Important Notice

It is not my intention to denigrate Saudi Arabia or its people. It’s like everywhere else, there is good and there is bad. I would rather focus on the unusual and the humourous. Offence is not intended.

“The country is not perfect. The media cannot be trusted, mistreatment of religious minorities is common and there are some that live in fear.” You can decide for yourself whether that statement is about Saudi Arabia, the UK, or any country for that matter.

To quote the Joker, “Why can’t we all just get along?”

That is all I will say about either subject.

Saturday, 13 January 2007

Muttawa Training, Day 1

A western friend of a friend was caught dating a Saudi girl here in Riyadh. The muttawa were tipped off and whilst I don’t know what happened to her, I understand that he got a bit of a beating and he has been deported from Saudi Arabia. The story surprised me because whilst the muttawa have rules to enforce, I thought that the beatings were becoming a thing of the past.
Anyway, I was reading about the young unmarried couple that were caught by the muttawa in a supermarket and it made me wonder how they tell who is and who is not married…

Teacher: …and you must arrest any unmarried couples without a chaperone.
Student: But teacher, how will I know if they are not married?
Teacher: Well, look at that young couple over there. Are they arguing?
Student: No, they are not.
Teacher: Are they ignoring each other?
Student: No, they are not.
Teacher: Do they look tired and bored?
Student: Well, no. Actually they look quite happy.
Teacher: Then clearly they are not married! Arrest them!


Mohammed Alwan said...

Hi Margrave,

I like your post about Mutawwa (I prefer to spell it this way). I understand it's one of the issues you'll find so weird and unjustified in Saudi. (Why should the government bother if a couple were dating?) Well, Mutawwas are not acquiring their privilege and power from the government but from the majority of religious and conservatives in Saudi. Many many Saudis are supporting and approving Mutawwas’ actions and attitude. Actually, there are a minority of Saudis who are liberal and open-minded. Therefore, the government is trying to relatively play a partial democratic game by forcing the laws that please the majority! So, think about it this way: This is how the majority of Saudis want their country to be!

I'm one of those who hate this reality but do I matter? I'm a minority in Saudi! :)

Mohammed - Portland,OR

Anonymous said...

Hi Margrave, I really enjoy reading your Blogger from time to time, and believe it or not: it makes me quite disappointed when I come here and find nothing new :).

About the Muttawa's thing, I really don't like it when they are crossing over privacy of others just like the case with the two dating. Specially if the two are not doing something that is unusual or violating common sense or so weird..etc. But I do support the muttawa's for beating the guys who bother girls in a very unacceptable manner - we see that quite a lot. At the end, this is their job and quite honestly, I sometimes feel they are not doing it the right way (very unfortunately).

have a good day Margrave..


Dr.Talal said...

I've been watching your blog for a while and I like to read it, couldn't reply, but now I'll do. I'm amazed how you figured there way to discriminate couples. yes that what they do. Someday I may write the time when they suspected me and my brother as gays !!.