Monday, February 25, 2008

Saudi Mating Rituals

Flirting in Saudi Arabia? It sounds like the setup for a one-liner, but actually fifty-seven men were recently arrested for it, and thus did Saudi Arabia hand another gift to the argument for secularism:

The country's religious police arrested the men Thursday night, alleging behavior that included dancing to pop music blaring from their cars and wearing improper clothing, according to the Okaz newspaper, which is deemed close to the government.
I can only guess that there are no 7-11 stores in Saudi Arabia, because without dancing to music blaring from cars while wearing improper clothes, 7-11 would have nothing to offer teenagers except steeply discounted hot dogs. And let's face it, those hot dogs aren't much of a draw -- they're older than most of the teens who eat them.
Women in Saudi Arabia are required to wear a long, enveloping black cloak called an abaya and to cover their hair with a headscarf.

The newspaper report said the men who were arrested Thursday could be released if they could prove they did not flirt with any women. Otherwise, they will be transferred to court and stand trial ...
Fabulous! Proving they weren't flirting should be easy enough. I would start by pointing out that it is impossible to flirt with shapeless black masses, which is what Saudi Arabia's mandatory dress code makes of women. I would suggest that I was framed. I wasn't dancing with a woman, I'd say, but just doing some stretching exercises in front of a fire hydrant that a prankster had draped in a black gown.

Perhaps that defense wouldn't be true, but then again, the law that evoked it is illegitimate.

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