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.
Saudis are sometimes accused of having no sense of humor. Indeed, I am sometimes accused of not being a Saudi, because I do have a sense of humor. The truth is, of course, that we Saudis are natural comedians, and enjoy a good laugh, just like everyone else. However, some things are not funny. Let me explain the difference.
This is not funny.
This might appear funny to Westerners because it depicts their notion of Islam - mysogynistic and murderous - and the way in which the slit of the ladies' veil has been used to conceal Muhammad's eyes, rather like in one of those crime photos.
While it doesn't do much for me personally, some may enjoy it and have a laugh. Others may not find it funny, and would simply move on to the next item.
However, for many Saudis, and indeed many extreme Muslims worldwide, it is not enough to find it unfunny. We are also obliged to feel offended
, because of the depiction of Muhammad. And when we discover that this has been published in a Danish newspaper, we feel compelled to take action.Saudis and non-Saudis in the Kingdom are urging consumers to boycott Danish products in response to cartoons of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) printed in September in Danish daily Jyllands-Posten.
So no more Lurpak butter on the table. (We already passed on the Danish Bacon). But what will that achieve?The main objective of this message is that we encourage people to boycott goods from Denmark, which is the least thing we can do until Denmark offers an official apology for the drawings that have offended the world’s Muslims.
I am rather curious exactly how many of "the world's Muslims"
speak fluent Danish, and leaf thru a copy of the "Jyllands-Posten" newspaper while eating their toast and Lurpak (but no longer) and marmalade, in order to get so upset. But no matter. One Muslim did, was deeply offended, told the other 1.3 billion about it, and now we're all p*ssed as hell.
And you know what happens when we are offended, don't you? That's right. We demand an apology! And as we expect an "official apology",
it can come from no less a person than from Her Royal Highness Queen Margrethe Alexandrine Þorhildur Ingrid. In Arabic, naturally; you don't think any of us speak Danish, do you? And if you do that, we'll start buying Lurpak again. But don't count on the bacon.
So that wasn't funny. But what is? Well, this cartoon from Today's "Saudi Gazette"
Why? Because it depicts time running out for Ariel Sharon. You see, he is Jooo No. 1, and we don't like Jooos, have hated them for 1400 years in fact, so when Jooo No. 1 has a major stroke, and is in a coma for the best part of a month, it's fair game for a bit of good-natured fun. Anyway, cerebral hemorages are inherently funny. It's the idea of being completely helpless and being artificially fed and tubes going in and tubes going out that appeals to our cartoonist, who of course never himself risks the possibility of a blood vessel in his own head bursting and messing up his brain; but if it did happen to him, you can be sure that he'd have a real good laugh about it.
So there you go, the Saudi sense of humor. We're extremely religious and pious, so we don't laugh at Muhammad, just at Jooos with severe brain damage.P.S. 22 January 2006.
You can see the full set of the Danish cartoons here
. Generally, for me, not that funny. But not reason enough to get spitting mad , either. And certainly not worth giving up Lurpak for.