Blog money scam

18 03 2009

Bloggers Beware!

money2

There is currently a woman going about Blogsphere posting and mailing bloggers with the purpose of getting people to send her money to ”save an orphan boy from having his hand cut off”. I am of the opinion that this is a money scam. She gives absolutely no information, about the boy the school or anything except how to send her your money. She has at least three different sites, full of ads, so very commercial. And I’m not linking because I don’t want to send traffic her way. However I will show you the mail which is doing the rounds so you will recognise it either as mail, or as a comment on blogs.

Several bloggers have been approached by mail with the request for money to save an orphan boy from having his hand chopped off in Saudi Arabia.

As, I write this I feel as though I am going to be sick. It is a feeling I have gotten used to over the days since the Judge residing over my orphan son deemed that my son is a thief and is to have his hand cut off next Saturday. It all started when I sent my son to his universities headmaster to ask for an extension in paying this years tuition.
My husband quit his job last year which had left him with duties that were less then desirable such as acts that were committing shirk and not being able to attend the Friday prayer. Upon realizing that we would not be able to pay this years tuition; I wrote my son (a Saudi national orphan we care for) a letter which he shared with his schools universities headmaster:
“Our word is true and our bond. Without our reputation we have nothing save Allaah. Ask him to help ease our burden by being lenient with you and looking the other way in regards to this debt to allow us more time to get the money. That as a family we are all passionate about learning the deen and spreading it’s beauty and truth. We are counting on you to learn more of it and to teach us what we have yet to know and understand. Without knowledge of the Quran and the Sunnah this life is not worth living and is indeed a dire and horrible place to reside. We love Allaah and His Messenger (saw) so very much. Please do not take you out of school on account of low funds as it will be like taking more then three students out of the school as you are a source of good for many.”
Upon reading this the headmaster cried and readily agreed to help my son. He loaned my son the money to pay this years tuition and made contracts that my boy would pay back the tuition within a month or two. The time came by to pay and we could not find the funds. The headmaster called the police on my son and after a ten day extension my boy was arrested for not paying. Two days ago a Saudi judge ruled over him declaring he is an adult at 18 yrs and this is a crime of stealing whereby if he does not pay the $15,799.59 Saudi Arabia riyals or $4, 219.00 United States dollars he will have his hand chopped off.
This is not a crime of stealing and never was. Please headmaster, Judge please spare my sons hand and see reason. My boy is innocent and a good student at the university. We are trying to come up with the money so hard. Please. I love Islam and if my boy was guilty By Allah (swt) I would not say a word against his hand getting cut off nor would I disapprove. But, this boy’s blood is illegal for you to spill it. It is harram. It is harram. It is harram. He is not a thief but innocent in this matter and we are but poor in these worldly matters at this time.
Please pray for us that a way will be made for us out of all of our debt Ya Hayyul Qayoom. To Allah we submit ourselves to and repent to alone. We run various websites that call to Allaah (swt) from the United States feel free to contact us at these sites listed below. If you would be interested in helping us financially, Please do help us for the sake of Allaah (swt). We are verified users of Pay Pal
and can be sent money at the following email address:………………

Well, I am very sorry for the Americans behind this moneymaking attempt, but despite heads rolling quite easily in KSA, The chopping off of hands is actually quite rare. The comment of a Saudi friend of mine on this mail:

What a scam. Saudi Universities are free unless you are going to a private school, which there are only a few in Saudi and why would an orphan take that route to begin with. Saudi does not cut hands for loans. The story of her husband leaving work because he will be involved in Shirk? What is that LMAO. And not being able to pray on Friday? So why is that our problems. If that is true then he is a lazy bastard that is using religion as a crutch so he does not support his family. This woman sounds like a scheming scum.

The facts are:

  • Education in KSA is free
  • Saudi even pays students 1000 riyals to go to college in government schools
  • private schools are very rare at colege level and why should a poor orphan choose to go there?
  • The definition of theft in Islam is that you have to break a secure lock. If you steal from a place which is left open the punishment will be less than the cutting of a hand. Islam is very specific on these details.
  • Loans are not considered thefts but if you can’t pay back a loan you can be jailed.

So basically I’ll leave ya’all to make up your own mind, but I’m not buying it.

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24 responses

18 03 2009
Chiara

Thanks for sharing and nailing down the facts. There were a number of inconsistencies in the story but a Saudi is better able to point out more, and it has always been my impression that even robbery is not punished by the loss of a hand except for a repeat offender.

18 03 2009
Chiara

PS For completeness sake:
She has clarified some of the issues (although there remain inconsistencies)–her kafala orphaned son is in a private Islamic university for religious studies (not paid by Saudi) and has foreign citizenship.
The way the contract was written resulted in a judicial misunderstanding.
She has collected some money which she will send, and her son’s attorney and imam paid the tuition fee debt–his hand has been spared and he will not serve a jail sentence.
There is some thought that she and her family were being threatened with the amputation by the tutor, and the school just to be sure to get the tuition fees.

So the good news is that whatever the story, some student is not losing his hand, for failing to pay tuition fees on time(oh so many handless students in the West there would be), and the Saudi judiciary isn’t that bad in that way.

18 03 2009
American Bedu

Chiara,

I understand you have never lived in Saudi and enjoy doing research but I can attest that the young man would not have had his hand amputated as implied. I was also under the impression that the young man had Saudi citizenship. There just remained too many questions here and things not adding up right.

18 03 2009
Saudi in US

Some additional thoughts on this:

– The Saudi government is always happy to offer scholarships for foreign students who are coming to the Kingdom for religious study. They will make good ambassadors to promote Saudi style Islamic teaching when they go home. So the idea of him paying for college just does not add up either. Saudi is not a common destination for paying students. There are cheaper and better schools like Al Azhar in Egypt.
– I had the displeasure of reading this woman’s rants of intolerance and hate for fellow Muslims that do not agree with her strict brand of Islam along with showing disrespect for other religions. However, if you visit her site, she does not have a problem in including google ads to collect money. One of those ads promote christian faith healing. Here is one copied right out of her blog which links to a christian site:
“Sue Holzberlein CS
Christian Science Practitioner For healing prayer 1-978-502-6137”
I guess in this case promoting Christianity is ok as long as it produces green halal money 🙂
– This same woman will also defend Saudi Arabia, its justice system, and implementation of Shariia to an extreme level. Then writes posts about them wanting to cut her son’s hand unjustly to ask for donations.

All i see with her kind is intolerant people that are also immoral hypocrites. This is a scheme pure and simple.

18 03 2009
Saudi in US

Some additional thoughts on this:

– The Saudi government is always happy to offer scholarships for foreign students who are coming to the Kingdom for religious study. They will make good ambassadors to promote Saudi style Islamic teaching when they go home. So the idea of him paying for college just does not add up either. Saudi is not a common destination for paying students. There are cheaper and better schools like Al Azhar in Egypt.
– I had the displeasure of reading this woman’s rants of intolerance and hate for fellow Muslims that do not agree with her strict brand of Islam along with showing disrespect for other religions. However, if you visit her site, she does not have a problem in including google ads to collect money. One of those ads promote christian faith healing. Here is one copied right out of her blog which links to a christian site:
“Sue Holzberlein CS
Christian Science Practitioner For healing prayer 1-CCC-CCC-CCCC”
I guess in this case promoting Christianity is ok as long as it produces green halal money 🙂
– This same woman will also defend Saudi Arabia, its justice system, and implementation of Shariia to an extreme level. Then writes posts about them wanting to cut her son’s hand unjustly to ask for donations.

All i see with her kind is intolerant people that are also immoral hypocrites. This is a scheme pure and simple.

18 03 2009
Hning

Oh no! Woman, you told them all our dirty laundry, now they’re gonna make up NEW schemes based on those!! Think, think, think, how can you trick a socially secure Saudi to commit theft? I know! Make him look Bangladeshi!!

18 03 2009
Achelois

Thanks for sharing this!

18 03 2009
Aafke

Thank you all for commenting and adding information, especially from those who are actually living in Saudi or are saudi.
I think that working on people’s compassion and goodness of heart is the lowest way of cheating people out of money.

18 03 2009
Chiara

American Bedu

I hope my initial comments were not misconstrued as my believing or being in favour of the story. I only saught to clarify some of the arguments being made by her in answer to questions raised (hence “for the sake of completeness”), while being grateful for the information from others who are Saudi or Saudi based (hence my very first comment).

I thought it was clear that I was previously aware of the rarity of the loss of a hand as a punishment for theft, and that tuition fee debts even where they exist are not theft.

I should have added (just for completeness) that she claims her son lost his Saudi citizenship (to justify why he wasn’t receiving a free education), and my
final paragraph should have included more “sinister smileys”.

Thanks for the opportunity to clarify.

PS I don’t like research THAT much, and some of my sources are living, breathing Saudis. 😀 😀 😀

Saudi in US–thanks for your further thoughts.

18 03 2009
Aafke

Well Chiara, it did look like you thought you needed to point out that I am taking a one-sided approach, which I never do unthinkingly. As I have explained in an earlier topic, I do research my topics, and in this case, being so personal, you can rest assured I have been gathering information first, also from sources to which you don’t have access.

You do not need to point out there are different ways to look at topics, I always do look at the different viewpoints before choosing my stance.
If I think there are several valid points of viewing a certain problem I will point those out in my posts, as well as any links I consider appropriate.
I bet she can come back with all sorts of explanations; good con-artists always do. but they never stand up to serious scrutiny.

I think the Saudi judiciary sucks, but so do these commercial websites full of takhfiri bidah, and a dodgy money scam.

Hning, sorry I spilled the beans…. 😦
But that keeps one’s brain active and up to date! 😉

18 03 2009
Tony

I keep getting plenty of scam emails too. It’s amazing that people still fall for these tricksters.

18 03 2009
Aafke

Tony, this is pretty well set up scheme.
Which is why I thought I have to make clear to people it’s a fake.

18 03 2009
Chiara

Aafke

I have never felt a need to point out whether or not you are being one-sided; and as I have said previously I trust you research your posts thoroughly.

In this case, the only thing that seems different about my comment as opposed to others is the lack of an obvious and rhetorically emotional condemnation (the irony of my comment seems to have failed to transmit that sufficiently).

I interview (whether in print or face to face) con-artists, or more often the self-deluded, for a living so I’m reasonably good at finding inconsistencies in stories, and things that seem off even if I don’t have all the facts (yet). That is why I have thanked you and other commentors for the facts.

I thank you again for the opportunity to clarify further, and I apologize if my initial comments caused you any distress. Though our styles are different we seem most often to be in agreement.

18 03 2009
Aafke

Chiara, you don’t distress me, but you do irritate me sometimes. It’s like you are constantly trying to take the sting out of my every post. Either inundating a funny one with information either allready provided or not germain to the issue.
Or like this one, where you do seem to imply I did not look at the issue from all sides, and you did try to point out facts I had missed, or which might be different from what I thought, while I had been looking into it very seriously. I find that irritating.
And everybody is welcome to comment on my blog but it is my blog and I am getting very irritated.

And yes, I did miss any irony provided.

18 03 2009
Chiara

My apologies once again.

18 03 2009
Aafke

Ok then. Let’s forget about it and move on.

20 03 2009
Halimah bint David

Bismillaah (In the name of Allaah)

Wow! i had no idea those type of ads were running in there. Thank you so much for pointing it out I really appreciate it alot.

20 03 2009
Aafke

I know Bishmallah means in the name of Allah, and I consider it the ultimate hight of arrogance when people start every statement with bishmallah. Not only are they equating themselves with Jibril, they are devaluating the word, and the name Allah by using it so unappropriately and indiscriminately.
I cannot understand how a slave of Allah can dare to so consistently start every comment with Bishmallah.

I do not only find umbradge with your kaffiri commercials, I have serious doubts about your intentions.
Allahu alam

20 03 2009
susanne430

Hmmm, I never thought of “bismallah” that way, Aafke. Your explanation makes it seem people are taking God’s name in vain or presuming to speak for Allah when they write their posts? Is that what upsets you?

Regardless, thanks for informing us of this blogger scam.

20 03 2009
Aafke

Yes, susanne that upsets me. Taking the name of God so easily. an exclamation like that should be reserved for only the most important issues, not bandied about like a common exclamation mark.
It’s demeaning the name of Allah, or God or whatever, and I find it upsetting!

20 11 2009
Halimah bint David

Bismillaah

Here is the evidence of writing with a Bismillaah:

Following the practice of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace and blesssings be upon him and his Household (Ahlul Bayt), Muslims begin with the name of Allah before doing anything. Bismillahir-Rahmanir-Rahim is translated as “In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful”.

Every good action or deed should be started with reciting Bismillah. This article aims to reflect upon some of the traditions of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blesings be upon him) regarding Basmalah – beginning actions In the name of Allah.

1. I give you his (peace and blessings be upon him)’s example:

The text of the letter sent to Heraclius was as follows:

“In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful. This letter is from Muhammad the slave of Allah and his Apostle to Heraclius, the ruler of the Byzantines. Peace be upon him who follows the right path. Furthermore, I invite you to Islam and if you become a Muslim you will be safe, and Allah will double your reward, and if you reject this invitation of Islam you will be committing a sin by misguiding your subjects. And I recite to you Allah’s statement…”

2. I give you the hadeeth:

Ibn Jareer (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: “Allaaah, may He be exalted and His name sanctified, taught His Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) proper manners by teaching him to mention His most beautiful names before all his actions. He commanded him to mention these attributes before starting to do anything, and made what He taught him a way for all people to follow before starting anything, words to be written at the beginning of their letters and books. The apparent meaning of these words indicates exactly what is meant by them, and it does not need to be spelled out.”

3. I give you a ruling from a pious, knowledgeable & noteworhty scholar (ra):

A fatwa from a notable Shaykh regarding letter writing

Writing “Bismillaah ir-Rahmaaan il-raheem” on wedding invitations is permissible?

It is permissible to write the Basmalah (“Bismillaah ir-Rahmaan ir-Raheem”) on wedding invitations, given that after the event they will be thrown on the streets or into the garbage?

Praise be to Allaah.

It is permissible to write the Basmalah on invitations and other letters, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to begin his letters by mentioning the name of Allaah. It is not permissible for anyone who receives a letter in which Allaah is mentioned or an aayah of the Qur’aan is quoted to throw it into the garbage or put it in any undesirable place. The same applies to newspapers and other similar papers: it is not permitted to mishandle them or throw them in the garbage, or to use them to wrap food or other things, because the name of Allaah is mentioned in them. The sin is on the person who does this, not on the one who writes it. And Allaah knows best.

Fataawa Islamiyyah, Ibn Baaz, 507.\

I don’t know how you could possibly imagine to know anything about Islam when you re so busy being Islamophobic.

As for calling me a thief, liar and scammer:
I am not nor will I ever be those things, in’shaa Allaah. So, thanks for the good deeds or the taking of my sins, whichever one.

20 11 2009
Aafke

Bishmallah, you are such a perfect example of a salafi nutcase! And that is the only reason I approved you last comment.

You are the one who is ignorant about Islam. You don’t base your faith on the Quran, you parrot whatever the ”approved scholars” put out.
Look at your comment! 90% is quotes!
You can’t even think for yourself!

20 11 2009
Halimah bint David

Bismillaah

lol that’s my point, you are so overtly ignorant of Islam’s beliefs that it’s not worth my time to try and educate you of it.

I would tell you to go to a shrink..but I’ll tell you what. I will save you attending only Allaah knows how many years, and lots of money. Here is your prognosis:

Psychiatric DSM IVtr: Axis I Unipolar depression recurrent, Axis II Cluster B personality disorder–borderline and narcissistic tendencies with recurring themes of delusional thinking and impairment. You also seems to have a personality disorder that impairs your impulse control, anger modulation, and the ability to keep things in perspective. It would seem that it is your personality disorder that impairs you the worst. That might be able to be solved with some serious ruqyah to rid you of all the devils that may have possessed you. And if there are no devils inside you, than you are indeed beyond hope of ever being helped.

22 11 2009
MoQ

Halima Bint David had her scam training in Nigeria. Her story does not add up. She still has the paypal active on her site 7 months later. If the boy was spared, why is she collecting the money also.

Also, a quick study of Saudi implementation of laws, will indicate that hands are not cut for paying dept. That only happens in situations of actual theft as in breaking into a place and stealing valuables.

Regarding the Bismallah thing, all I think of is Parrots when I hear the Muslim converts repeat these words blindly all day.

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