Tuesday, January 16, 2007

What can happen if you get the definition of sin wrong

The letter "X" soon may be banned in Saudi Arabia because it resembles the mother of all banned religious symbols in the oil kingdom: the cross.

The new development came with the issuing of another mind-bending fatwa, or religious edict, by the infamous Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice — the group of senior Islamic clergy that reigns supreme on all legal, civil, and governance matters in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
. . .
The commission also excels at banning the construction of houses of worship — other than mosques — even though the majority of the 8 million expatriates working in the kingdom come from Christian, Hindu, and Buddhist faiths. Indeed, celebrating a private Sunday Mass inside a home could lead to jail, public lashings, and expulsion.

One of the most criminal travesties committed by the commission's foot soldiers, the Mutawaeen, or religious police, was dramatically reported by the muzzled Saudi press itself on Friday, March 15, 2002, when the Mutawaeen forcibly prevented girls fleeing a burning school from leaving the building because they were "improperly dressed."

The day after, the Saudi Gazette newspaper quoted witnesses as saying the police stopped men who tried to help the girls, warning the men: "It is sinful to approach them."

Of the 800 teenage pupils in Mecca, 15 burned to death and more than 50 were injured. Yet, the commission and its royal enablers thrive.

No comments: