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Saudi Arabia: Defending the Virtue of Syrian Women?

This post is part of our special coverage Syria Protests 2011/12.

A tweet urging Saudi men to marry the wives and daughters of some 300 Syrian martyrs sparked a flurry of angry reactions online. On August 11, 2012, a Saudi young man, Bader Al Domiyat, tweeted the following message [ar]:

The tweet that caused outrage

It translates to:

This is the mobile of a Sheikh (clergyman) in Al Jawf, who is in charge of 375 sisters from Syria. Daughters and wives of martyrs. Anyone who wishes them virtue and shelter, please call ……Oh lord protect me from the curses of women and channel them to Bashar

Shortly after, Bader retracted and then deleted his tweet, apologizing for his mistake. At the time of writing this post, his Twitter account was disabled.

I deleted the tweet minutes after it was posted because the one who sent me the news, found out it was untrue. May God forgive the one who took a screen shot of it and spread it. I send my regards and appreciations to the free ladies of Syria.

Nevertheless, the message went viral, followed by rebuke from readers, who not only denounced Al Domiyat but also praised the courage of Syrian women, calling them heroines, under the hashtag #عفاف بنات سوريا or the Virtue of the Girls of Syria and #بدر_التمياط_لا_يمثلنا‏ or Bader Al Domyat doesn't represent us.

Sarah al Mutazz [ar] is very angry:

ياويلك من الله بهالايام المباركه ! تسببت في فتنة وجرحت مشاعر الآلاف من السوريين مااشوف بهالهشتاق الا السورريين يدعون عليك

Beware from Allah in these blessed days. You caused strife and hurt the feelings of thousands of Syrians. I only see Syrians cursing you through this hashtag.

Ahmed Al Hussayen [ar] warns Al Domiyat:

تغريدتك كانت ضرباً من الاستعجال وعدم التوفيق،وإن كنت حذفتها فتصرف سليم،لكن لابد لك أن تتحمل ردة الفعل،لتعلم أن النار ليست للعب!!
Your tweet was impulsive and unfortunate. You did well by deleting it but now you must bear the consequences so that you learn not to play with the fire.

Majeed [ar] is keen on showing that Al Domiyat's opinion only represented himself:

لا_تعمم خطأ #بدر_التمياط على السعوديين، فهناك سعوديين شرفاء .. #عفاف_بنات_سوريا
Don't generalize the mistake of Bader Al Domiat on all Saudis. There are honorable Saudi men.

Mayamy [ar] tweets:

#بدر_التمياط_لا_يمثلنا عزيزي بدر الفتيات السوريات اشرف من ان ينظرن الى وجهك =_= فشلتنا يالمريض
Dear Bader, Syrian women are even more honorable than to look at your face. You made us feel ashamed of you. You are a sick man.

Othman Khaleed [ar] is also quite embarrassed:

عفاف_بنات_سورية وصلنا لمرحلة من الخذلان ان نقول لهم موتوا لا تخافوا زوجاتكم و بناتكم حنا بنتزوجهم :(
We reached a point in shame where we tell them die and don't be afraid. We will marry your wives and daughters.

As for Emad [ar], he says:

يعني الي فقدت زوجها الحر البطل الشهم راح ترضى فيكم يا اشباه الرجال؟ #عفاف_بنات_سورية
So the one who lost her hero husband will accept you, half men?

And Mohamed Abu Saud [ar] provides a different solution:

#عفاف_بنات_سورية من اراد مساعدة أخواتنا فليوفر لهن وظيفة يتسترون منها ويقتاتون على راتبها
Who ever wants to help our sisters, let him provide them with a job they can live from its salary.

Skon [ar] has somehow a similar opinion:

#عفاف_بنات_سوريا سوريا مو ناقصه رجاال وبناتهم مو ناقصين زواج يقدرون يتزوجون من رجاجيلهم بس ناقصهم دعم واسلحه ودعاء اذا تبون ارسلوا لهم
Syria doesn't lack men and it's women don't lack marriage because they can wed their own countrymen. They need support, weapons and prayers. If you want, send them such things.

Some comments are more cynical like Rio [ar]:

#عفاف_بنات_سورية اللي يبي الخير لاخواته المسلمات يروح يتزوج من الصومال نفس الشي مجاعات وفيه ارامل كثير ، لو كنتم تبون الخير كما تدعون :)
The one who wants good for his Muslim sister should go and marry in Somalia where there is hunger and lots of widows, that is if you truly care like you pretend.

Roshka [ar] from the UAE doesn't spare with her criticism:

هنالك أزواج شهيدات سوريات أيضا ، لتبدأ تزويجهم باختك و ابنة خالك و عمك ، يا صاحب الرجوله و الفحوله أترضاها لأهلك؟ #عفاف_بنات_سوريا
Syrian martyr women have left behind husbands as well. Let them marry your sister or cousin oh you macho men … do you accept it on your relatives ?

This post is part of our special coverage Syria Protests 2011/12.

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