when in saudi arabia, just don’t act human

January 17, 2013

mosque

Seriously, don’t do it. Don’t get excited about something, don’t go out too much, stay with those of your own gender unless you’re with your spouse, and if you’re a woman, cover up your bare, seductive eyes you harlot, or risk the wrath of the zealots of the CPVPV who will arrest you and treat you as inhumanely as they want because being the religious police, they think they’re way above and beyond any human laws. Unless, of course, you happen to live in one of the luxury gated communities where you’re actually allowed to act like a normal person rather than a bland automaton that Saudi clerics demand everyone who sets foot in The Kingdom should be. There, the laws don’t apply, and religious fundamentalists are banned from talking about them or trying to regulate what happens behind closed doors. It’s the typical way the Saudi government deals with the conflict between modernity and fundamentalism. They just keep the two separate and happily encourages radicals to travel abroad, as they did with weekend jihadis for example.

Westerners are welcome to come and bring their money with them as long as they do their very best not to provoke the clerics who lose their minds every time they hear about humans doing human things. Likewise, the fundamentalists are allowed to fume, hate, and issue edicts as long as they don’t interfere with any profitable foreigners and sheikhs or cause some sort of a messy public controversy in their little crusades. And so the foreigners and oil tycoons spend nights in posh, expensive clubs hiding deep inside shining skyscrapers in newly built cities that look as if they were beamed down from the year 2075, drinking fine cognac and indulging in escorts, while devout fundamentalists memorize the Qu’ran cover to cover at home. This segregation trick has been also adopted in the UAE and it works. Until it doesn’t and we hear about a Western woman arrested for having sex with her boyfriend or a teenager being raped at random and arrested on the suspicion of being gay, complete with stern references to conservative Islam.

So what does this separation policy accomplish for the Saudis? It creates ticking time bombs for one, and it helps them to speak out of both sides of their mouth without actually dealing with the simple problem that modern culture and religious fundamentalism are just not compatible. It’s a recipe for a bipolar culture that crowds mosques and covers up in flowing robes during the day, and douses its pent up frustrations in alcohol, sex, and recreational drugs at night. After all, we know full well how utterly obsessed the Muslim world is with adult entertainment despite all their protests and bans on the subject because we can use Google Trends, and enough meetings in the KSA and the UAE take place for Westerners to deliver very thorough accounts of the secret party life of the typical sheikh from which a pretty clear and very un-Islamic picture emerges. It’s the problem with being human. Sooner or later our normal desires will emerge and if we are not allowed to satisfy them in a healthy way, all sorts of problems appear, problems that the Saudi religious police then tries to correct with arrests, beatings, and their cruel insanity.

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  • TheBrett

    Interesting post, and different from your usual fare. What prompted it?

    It’s a recipe for a bipolar culture that crowds mosques and covers up
    in flowing robes during the day, and douses its pent up frustrations in
    alcohol, sex, and recreational drugs at night.

    Iran is the same way in the cities, from what I’ve heard. They even have a phrase for the partition between private life craziness and public piety, although I can’t remember what it was.

  • David Usher

    When I worked in the middle east an acquaintance told how one of his Saudi Colleagues in the oil industry asked him to get him some booze for a party. When asked if he could come along reply was ‘sorry mate, but it is in Mecca!’ Said it all.

    If anything blows in Saudi Arabia it will be the imported pseudo slave workforce from further east. If they get organised they could take the place down quickly. Alternatively all the women could rebel – now that would be interesting.

  • Abdul

    I’m a guy from a big and well known Saudi tribe, and I’m saying it fuck Saudi Arabia and fuck Bin Saud who messed up everything in the Arabian peninsula.