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, April 09, 2006

More Surprises! 

I don't know about you, but I think I've had all the surprises I can take for now. But there's more. Just when we'd thought we'd seen the last of the "Allah Fish", another one pops up, (Thanks, "Sohan"). According to the "Gulf News"

It should have been an everyday expedition for the Pakistani fisherman as he sought his catch in the Arabian Gulf. But what started as a routine voyage rapidly turned into a day he will never forget after landing a fish which allegedly had the Arabic inscription of the name Allah on its side.....News of the fish spread like wildfire prompting people to come to Dubai from all over the UAE.

Some silly and superstitious people will read some deep meaning into these multiple sightings of the "Allah Fish". They will see them as a sign from God. However I am a rational modern 21st Century sort of believer, and I do not hold with that kind of nonsense. As if the Ultimate Creator would waste His time doodling his signature on the sides of fishes. Maybe he did though; he could have been stuck in a long-winded planning meeting with the Archangels, you know what they are like when they start talking, they seem to think they have an absolute eternity to talk. Yawn, fidget, reach down into the ocean, grab a passing fish, squiggle on it, laugh at its goggle-eyed look of surprise, put it back in. But the amazing thing is that if you turn the fish upside down, the writing looks like the McDonald arches. Now I'm surprised that nobody has spotted this before, but to me it is a clear sign that "Big Mac", the Supersized One, is very angry that so many of His clowns have been burnt in Muslim riots recently. Think I'm fantasising? Next time you have a Filet-O-Fish, have a quick peek under the bun top.

More surprises, too, in The Land where the Bong Tree grows. You may remember Saudi journalist Rabah Al-Quwayi from a post last November. Just to look at him, you know he's like a red rag to our zealots. No beard, you see. They never trust a man whose beard is not as long as the width of his fist, as our Book commands. Anyway, Rabah went onto a fundamentalist website and made a shocking assertion....

In a long article I wrote in a discussion of the Holy Qur’an and posted on the Internet, I said that ‘nothing should be taken for granted.’

Oh, the shame of such heresy! This obviously caused our devout zealots to put pen to paper and compose a learned and measured reply, which they then wrapped round a stone and and it used to smash his windscreen. The reply said....

In the name of God, the Most Gracious and the Most Merciful: This time it is your car but next time it is you. Return to your religion and forsake heresy. This is the last warning.

Praise the Lord! God's message is one of forgiveness and welcome, yet He entrusts it to the very lowliest of his messengers, and even though their behavior may seem a little bit clumsy, we know that they did what they did with true Muslim brotherly love in their hearts!

Several months have since elapsed, so Rabah might be forgiven for thinking that it's all in the past. But he's not reckoned with our fun-loving legal system.

In a telephone interview with Arab News on Tuesday night, Al-Quwayi said that authorities in Hail contacted him asking him to come in and fill out some paperwork related to his complaints of harassment that stem from the incidents last November.

Fair enough. No doubt he needed a Crime Number so that he could get the insurance money for his broken windscreen.

He responded that he had obligations at his job and couldn’t come in. The police sent an explanation letter to the editor in chief of the paper, and Al-Quwayi was given permission to go to the police station.

That's nice. the police were being really helpful, getting him time off work. Besides, they had a nice Surprise!

He was immediately arrested upon arrival.

You don't expect that when you go in to get a Crime Number for a broken windscreen! What a great sense of fun these cops have!

Police told him they had discarded his complaints of harassment....

So they were only kidding about that broken windscreen!

....and opened a new investigation into his Islamic faith.

Ha! Ha! They've got him for a Thought Crime! They're the best!

“They told me that if I didn’t complain to the police in the first place they wouldn’t have suspected my beliefs,” said Al-Quwayi.

A bit naive, perhaps. It's quite usual in the West, when you report a car crime, that the cops ask you to recite the Lord's Prayer and the Apostle's Creed, just to prove your true religious faith. That's why people keep saying them in church every Sunday, so they don't forget them and get arrested.

But that's not the best bit of the surprise. It gets even better. You see, no-one really knows who is responsible! The cops have him in their prison, and they've got the key....

Hail police chief Gen. Nasser Al-Nowaisser said Al-Quwayi is detained...."Our job was to execute the warrant"....

....but at the request of someone else....

....under a warrant requested by the Commission for Prosecution and Investigation....

....but they are just the middle men for yet another organization....


....and nobody knows who they are!

Lawyer Abdul Rahman Al-Lahem announced yesterday that he would be representing Al-Quwayi....he is still unclear who the plaintiffs in the case are; nobody has come forward as the accusers.

Well of course they are not going to come forward; that would spoil all the fun! Much better to have Rabah locked up but not knowing who's behind it, it all adds to the piquancy of the surprise. Anyway, there's no hurry, they've got plenty of time to sort out the muddle, these things shouldn't be rushed.

The commission has the legal right to detain any suspect for up to six months, said Al-Lahem

Like I said, I don't think I can take any more surprises. But for me the best bit about this, is that it's a Thought Crime. Just when you thought that the only safe place was inside your skull, they can also go poking around in there too. Who can forget the movie, "1984"? And hero Winston Smith's immortal words....

Thoughtcrime is death. Thoughtcrime does not entail death. Thoughtcrime IS death. I have committed even before setting pen to paper the essential crime that contains all others unto itself.

....and the conversation with his interrogator, in the Ministry of Love....

Winston Smith: Does Big Brother exist?
O'Brien: Of course he exists.
Winston Smith: Does he exist like you or me?
O'Brien: You do not exist.

Journalist Detained for Internet Remarks (Thanks, "Prup" and "Nuri")

I apologize if my use of humor seems inappropriate for this story. But, you see, I find it impossible to cry and vomit at the same time.

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