Due to the intimidation and harassment Saudi students have been recently experiencing in the United States, especially after what happened to Homaidan Al-Turki and his family, Saudis are thinking twice before sending their children to study in America.
"Such discrimination and humiliation would discourage parents from even thinking about sending their children to study in the US," said Muhammad Al-Enezi, 39.
On Aug. 31, a Colorado court sentenced Al-Turki to 27 years in prison for sexually assaulting his maid, forcibly imprisoning her and not paying her wages -- charges he vehemently denies.
Al-Turki, 37, said that US authorities were persecuting him for "traditional Muslim behaviors". He blamed anti-Muslim prejudice for his conviction and the severity of the sentence. He claimed that the prosecutors persuaded the maid to accuse him after they failed to build a case against him as a terrorist.
Somehow I'm not perturbed by these principled refusals to study in the US.
The article does reveal one true area of cross-cultural misunderstanding that could use some correction:
People across Saudi Arabia have little faith in the US government and constantly accuse the authorities there of double standards by harshly punishing Al-Turki, while simultaneously letting off the perpetrators behind the Abu Ghraib fiasco in Iraq with a slap on the wrist.
It was not the Federal government but the Arapahoe County DA who secured Al-Turki's hefty sentence.