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.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

A special message..... 

to all in the USA...

Happy Thanksgiving!

(Oh heck, I forgot again. As it says in the Wahabbi publications we leave around in US mosques....

Never greet the Christian or Jew first. Never congratulate the infidel on his holiday.

Terrible memory I've got. "Scott from Oregon" had me diagnosed correctly in a comment, when he said I must have a "conveyor belt brain". Stick one thing on the front, another drops off the back. Anyway, as long as I can remember, I won't congratulate you when it comes to time of the idolatrous celebration of the anniversary of the Prophet Isa (Peace Be Upon Him); nor the Zionist celebration of the illegal rededication of the Temple, even though they knew that the Muslims already had Planning Approval to build a mosque on that very same spot 900 years later.)

However, here is somebody who definitely won't forget a certain day.

Last-Minute Pardon Saves Murderer

The governor of Baha, Prince Muhammad ibn Saud, has praised Saad Ali Al-Amri for pardoning the killer of his father. Ali Al-Amri was killed 19 years ago in a dispute over land ownership.
People who had gathered in the public square to witness the execution wept as Al-Amri announced his decision to pardon the 60-year-old killer just seconds before the sentence was to be carried out.

Of course they wept. I'd weep. You know what it's like if you're looking forward to a super day out. Especially if you've got younger children, you know how excited they get, how long it takes to get them ready. Then, almost at the climax, it fizzles out. The relative takes the blood money instead, with seconds to go. What a downer.

It's like me going to watch my beloved Spurs on a Saturday afternoon, and a message comes over the loudspeaker "Sorry, folks, there won't be a game this afternoon. The lads have had a better cash offer. You might catch them at Brent Cross Shopping Center, spending some of it with their wives".

Or at the end of the opera, "La Boheme". Mimi lies dying of TB, although she still sings beautifully. Suddenly Rodolfo's cellphone rings. He's just got a mega publishing deal for his book of poems. He pays for a world-famous TB specialist, who cures her. So the Bohemians buy a nice house in the suburbs, and one of those funny Citroens, and have 7 children.

Or the ending of "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid". When the troops are waiting to ambush them in the town plaza, the market traders start losing business and bribe the soldiers to go home. Butch and Sundance burst out into the square to be faced by........a stall loaded with red and green peppers. They start prodding them looking for nice ones to cook with their fahitas that evening.

I have said it before, and I'll say it again. We just don't do our public executions properly. Thanks to "Khesh" for this illustration of what they should be like.

And this blood money thing is all wrong. Not the idea itself, I'm all for forgiveness, especially when it shows up in the bank statement. But the idea that you can wait until the very last moment, and put the killer thru all that anguish, and then pardon him and collect all the money, just doesn't seem balanced. After all, if he gets chopped, you get nothing. But if you pardon him a second before, you get the full whack. Instead, it should be a sliding scale.

So what I propose is one of those huge flat-screen displays in the town square outside the mosque. 10 minutes before, it shows the full amount, say 100,000 riyals, but then gradually counts down towards zero, when the sword falls. If and when the victim's family call out and pardon him, they get the amount on the display. So there's a dramatic tension between approaching death and decreasing blood money. What drama. And of course our cheerleaders, the lovely Abayettes, could whip up the hysteria even more, getting the crowd to call out the numbers as they click down.

It would also be a huge money-spinner for the Saudi State Lottery. At the moment they have two main sources of income:

Super Surah. This is where you buy a ticket corresponding to a particular verse in a particular Surah (chapter) of the Quran. If that's the verse that the Imam of the Grand Mosque in Makkah chooses to use for his Friday Sermon, then you win. The odds are long, so the payout is good. However, although the gentleman in question is very holy, there is always a suspicion that it's "fixed".

Ramadan-a-Ding-Dong. Here, you pick the day when you think Ramadan will end, as judged by the first appearance of the moon. The odds are about 1 in 3, so the payout is not very good. Also, it's seasonal. However, it's above reproach, unless they start using dodgy telescopes.

But now we'll be able to have Choppo-Lotto. Pick the amount of blood money the family will go for. As the slogan says, "If you're on the money, you're in the money". Bad luck, of course, if it goes all the way. For you especially, because the Lottery keeps the lot.

So let's go over to our commentary team and see what they have to say about today's execution.

Ibrahim: Well, there's a great atmosphere here today in Riyadh's Al Musmak Square, you know I believe the Westerners call it "Chop-chop Square", what a strange sense of humor they have, anyway the crowds are still pouring in for what promises to be a nail-biting event, will it go all the way, or will the family forgive their bank accounts? Let's see what our experts think. Saeed?

Saeed: Well, Ibrahim, you know what they say, on the day it can go either way. I know a lot of the smart money is going on a one-minute reprieve, but I'm not so sure. I really think the family will settle for a Saudi vacation this year, and we're going to see a "gusher".

Ibrahim: So Saeed's advice is save your money, don't get a ticket. How about you, Abdullah?

Abdullah: No, I don't agree, I don't think we'll see heads roll today. A little camel tells me that the family have been seen round the car showrooms this last week. For me, the only question is, will they wait until he's kneeling and then go for the Lexus, or hang on until he's lost bladder control and settle for a Landcruiser.

Ibrahim: Well there you have it, folks, our expert opinion is divided. But, I've just spotted the lovely Abayettes coming on, so let's go over to Mohammad at the ringside....

Unfortunately, I have not been able to pay enough to secure the syndication rights to the whole event. But you can catch it on Saudi TV 1, right after the popular, subtitled, "Coronation Street" soap opera from Britain. It's the one where Deidre commits adultery and is then stoned to death.

And if that one is totally lost on you, have a great Thanksgiving!

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