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.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

The Princes enjoy a really good laugh 

It's the end of the weekly Poker evening at the palace. All the other Princes have left, but Abdullah and Naif are finishing off the remains of the pizza. Abdullah remembers a bit of business he'd meant to mention.

A: I got a letter from Condaleesa Rice this morning.

N: Oh yes? You know, every time I see her, she reminds me of my chauffeur, she's the same color. Except my chauffeur's not a woman of course. The only time you need a woman chauffeur in this country, is when your car's broken down. (They both start to giggle). Anyway, I'm going to try and look really really interested in what some kuffar woman says. So what did she say?

A: Well, you know, same old, same old. There was something about it on Yahoo. Religious Freedom again. She says "Freedom of religion does not exist, and that that those who do not adhere to the officially sanctioned strain of Sunni Islam practiced in the country can face "severe repercussions" from religious police".

N: Well, that's a smart observation, must be a clever woman! She's a doctor, isn't she? She should stick to prescribing suppositories. Starting with herself. Perhaps she could practice with that letter. (They are both now having difficulty in controlling themselves).

A: But she does also play the piano.

N: Well, I tell you what, next time I want an opinion from a black piano player, I'll give Ray Charles a ring. (Abdullah splutters bits of anchovy and cheese onto the table). What else did she say?

A: (Controlling himself with difficulty) Something about "instances in which government-paid mosque preachers "used violent anti-Jewish and anti-Christian language in their sermons."

N: Instances! They should be doing it every Friday! And what does Miss Condescending want us to do about them? Ask them to become "Imam Nice-Guy"? Get them to say things like - "Well actually I suppose I'm a Muslim, but if you want to be a Christian or a Jew or a Hindu, hey, if it's cool with you it's cool with me, whatever"
A further delay while the two Princes try to regain their breath.

N. So I suppose Miss Pilau Rice would like a church in every city, we could call them St Naif and St Abdullah and things like that...
(sounds of difficulty in breathing...)
...and where we've knocked down that railway bridge in Madinah, we could build a big synagogue....
(...and choking)
...and then we'll have stories like a Catholic Priest and an Imam walking down King Abdul Aziz Street in Riyadh, and the Priest says to the Imam, "You know, Imam, I suppose we both break our vows occasionally, but at least when I do, it's a lot more fun that a ham sandwich"...
(Abdullah is now rolling helplessly on his back, drumming his heels, on the floor)

N: So what are they going to do about it?
(Abdullah takes several minutes to compose himself)

A: They're going to give us "180 days to achieve real progress....in order to allow additional time for the continuation of discussions leading to progress on important religious freedom issues."

N: That's what they said last time. And the time before. So what will they do if we don't make - (holds his fingers up and does that silly quotation sign thing) - "Real Progress"?

A: Something about (and copies the silly quotation sign thing) "Possible Trade Sanctions"

N: (Silly sign again) "Possible Trade Sanctions". (Now N is having real difficulty keeping his face straight). Possible trade sanctions, like..., like... THEY MIGHT STOP BUYING OUR OIL!?!?!

(That's it. They've both "lost it".They're both completely helpless. Hysterical laughter echoes down the marble corridors)

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