fact Jojo was never tried or given the death penalty,” Indian Ambassador M.O.H. Farook told Arab News yesterday. “Rather he was released (on Tuesday) by the Saudi police.”


Police detained Jojo Joseph, a non-Muslim from the south Indian state of Kerala, early this week while he was traveling in a taxi within the area of the holy city near the Prophet’s Mosque that is reserved for Muslims.