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.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Friday Sermon 

Today is Friday. Friday is our holy day. It's the day we go to the mosque for the main service of the week, our Friday prayers. It's also the Imam's big moment of the week, when he gives the big sermon, the one that reminds us of our obligations to God and our fellow man. So let's look at three items that he won't breathe a word about, in his Friday Sermon in Saudi Arabia.

1. The Khamys Mushayt Girl. I've seen nothing now, for two months. When you disappear into the Saudi legal system, you really disappear. So she won't be mentioned.

2. The reaction of the Saudi Government to the Iranian President's call that "Israel must be wiped off the map." Oh, the Imams may repeat that quote, ad nauseam, because they lap that sort of stuff up. But they won't quote the Saudi government response, because there wasn't one. An editorial in the "Green Truth" perhaps explains why.

It was certainly undiplomatic of Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to call for Israel to be “wiped off the map”...

It certainly was "undiplomatic". Now, wait for it....


Now you knew that was coming, didn't you!

the wave of Western fury, with countries such as Canada, France, the UK and Spain hauling in the Iranian ambassador and protesting, looks contrived.

Why does our editor think that? Because, it's no worse than the

comments of its (France's) then ambassador in London, Daniel Bernard, who called Israel “that sh*tty little country”?

according to our editor, who hasn't quite got the hang of ideas like "moral equivalence" yet. Now a truly equivalent statement by the French Ambassador would have been...

Israel, “that sh*tty little country”, that should be wiped.................. Oh, no, that's the problem when you mix your metaphors. Anyway, you know what I was getting at.

Puzzled, the editor goes on to ask

And why is it that only the West is making a fuss?

Well, I don't suppose they are too thrilled about it in the East, like India or Japan. But perhaps the answer is the rabid hatred of Israel and all things Jewish in this part of the world. So when Iran finally nukes Israel, our editor will say

It was certainly unsporting of Iran to wipe Israel off the map. But perhaps, in the long run, it's for the best....

Now my own local Imam may well condemn the original quote, because he's a good sort of guy, and I chose the mosque carefully. Perhaps when "Fr Jim" gets back from being a guest at his local mosque, he could let us know whether it was condemned there. But, for sure, it won't be condemned in Saudi Arabia.

3. A new legal cause celebre, which I picked up thanks to "Erik".

A 14-year-old Egyptian boy faces execution in Saudi Arabia after a flawed trial in which he was convicted for the murder of another child, Human Rights Watch said today.

Following a seriously flawed trial, Ahmad al-D. was sentenced to death in July for the murder of three-year old Wala’ `Adil `Abd al-Badi` in Dammam in April 2004. The families of both children are Egyptian nationals living in Saudi Arabia. Wala’s parents have refused to accept blood money (diya) from Ahmad’s family, and Ahmad remains on death row in a juvenile detention facility in Dammam.

Saudi Arabia has ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which prohibits capital punishment for offenses committed by individuals under 18 at the time of the crime and protects the rights of all children accused or convicted of crimes.

Although he was only 13 at the time of the murder, the court tried and sentenced Ahmad as an adult.

Saudi Arabia stated in its 2004 report to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child that the “Islamic Shariah in force in the Kingdom never imposes capital punishment on persons who have not attained their majority” and that “a juvenile is .... below the age of 18”.

OK, so we lied. At least it got the UN off our back. But the Imams won't condemn that either.

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