And these are our allies on the WoT? We are so fucked. Youssef Ibrahim lays it out in today's New York Sun;
The letter “X” soon may be banned in Saudi Arabia because it resembles the mother of all banned religious symbols in the oil kingdom: the cross.
The new development came with the issuing of another mindbending fatwa, or religious edict, by the infamous Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice — the group of senior Islamic clergy that reigns supreme on all legal, civil, and governance matters in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The commission’s damning of the letter “X” came in response to a Ministry of Trade query about whether it should grant trademark protection to a Saudi businessman for a new service carrying the English name “Explorer.”
“No! Nein! Nyet!” was the commission’s categorical answer.
Well, never mind that none of the so-called scholars manning the upper ranks of the religious outfit can speak or read a word of English. But their experts who examined the English word “explorer” were struck by how suspicious that “X” appeared. In a kingdom where Friday preachers routinely refer to Christians as pigs and infidel crusaders, even a twisted cross ranks as an abomination.
Among the commission’s deeds is the famed 1974 fatwa — issued by its blind leader at the time, Sheik Abdul Aziz Ben Baz — which declared that the Earth was flat and immobile. In a book issued by the Islamic University of Medina, the sheik argued: “If the earth is rotating, as they claim, the countries, the mountains, the trees, the rivers, and the oceans will have no bottom.” Another bright light of the commission, Sheik Abdel-Aziz al-Sheikh, recently stopped a government reform proposal aimed at creating work for women by allowing them to replace male sales clerks in women’s clothing stores. Sheik al-Sheikh damned the idea, saying it was a step “towards immorality and hellfire.” The underlying logic is breathtaking: Women are more protected by buying their knickers from men! Over the years, the commission has rendered Saudi Arabia a true kingdom of darkness. Movie theaters are banned, as are sculptures, paintings, and music, and the mixing of sexes in public.
The commission really has it in for women. They must don the allenveloping veil, or niqab, in public; they cannot drive themselves nor ride anywhere without a male guardian, and they cannot travel alone domestically or abroad.
One of the most criminal travesties committed by the commission’s foot soldiers, the Mutawaeen, or religious police, was dramatically reported by the muzzled Saudi press itself on Friday, March 15, 2002, when the Mutawaeen forcibly prevented girls fleeing a burning school from leaving the building because they were “improperly dressed.”
The day after, the Saudi Gazette newspaper quoted witnesses as saying the police stopped men who tried to help the girls, warning the men: “It is sinful to approach them.”
Of the 800 teenage pupils in Mecca, 15 burned to death and more than 50 were injured. Yet, the commission and its royal enablers thrive.
You gotta read it all. These are the moderates?