The diary of a Saudi man, currently living in the United Kingdom, where the Religious Police no longer trouble him for the moment.

In Memory of the lives of 15 Makkah Schoolgirls, lost when their school burnt down on Monday, 11th March, 2002. The Religious Police would not allow them to leave the building, nor allow the Firemen to enter.

Friday, June 02, 2006


Khalas: (Arabic): enough, no more, finished, that's it, the end.

It is with very mixed feelings that I write this, my last post. The Religious Policeman has been commenting on Saudi Arabia, off and on, for two years. This is post number 400. Therefore, in the course of two years, I have written the equivalent of a very thick book.

A number of commentors and emailers have also, over that time, very kindly suggested that I should write a book. I have been persuaded. That's what I am going to do. But unfortunately, I don't have the time to do both, so there will be no more blog entries.

What about Saudi Arabia? In those 400 posts, you will find the full spectrum of institutionalized insanity that the House of Saud and their friends with long beards have created. If you start back at post number 1 tomorrow, and read one every day, then you'll end up back here some time around July 2007. And the sad thing is, most of them will still be as relevant then as they are now. OK, the now-the-terrorists-are-surrounded-oops-they-got-away saga is over. Also, muslims worldwide will still be getting offended about something, not necessarily cartoons. But overall, I'm afraid, Saudi Arabia won't have changed. So I would just end up trying to say the same-old same-old, but in different ways. Meanwhile, none of us are getting any younger. Carpe Diem. Seize the day.

I'd like to thank all the people who have come to read, including the person from the North Marianas Islands. There have been over half a million visits since I installed the counter. I'd like to thank all the commentors; you have made me nod, smile, chortle, belly-laugh, growl, but never yawn. I'd like to thank all those who have emailed me, including the guy from the Eastern Province who wanted to snitch on his workmates for boozing; I hope he has since discovered the forbidden pleasures of "Sid" for himself. And I have been fortunate enough to make a number of very good friends thru this blog, including the one who is to be my collaborator and co-author.

The book will be a historical novel, but with absolutely no connection to Saudi Arabia. We are both very excited about it. It's going to take a lot of research and hard work, but it will be worth it. As and when it is published, we'll come back here and tell whoever is left all about it. I'm sure Amazon can ship books to the North Marianas Islands.

The blog will remain here for as long as Blogger does. Maybe, millenia from now, extraterrestrial digital archeologists will chance upon it, and wonder about this "Kingdom of Saudi Arabia" where half the people wore black and half the people wore white. An earnest Zargian Ph.D. student will expound in his thesis the theory that the land was so inhospitable, only chess pieces could live there. The rules of the game involved moving around a black rock in ever-decreasing circles. He will speculate as to whether, had the rock been in the Southern hemisphere, they would have circulated in the opposite direction.

I'll keep the comments open for a week, then I'll moderate them. They will be visible until Haloscan decides to archive them. I do, however, promise to maintain the Muslim Offense Level indicator. It is an important public service to tell Muslims worldwide how offended they should feel, and I would be neglecting my responsibilities if I left them in any state of doubt.

It is perhaps appropriate that I ended the blog with two posts celebrating God's creation in all its glory.

The Camel, God's most ingenious creation.

Woman, God's most sublime creation.

Ma'a Salaama.

Miss Saudi Arabia 

Where would the Religious Policeman be without "Uwe", its soccer correspondent in Germany? As the build-up continues to the 2006 World Cup (stop yawning, you lot), Uwe has told me about a "Miss World Cup" competition held a few days ago in a small town in Germany, won by Miss Togo.

But here is Miss Saudi Arabia. How wonderfully Haram! And yes, as far as I can judge, she is a genuine Saudi.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

And yet again, camels 

I may be able to resist Mme. Nicotine these days, but I can never resist a camel photo. And as for a whole album of silly, surrealistic ones....

Camel photo album

Thanks, "b_e"!

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

What every woman knows.... 

"Every man who is high up loves to think that he has done it all himself; and the wife smiles, and lets it go at that. It's our only joke."

So speaks the knowing wife, in J.M.Barrie's play of that name. Written in England in 1908, it preceded the Women's vote. It tells of a time when women were powerful in the home, but not in society at large.It took the efforts of thousands and thousands of women like Emily Pankhurst here, and on both sides of the Atlantic, to get the vote. They knew that no-one was going to hand power over to them. The sad lesson of human progress is that nobody gives away power for free, it has to be taken.

I mention this because of a discussion that has been going on in the Comments section, about how Saudi women can achieve real power, to be able to drive, to wear what they like, have equal rights in marriage, the list goes on.

I think the discussion was prompted by this young Saudi woman, who had been denied her internet rights by her caring male relatives. It's nice to be able to report that she's back online although her language is still as ripe, but who can blame her....

It seems that the dickless dicks have had a change of heart and I've been granted internet access. Nonetheless, they are still dickless dicks as far as I'm concerned, because this filthy country makes damn sure that the ball is always in their f*cking court.

....and not only that, it looks as though one of her own gender is causing her problems....

UV: Who are you talking to, day and night?
Me: huh?
UV: Your mobile!
Me: What about it?
Me: Who do you think I’m talking to?!
UV: I don’t know. You tell me!
Me: It’s none of your God damn business!

And with that I walked off; ignoring her excruciating screaming.So now my phone’s being threatened. This is the bullcrap that I have to bloody endure. I’m 23 for f*ck sake. It does not concern ANYONE who the hell I’m talking to on the phone.

If every Saudi woman were like her, the streets would be buzzing with women driving to each others' houses, shops, schools and of course the places where they work, wearing bright clothing and sporting bare faces with makeup. But it is not so. And answering the question "How do we change things?" is not easy. The parallels with the suffragettes are very few:

1. They lived in democracies, the issue was their getting the vote for themselves; in Saudi Arabia, no-one gets the vote.

2. They lived in countries where political protest was acceptable and generally legal; in Saudi Arabia, a simple peaceful demonstration can buy you gaol time.

3. They were free to travel round and associate, which meant they could hold plan, organize, hold meetings, get together in large numbers; in Saudi Arabia, with the exception of trips to the shops or elsewhere where they are "allowed", they are generally confined to the house.

Let me illustrate the last point, and provide a sort of an etiquette guide at the same time. It's a bit of a Western misconception that in the home, women rule the roost. Now it is true that they can be very influential within the close family, but in no sense are they the "woman of the house". If as a male you are ever invited to a traditional Saudi house for a meal, with or without your wife ("significant others" don't get visas, sorry), this is more or less what will happen.

Husband will open the door and welcome you. There may well be an incense burner in the doorway, as a mark of greeting. Waft the smoke over your hair and clothes. Remove your shoes (best to come in sandals).

Husband will lead your wife to a back room. That is all you are going to see of her, all evening.

Coffee or tea, and dates, will be ready on a table. You sit down (better on the floor), drink, eat, talk "guy talk". You may hear sounds of movement and rustlings from the next room.
At a certain point, husband will lead you thru to the next room where, miraculously, food will be laid out. The dishes are probably set out on a plastic sheet on the carpet. Nothing, and I am being absolutely serious here, beats eating in a reclining position, perhaps leaning on a decorative camel saddle, with the food at floor level, and using your hand (right, not left, but don't ask why) to eat.

There will be enough to feed a small army. Arab hospitality demands that guests should never leave hungry. When you see all those dishes for just the two of you, including one with several small roast chickens, do not make the foolish assumption that this is the main course. PACE YOURSELF.

When you have assured your host that you have eaten all that you can manage from what is before you, he will remove many dishes. However he will return and replace them with an even larger selection of larger dishes. Carry on eating. Aren't you glad you are lying down? (It allows the stomach to distend more easily).

When you have eventually finished (NB If you are the "BellyBuster" champion at your local restaurant's "All you can eat Prime Rib Night", don't try and eat everything, they will only bring out more, so that you won't leave hungry) , you get up as best you can, and repair to the room you originally started out in, where miraculously fresh coffee will have appeared. Resume the horizontal once more. More "guy talk". There will be more sounds of rustling from next door.

As the evening draws to a close, husband will leave you and return from the back room with your wife. Say your farewells, put your shoes on, waft the incense, and out you go. Your wife will then inform you that your host also has a wife, who did all the cooking, and laid out and removed plates for the menfolk, not to mention coffee, as well as doing the same for herself and your wife. And you thought it was just a miracle.

[There is a slight variation to this routine, if the guests are male relatives of the husband. In that case the wife may emerge to pour coffee, but she will have a cloth draped over her head (rather like the cloth you would cover your parrot cage with, to shut it up) . Not that she's going to say anything, of course, she will just pour the coffee; the cloth is thin enough to allow her to see the spout and the cups, without curious male relatives being able to see her face].

The main point of that etiquette guide was just to show how little the typical Saudi wife is able to get out and about in her own house when the men are around, never mind get out and about in society at large. If you're going to be confined to a backroom or under a parrot-cloth, how the hell are you going to go out and organize a social revolution?

I wish to God I knew the answer, apart from collectively battering the men of Saudi Arabia over the head with a blunt instrument. First, the womenfolk need to get their attention. As every woman knows, there are two ways to get a man's attention:

1. Switch off the TV when his favorite sport is on.

2. Deny him his conjugal "rights".

The advantage of the second one is that it does not involve going out into the street waving banners. It can be done from the comfort of one's own home. Also, it does not break any criminal law. Carried out resolutely, it can be unbelievably effective. Ask the women of ancient Sparta, Boeotia, and Corinth, other societies where women did not have a voice. In Aristophenes' play "Lysistrata", the women, encouraged by the heroine of that name, went on strike in order to end the Peloponnesian War.

Here's some of the dialog. It is a bit fruity, the ancient Greeks didn't go in for nuance or euphemism!

LYSISTRATA: We will all swear at once. Put your hands on the cup, everyone, and repeat after me. I shall not go near my husband or my lover.
ALL: I will not go near my husband or my lover.
LYSISTRATA: Speak up—No matter how big a hard-on he has.
ALL: No matter how big a hard-on he has.
LYSISTRATA: I will be completely celibate.
ALL: I will be completely celibate.
LYSISTRATA: And wear nothing but seductive clothing
ALL: And wear nothing but seductive clothing
LYSISTRATA: And get my husband as horny as possible
ALL: And get my husband as horny as possible
LYSISTRATA: But I will never willingly give in to him
ALL: But I will never willingly give in to him
LYSISTRATA: No matter how he pressures me
ALL: No matter how he pressures me
LYSISTRATA: And if he tries to force me
ALL: And if he tries to force me.
LYSTRATA: I will not do the thing where I put my legs up over his head
ALL: I will not do the thing where I put my legs up over his head
LYSISTRATA: Nor will I pretend to be a lioness he has caught in the forest
ALL: Nor will I pretend to be a lioness he has caught in the forest
LYSISTRATA: If I keep my oath, let my cup be filled with nothing but wine
ALL: If I keep my oath, let my cup be filled with nothing but wine
LYSISTRATA: And if I break it, let it be filled with nothing but water.
ALL: And if I break it, let it be filled with nothing but water.
LYSISTRATA: Do you all solemnly swear this oath?
ALL: We do.

There's my suggestion, for what it's worth. Will it be the start of the Great Saudi Sexual Strike of 2006 (1427)?

If anyone has any alternative suggestion, please leave it in the "Comments".

(Also any advice on how to do the "pretend to be a lioness he caught in the forest" thing).

Monday, May 29, 2006

Not this time... 

....I'm not going to be "conned"!

Like many blogs, I fell for the Iranian color-coding the Infidels story, and its subsequent retraction, and duly ate humble pie.

I managed to steer clear of the Two Saudis on the School Bus story, because for me it didn't ring true as some sort of dastardly crime.

And this one is definitely someone trying to stir up trouble and give the Muslim Offense Level a real boost.

Ready for the soccer jihad?

It appears that this is some kind of World Cup soccer ball, with the flags of the various participating nations -- including Saudi Arabia.
So what? Well, as you can see, the Saudi flag prominently features the Shahada, the Islamic profession of faith: "There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is his messenger."
And...people are going to kick that?

Nice try, guys. Except this is nothing to do with the 2006 World Cup. It looks like the tacky product of some back-street Third World sweat-shop factory. And the reason it has nothing to do with the World Cup? The flags of Northern Ireland and Israel. They are not in the World Cup. Israel, maybe next time, but come on, Northern Ireland have about as much chance of ever qualifying, as the Imam University team.

As the post goes on....

This one could rival the Cartoon Jihad. But of course, it is never possible to guess about what will be chosen as the next pretext to stoke the sense of grievance and rage that the jihadists need to garner support and recruits.

Well I'll be the first to point to and make fun of contrived Islamic outrage. But let's concentrate on the real cases, bloggers, not try and stir up trouble with some tacky fabricated story about a tacky soccer ball.

Update 30th May 2006

Apologies to all (probably the vast majority) who are not soccer fans, but with the World Cup looming, the temptation of writing about soccer exceeds even that of Mme Nicotine. The next month could get really boring, now might be the time to take that cryogenic vacation you always promised yourself. Anyway, thanks to "Uwe", The Religious Policeman's soccer correspondent in Germany, here is a photo of the official Saudi team coach, complete with

The Green Hawks cannot be stopped!


Saturday, May 27, 2006

My First Love 

We never forget our first love. I was reminded of that, on a day when the Saudi press is relatively quiet. Not a lot happening. Nothing to tremble the Muslim Offense Level meter. Not even an unctious story about thirty royal hangers-on saying farewell to the King as he is driven all the fifty miles from Makkah to Jeddah with a bag of candy and his favorite comic.

Then this story caught my eye.

With Attitudes Changing, Companies Prefer to Hire Nonsmokers

Work attitudes are seemingly shifting in the Kingdom with many companies that previously sought competencies in English and computer literacy preferring nonsmoking workers over smokers, according to a report published by Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper. Job seekers need to brace themselves in ticking the nonsmoking boxes in job applications.

I had also got an email from "Thess", who had been kindly doing some research into why snuff may be Haram. She had found this ruling

Islamic Ruling on Smoking
It has become abundantly clear that, sooner or later, smoking, in whichever form and by whichever means, causes extensive health and financial damage to smokers. It is also the cause of a variety of diseases. Consequently, and on this evidence alone, smoking would be forbidden and should in no way be practiced by Muslims. Furthermore, the obligation to preserve one's health and wealth, as well as that of society as a whole, and medical evidence now available on the dangers of smoking, further support this view.

Not snuff, of course, but near enough. And my mind started to drift away, as it can do at the weekend, to a distant time when I was much younger. To a time when, as the Craig Douglas song should have said:

I was only sixteen, only sixteen
I loved her so
But I was too young to fall in love
And she was too old, I know

So who was she, and why was this love forbidden for one of my tender years?

Let us begin with her title. Definitely not Miss, because she had been "round the track a few times", and then some. Not Mrs, because that conjures up notions of domestic responsibility, definitely not her. And Ms always brings to my mind ambitious female accountants in power suits. No, we have to travel abroad. Apologies to all respectably-married Francophones out there, but for the rest of us, this title is synonymous with Gallic naughtiness - Madame. But Madame who?

I was first introduced to Madame Nicotine by a schoolfriend. As I said, she "put herself about". And for a sixteen-year-old in search of excitement and experience, she seemed to be the answer to my adolescent prayers. I remember the first time as though it were only yesterday. It took place in a dark and secluded corner, of course. But I will never forget the excitement as she first brushed my lips, her taste as she entered my mouth....

And then afterwards. The exhilaration. The guilt. The nausea. I decided there and then, that this was a dangerous lady, once was enough, no more.

And so it was for a few weeks. Then we met again, and I succumbed again. "But no problem", I thought to myself, "I can take her or leave her". So I left her. But some weeks later, I took her once more. And so it went on, and each time she grew on me just a little bit more. Less nausea, more excitement, more satisfaction.

Until the day came that I realized we were inseparable. We were meant for each other, and I was her willing slave. I began to spend more and more on her, because she didn't come cheap. Parents would warn me against her, say she was bad for me, but I didn't care, I would flaunt our relationship, deliberately parade her in public. As a student, I would often spend money on her instead of food, because when I was with her, I no longer felt hunger. She became a part of my every waking moment.

I left college and started earning money, which of course I spent on her. We couldn't get enough of each other. We would consummate our relationship twenty times a day. Sometimes it would be eager, greedy, I would snatch gratification from her selfishly. Other times it would be gentle, relaxed, we would luxuriate in the quiet enjoyment of each other. Often, though, I would just take her for granted, my hand reaching out for her unconsciously, taking her while my mind was on other things. But she didn't mind, as long as I kept spoiling her with my money.

When I married, she became part of a ménage à trois. I felt guilty, of course, that she was taking money that should have gone into the marriage, into the home. When our children arrived, I was even more guilty. Suspecting that she might harm them, we confined our meetings to the garage, the garden, furtive once more. Who would want their own children to fall for Mme. Nicotine's charms when they grew up?

Many times I tried to give her up. I told her so. She just laughed in my face. She knew my weaknesses only too well. And of course I couldn't live without her. Before long, I would come crawling back. She always took me back, for sure, but not without making me feel inadequate, humiliated. She always knew how to humiliate me. How many times, discovering late at night that she was no longer there, did I wander the streets searching for a place where I might find her? Or, being somewhere where she was not allowed, how often did she entice me outside, for a quick and sordid liason in the pouring rain?

Finally I decided "Enough is enough". She was bad for my health, bad for my pocket, her scent covered me and told of our shameful relationship to the world at large. I announced to her that we were finished. How did she react? Just like that scene in "Fatal Attraction", where Glenn Close says "That's alright with me, if you want us to split up. We've had our fun, you more than me, but now your wife deserves to have you all the time. Don't worry about me, I'll be fine on my own. It'll be a good chance to learn cross-stitch. Give my love to the rabbits!"

As if. "Hell hath no fury". Cruella de Ville on steroids. "You'll never leave me", she spat out in rage, "you are weak and puny and have no will power at all. You won't believe how much I'll make you suffer!"

She was right. Those first few weeks were a living hell. I don't know what stopped me going back to her. In desperation I flung myself into the arms of Miss Mint. She was a sweet thing, sure enough, and for a few brief moments she could take my mind off Mme Nicotine, but she didn't have the personality, the depth, or the sheer naughtiness of my former lover to make it a lasting relationship. And I think she always knew that, that when she had served my selfish needs, I would throw her away like a candy wrapper into a trash can. Men are like that. But she fulfilled her purpose, and finally I was free.

That was a while ago. Time has been hard on Mme Nicotine. Once the companion of royalty and film stars, she is no longer welcome in her former haunts, at the movies or around the dinner table. Time has also altered my memories, and I just remember her as dirty, smelly, her hand forever in my wallet.

Occasionally I see her again, in the distance, in a cafe or bar, and she gives me a look of sad reproach. For a very brief moment, I remember our good times together, that first time she brushed my lips.

I sometimes agree with Mme Nicotine's fellow-countryman, Marcel Proust, when he said

There is no man, however wise, who has not at some period of his youth said things, or lived in a way the consciousness of which is so unpleasant to him in later life that he would gladly, if he could, expunge it from his memory.

But then, if we expunge the memory of our first love, what else is worth remembering?

Thursday, May 25, 2006

You're safe with me, I'm a policeman 

Maybe, just maybe, there is a glimmer of light on the horizon. Maybe our Modernizing Father Figure has had a little word in the shell-like of baby brother Prince "Nasty" Nayif, Minister of the Interior.

Prince Naif Curbs Power of Virtue Commission

Interior Minister Prince Naif yesterday curbed the powers of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice in handling issues such as harassment of women. Such cases have now been brought under the Commission for Investigation and General Prosecution, the Saudi Press Agency said.

So what does that mean?

The role of the virtue commission will be restricted to arresting suspects and handing them over to police.

The "virtue commission", if you hadn't figured it out, is the Religious Police. A complete misnomer, of course. Makes them sound like a group of choirboys. The reality is that they are the no-hopers, the social misfits, the failed Imams, the men who will never be married even though we have a surplus of eligible unmarried women. Ugly in looks, ugly in nature, ugly in behavior. If the Saudi gene pool had a pool boy, they'd have been sucked out with the dead insects and rotting leaves, and emptied down the drain long ago.

And the change is that while they will still be able to pounce on the unsuspecting victims (like the young Saudi pair I once saw wandering slowly up and down the aisles of the supermarket, deep in conversation alongside the frozen chickens, one sack of rice in the trolley, obviously in love, obviously not married, obviously keeping out of sight of their families, a doomed Romeo and Juliet story in the making), the Muttawa will only be able to make the arrest, but not indulge in their usual knockabout interrogation routine (The number of slaps increasing with the darkness of your skin, women usually treated slightly more leniently, but not necessarily).

And that change is A Good Thing. A step in the right direction, however small. For while the police have their faults, I would much rather be in their care than in the care of the Muttawa. The police may be lazy, and reluctant to go after anyone who looks remotely like a Prince, but they are not such a rule unto themselves, and do not have the reputation for mindless gratuitous abuse and violence that the Muttawa do.

However, we will still be a long way away from the situation enjoyed by people in First World democracies. For, once inside police custody, people just disappear from sight. Not for ever, and not badly treated, and they do finally re-emerge, but disappear they do.

A true story will illustrate what I mean. I knew the couple involved, although I heard the story at second-hand.

The couple were both Westerners, both teachers. They lived in a compound in the north of Riyadh. While they got on together reasonably OK, they both tended to do their own thing. He did "guy" sorts of things, liked playing golf with his mates, a few drinks when he could get them. She was quieter, enjoyed books and pastimes that involved needle and thread.

One Thursday (our "Saturday"), they went out to the supermarket in the morning (and indeed such couples need to do this together, otherwise who is going to drive?). When they got back, they had lunch, husband announced that he was going out for a trip in the desert. Off he went. Wife settled by the pool with a good book.

Husband had committed two errors already. One, he left his mobile phone at home. Two, although he had a good 4WD, he went out into the desert entirely on his own, not in the company of another vehicle. And that is dangerous, because while a flat battery may be a nuisance in the suburbs of Boston, it can be a death sentence when the temperature is 130, you're ten miles from the nearest road, and away from the regular picnic sites, Bedu camps or even tracks.

At some point husband went somewhere he shouldn't. A site that was sensitive security-wise, not that you'd know, there are no signs, and it just looks like the same old desert. Soldiers emerge, he speaks no Arabic, they speak no English, they take him into custody in a nearby (previously unseen) group of portacabins.

Meanwhile, wife has had a pleasant afternoon by the pool, feels hungry. Noting that husband is not back yet, she decides not to cook, and instead treats herself to a meal in the compound restaurant.

Husband has now been handed over to police, who also speak no English, but drive him back to a Police Station on the outskirts of Riyadh. He would like to phone his wife or his friends or anybody, but has left his cellphone at home.

Wife settles down for an evening in front of the TV. Husband not yet home, obviously drinking with his mates somewhere in some other compound.

Husband is now being questioned by English-speaking cop. All relatively polite, but he's not going anywhere soon. "Why were you there?" "Where? I wasn't anywhere special" etc. Asks if he can phone home. "Yes, you can use your cellphone." "It's at home." Despairing look you would give an idiot, shrug of shoulders. This is not the USA or anywhere like that. No call to your lawyer, or anyone else.

Wife decides on an early night, husband obviously "playing truant" as he apparently did sometimes. Not wanting to wait up for husband's enebriated and late return, she goes to bed.

Husband's interrogation finishes for the night. He's not going anywhere though, he gets to sleep in a cell. Still not allowed to phone out, although he's not completely surprised by that, he'd heard the anecdotes, that's why you should always carry your cellphone.

Wife wakes next morning, not too early, and notes that "significant other" is still missing. Comes to the conclusion that there may be a problem. Rings his cellphone. It responds from the next room. Starts to phone the "Usual Suspects", his golf and drinking buddies.

Husband eats breakfast (Egyptian Foul - sort of beans in a sort of sauce. There's a first time for everything.) The good news is that there won't be any interrogation today, because it's Friday, and the interrogator will be going to Friday prayers. The bad news is that he's not back until Saturday.

Late Friday morning. Wife has drawn a blank with all his pals. Time to call the Embassy. Bad day to do that, Friday. People out on picnics, socializing, what you lot do on Sunday.

To cut a long story short, the Embassy staff finally tracked him down, sorted the matter out, and got him released by Friday evening. He'd been in custody for about thirty hours, incommunicado.

What amused everyone about the story is that the wife didn't seem to miss the husband until the next morning. Well, all marriages have their own foibles. But what this illustrates is how long anyone can disappear down the black hole of our police custody. Imagine if it were an Indian street-sweeper, no relative in the country, an embassy that doesn't give a damn? The answer is a week, even two weeks. Longer, anecdotally, if the arresting officer books you just before his vacation - you wait till he comes back. And that's only if you are "Not Guilty".

So police custody is better than Muttawa custody. It lasts as long, but they probably won't slap you around. And we must be grateful for what may be a slight step forward. But won't it be nice, on that dim and distant day, when the "virtue commission" finally gets wound up? When that happens, I'll probably go on a bender myself, I just hope Mrs A misses me a bit sooner!

And talking about being held incommunicado, here's another little Muttawa (Hay'a) anecdote from a woman blogger.

(Thanks to a number of correspondents for that article)

Two New Links 

I've added two new links over at the right.

Saudi Arabian Women's Rights is a blog site run by a group of Australian students. It is designed to raise awareness of the lack of these rights, and to campaign for improvement. There's a petition over there that you can go and sign.

Alien Memoirs is a nice blog run by Aya, a Saudi student who is currently studying in the USA. It's good to see a sane, common sense site being run by a Saudi.

And, sadly, a link to a Saudi woman who will no longer be able to blog for the moment, thanks to the men in her life. Pretty strong language, I don't blame her one bit, if it were I, I'd use the Lysistrata Strategy.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Guidance Counselor's Report 

Subject: Turki bin Faisal al Saud (Nicknames "Prince", "Ambassador")

Date: 23 May 2006


1. Principal, you may remember that I have already written to you on a number of occasions about our student Turki.

2. I initially advised you against admitting him to our school.

Whilst his family is extremely rich, its wealth was acquired by dubious means. There are many reports of the family patriarch, sometimes known as "Abdul Aziz Al-Saud", sometimes as the "Allahfather", conducting gang warfare against the Hashemite syndicate who used to run the West Side. The Hashemites were eventually driven out and took refuge up north. Shortly after, in a story more reminiscent of the "Beverly Hillbillies" than "Dallas", the Al-Sauds discovered oil in the family compound. They have since become extremely rich, which unfortunately makes them think that they are above any law, and that anyone can be bought. Young Turki is no exception.

The extended family can only be described as extremely dysfunctional. The Bin-Laden branch of the family runs a building business, but one of their sons "went bad" a long time ago and now leads a gang that trashes planes, trains and buildings. Even the more law-abiding side of the family have their problems. They are on the extreme wing of the "Religious Right", treat their servants like cattle, and their women no better.

3. When I originally recommended against admitting him, you were perhaps persuaded otherwise by the offer of the al Saud family to fund a "small prayer room" for the Muslim students. We should perhaps have become suspicious when we suggested a "multi-faith prayer room" that could also be used by other religions such as the Jewish students, for them to reply that "The Jews …there is no bond that binds them, except for a corrupted religion. They seek to extinguish the light of God with their mouths…" And by the time that the "small prayer room" had been built, four times the size of the college chapel with a dome that can be seen ten miles away, it was too late. Certainly the football team regret the loss of their two fields and, as a result, their entire program.

4. Since admitting Turki he has been, as you know, nothing but trouble. Although very polite and well-mannered when talking to authority figures, behind our backs he is a different person. He constantly incites his clique into a campaign of offensive insults against the mainstream students (whom he referred to as the Infidels), not to mention the Jewish ones. Thus remarks such as....

Anyone who turns away from God’s orders and befriends the infidels is the loser…

....the infidel, even if he is your brother of kin, is your enemy by religion.

The infidel is the wretched one. Hell is the abode of the infidel.

The Jews have taken upon themselves to run that [prostitution], to spread it and to run the bars in Europe and America and in Israel itself.

The Jews’ deception, slyness and crookedness [was shown] when they used to greet the Prophet by saying ‘poison be upon you [al-sam ‘alayka]’ as if they were saying ‘peace be upon you [al-salam ‘alayka]’

....and especially this, which he says without a hint of irony...

The Jews are wickedness in its very essence. One of the wicked ways of the Jews is that they whisper to one another among themselves....

....obviously caused great friction with the main student population. However, when they retaliated verbally, they were accused of being "racist", "islamophobic", and even "orientalist", whatever that was supposed to mean.

5. As you know, behind every dysfunctional student there is a dysfunctional family. In view of the above behavior patterns, and triggered by the extreme behavior of his Bin Laden relative and associates, we arranged for a home visit to assess the family situation. Put simply, we were appalled and distressed to see the racist and xenophobic so-called educational material that was readily available to the younger members of the family. No wonder the Bin Laden offspring and many other impressionable relatives have gone completely sociopathic. We were able to find examples of the above insults in those books, together with such "educational" exercises as....

5. What is the fate of the infidels and hypocrites on the Day of Judgment?
[Answer:] Their abode is Hell.

(Dictation exercise)
Now it [Palestine] is occupied by the Jews, a people of treachery and betrayal, who have gathered there from every place: from Poland, Spain, America and elsewhere. Their end, by God’s will, is perdition.

6. We pointed out to the family how this reading matter had demonstrably led to extreme acts of violence by many members of their family, how it had made hatred systemic within their extended family, and for that reason they should do something about it as a matter of urgency We were solemnly assured on numerous occasions that this was happening . One of the uncles told us last year....

We have removed materials that are inciteful or intolerant towards people of other faiths.

and another added, only few days ago,....

The education reforms....go beyond textbook rewriting....Textbooks are only one of the steps that has been taken

....leading us to conclude, quite reasonably, and after four years, that all offending material had been removed. However "telling the truth" seems to be an unknown concept for the al Saud family, presumably because they are only dealing with "Infidels" like you and me. It is therefore sad to report that new material, published only last year, and still available to their children today, has been smuggled out of the house by domestic staff and passed to us. If anything, it is worse than what they had before.

They are the people of the Sabbath, whose young people [Jews] God turned into apes, and whose old people [Christians] God turned into swine to punish them."

You can hardly find an example of sedition in which the Jews have not played a role.

Jihad continues until the Day of Resurrection.

The hour [of judgment] will not come until the Muslims fight the Jews and kill them.

Some of the Jews worship the devil.

....not to mention the "old chestnut", warmed up once again....

The Protocols of the Elders of Zion "were discovered in the 19th century. The Jews have tried to deny them, but there are many proofs of their veracity and their origin among the elders of Zion.

7. I spoke to Turki and asked him why these books had not been destroyed, as we had been assured they had been. His reply was exactly the same old mixture of tired excuses for a late assignment, that teachers the world over could recite in their sleep....

....a massive undertaking.....hundreds of books....the process remains ongoing. The report....is by no means a final report, and was never presented as such.

8. We should call a halt to this endless prevarication. My recommendation is that we expel this troublesome student immediately, and have nothing to do with his problem family, ever. They are smooth and accomplished liars who just regard us with contempt, as "Infidels" who are capable of being "bought". There is no point in trying to deal reasonably with people who believe, in their own words, that....

True belief means . . . that you hate the polytheists and infidels

Thanks, "Jim", "Thompsom", "Paul", "Jonathan", "mkshafeek", "John Bradley"

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