Lesson, Question

Prior to Ramadhan, a scene from the popular show Tash Ma Tash was leaked. The leaked scene was circulated on the web and via Bluetooth. However, this scene did not make it to the TV screen because the episode from which the scene was taken was banned. Since this episode was portraying the men of the Committee for Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice (aka the Religious Police), it was expected that it would be banned, but the leaked scene has given people a preview of what they are going to watch during the month.

The Islamists were very happy about the ban that they went talking about it as a victory during the first few days of Ramadhan, while those of us waiting for the episode were very disappointed that MBC has bent down to the enemies of freedom and enlightenment. It was only a matter of time before the whole banned episode, titled “Salon Al Hay’a”, was available for download on some websites and forums. I have downloaded the episode and watched it, and let me say that if some people have complained that the makers of the show were exaggerating some of the negative phenomena in our society, there was not any kind of exaggeration in this episode. Every scene in this episode is derived from true stories that occurred repeatedly in different forms over the past few years, and the makers have even emphasized on portraying what is considered ‘the bright side’ of the Religious Police by showing some good examples.

The enemies of freedom of expression should learn a lesson from what happened: censorship is no good; not anymore. Thanks to the internet, it simply does not work, at least not the way it used to do. Moreover, there is an important question to be answered here, not about Tash Ma Tash, but rather about the power of this institution. As we have seen, many parts of the government were harshly criticized in the show, including parts far more important than the Religious Police, but this episode was the only one to be banned. The government should be serious about limiting the power of this institution and those who stand behind it, otherwise we will end up with a state within the state some day, and by then we will have a more dangerous problem to deal with than some satire TV show.

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56 thoughts on “Lesson, Question

  1. Ahmed,
    I must say, I am not much of a fan of your thought process. You are criticizing the censorship that takes place in this industry, yet you say that the government itself was harshly criticized. You would think that that government would be more inclined to censor things against them instead of letting those pass and censoring something that you consider far less important. It’s called politics, Ahmed. The government is not in the right situation to give incentives to the extremists that want to find the slightest reason to lash back at the country. It’s also called “respect for religion” – far more important than individual criticism of governmental departments or government officials. Although censorship must have its limits, the limits you wish it to go to are not the limits that a conservative Muslim society will willingly accept.

  2. salam & Eid Mubarak, :)

    i guess my charming vision of pious, pure saudis in gorgeous white flowing thobes & female robes (i’m sorry ladies, i don’t know what it’s called :) ), is kinda slipping away.

    since i’ve read other saudi blogs that shocked me, i feel like i want to be religious police myself, can i still imagine saudis the way i love it?

    i don’t know for sure, but i saw sa’ad al ghamdi in his white thobes with calm, nice coversation – i hope he’s a loveable guy in saudi. coz if so, that’s how i like to imagine saudis. i’m sorry if i sound ignorant or something, but i guess… maybe it’s slipping away?

    i miss Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).

  3. oRgAnIzEd ChAoS, probably you are right that the government don’t want to give them a reason to attack the country, but I think that showing your fear of them is not the smartest political move. I don’t have much to say about “respect for religion” except what I said here: “People should differentiate between religion as something sacred and those who speak in the name of religion and claim to represent it while their words and actions tell otherwise.” If you consider the actions of the religious police a proper representation of Islam, and therefor it should be respected, then there is no point in discussing this issue with you because I don’t see it that way.

  4. hear hear, Ahmed. far too many people in the world today are hijacking Islam and using it to lend weight to their own views. the warped view of Islam held by some societies is contributed to in no small way by this hijacking.

  5. “there was not any kind of exaggeration in this episode”

    I doubt that you know what “exaggeration” means my friend. I’ve seen that episode, and it was ridiculous. No wonder it was taken out. The “positive side” was hardly there compared to the negative one (which was exaggerated).

    I think what really should be critisiced next year in Tash is “Pleasure Marriage” (Zawag al Muta’). You know these Shiite marriages where you could marry a woman for a month, a week, a day or even an hour? that would be fun! The episode could be named “Who’s my father?”. Good idea, don’t you think?

  6. If you think that I mind watching criticism to Shiites you are mistaken. Shiites are no angles, too, and I have no problem at all seeing anyone criticizes them as long as he is fair and logical. I have never claimed to be a representative of Shiites, and I am not going to use any reason whatsoever to justify their wrongdoings when these actions come to affect our society negatively. Zawaj Al Muta’a is a part of Shiites beliefs, a part that is not necessarily to my liking, but it is nevertheless and therefore it should be respected by others the some way these others expect their beliefs to be respected.

  7. Anonymous, first of all you’re being a coward, it would be nice if you left a name :) that’s A.

    B, for the love of GOD stick to the point at hand. The man is talking 6ash ma 6ash, you can leave your prospective epi ideas to yourself :) or maybe send them to nassir and abdullah. Perhpas if the likes of you joined their ranks, the rest of the saudis would lighten up a little about a god damn TV SHOW.

    C, I don’t care what kind of hullabaloo the shiites come up with. As far as I’m concerned, they aren’t imposing it on me and they’re minding their own business. Unlike the rest of us who seem to believe it is our godgiven duty to boss people around. ok :)? See, you’re not making any sense, my sweet, and you’re not adding anything useful to the discourse so you can take your shiite trash talk elsewhere. People who read and enjoy this blog enjoy the author’s ideas and frankly don’t give three shits what or who Ahmed is.

  8. Coward? really? how would my name add anything to the discussion anyway? Can i come up with any nick name (like Farooha) and claim it’s my “name”? you’re funny, you know. :)

    Also, I’ve already shared my opinion in that episode in the first paragraph. So unless you’re blind, it should be very obvious honey. :)

    You know, you shouldn’t get angry quickly on the Internet Miss Manly, otherwise you’d age quickly. Try drinking a glass of lemon juice with mint after reading my comment next time, and see if it works. :)

  9. أعود مجدداً لأقول ، أنت آخر من يتكلم عن الكتابة بالأسماء المجهولة يا فرح ..

    أحمد – عُمران – أهلا بمحب الحرية :P
    كُن رجلاً ولو لمرة ..

  10. عصير الليمون والنعناع هو تنشيط الشراب ، وستساعد يبقى بعيدا الصهاينة

  11. Oh, sorry, i was enjoying Farooha’s reply, and i forgot to ask you about this:

    “Zawaj Al Muta’a is a part of Shiites beliefs, a part that is not necessarily to my liking”

    How about you tell us if it is or not? Just for once, tell us something that has anything to do with Shiites.

    You say that you don’t mind anyone criticizing Shiite’s stuff as long as they’re “fair and logical”, yet you still think Tash Ma Tash was “fair and logical” with the religious police. This means that you either don’t know what the religious police actually do (except for what you hear from other people) or that you just don’t want their existence for whatever reason you got.

    Also, you’ve said in your post:

    “and the makers have even emphasized on portraying what is considered ‘the bright side’ of the Religious Police by showing some good examples.”

    So let’s talk about “what is considered” the bright side. Do you think that the religious police has a bright side at all? do you agree with the small positive portion of that episode? (straight-forward answers please)

  12. Rrrright, you’re playing with words again to avoid answering my questions. I didn’t tell you what to write, i just asked some questions and expected clear answers, but for some reason, you don’t want to answer.

    “”from what I have seen, read, and heard in the past few years, I think the negative side has affected our society much more than the so-called positive side. And when I say ‘affected,’ I mean it has done that in a very bad and damaging way.””

    You are either lying, or really ignorant. The religious police has done SO MUCH to the society. What happened to their efforts against alcohol, prostitution, lousy guys harassing women in public and the other things? Why are you focusing on the empty half of the glass? Because you either don’t want to look at the full half, or you don’t even know about it.

    You know, I can say the same thing about the police. A plenty of times me and my family asked them for help (some times in serious situations), but they hardly cooperate. At least the religious police take our problems seriously. They’ve helped me and my family every single time we’ve asked them for help (even though i look far away from religious).

    I don’t mind criticising the religious police. Heck, i even criticise them myself. All I’m asking is to be fair with them, and apparently you don’t want to.

    And by the way, they’ve got me once thinking i was someone else, and i got really pissed off. But on the other hand, they’ve helped me on many occasions to the point that i just have to forget about what happened back then.

  13. Green Tea, how many times do I need to tell you that you are not welcome in any of my blogs? It’s Eid for God’s sake, have you no decency? If you can’t read English, here it is in Arabic: شاي أخضر، قلتُ عدة مرات سابقا، وسأكررها مجددا: أنت شخص غير مرحب به في أي من مدوناتي

    Anon, I give everyone, including you, the freedom to discuss what I write here in the comments area, even if they disagree with me. However, neither you nor anybody else has the right to tell me what to write or not to write about. If you can’t find what you are looking for here, you can simply close the browser window or go to another website.

    You can assume whatever you like about my knowledge of the religious police. Probably there is a positive side of the work of the religious police, but from what I have seen, read, and heard in the past few years, I think the negative side has affected our society much more than the so-called positive side. And when I say ‘affected,’ I mean it has done that in a very bad and damaging way.

    One of the problems with most of the religious police sympathizers is that they don’t take criticism to their beloved group very well. Instead of discussing the criticism and the ideas, they would start attacking the person and questioning his intention for raising such worrying issues. Unfortunately, this not the way to start a civilized dialogue in order to reach meaningful results. Happy Eid, Anon.

  14. i like the idea of this episode “Who’s my father?” really i wish it come true think of all the funny thing’s that u can but in this episode

  15. أرجو أن تخرج من قوقعتك الكريهة الرافضية الرفضية وأن تعلم إن كنت لا تعلم -وهذا هو إعتقادي فيكم – أن هذه المواضيع قد وضعت للنقاش والتعليق او الدفاع لمن كان له وجهة نظر مختلفة .
    ولكن ثبت فشل حجتك وأنك لا تستطيع سماع الرأي الاخر وتكتفي بحذف تعقيبات من لم يكن رأيه على هواك .
    ولدي إقتراح لك يمكنك أن تكتبه في مقدمة مواضيعك وهي عبارة ” النقاش مسموح لمن يوافقني الرأي فقط ” ، أو ” التعليق مفتوح لأصدقائي فقط ” ، أو أي عبارة أخرى مناسبة ..
    وإن كنت على قدر من الحجة ، لماذا لا تسمح للراي الاخر ان يكون موجوداّ يا ضعيف الحجة ? ..

  16. This is the last time a comment by you would ever appear on any of my blogs. You have been warned several times before, and you have crossed the line. There is a big difference between freedom of expression and offending others, and if you think that you can come here to offend me or anyone else you are mistaken.

  17. Tash ma Tash is funny, and it is sorely needed. The ability to be able to poke fun at one’s self is very important.

    I dont think I missed one episode this year and they were all funny.

    The idea that something should be banned because you dont agree with it is nonsense.

    The religious police have a foul reputation with Saudis and non Saudis alike. I am not Saudi, but I am married to one, and the stories I have heard from her and other male and female members of the family makes me think they are anything but “religious”.

    Eid Mubarak.

  18. Great! Yet another guy judging the religious police from “what he heard”. If we were to judge these guys from “what we hear” only, then everyone would have a bad reputation: the police, ambulance, fire fighters, doctors…etc. Remember that people are more likely to share bad experiences than good ones, because “good” is what they always expect, so they mostly see no point in sharing it.

    Now Ahmed will you please answer my comment?

  19. Hey anonymous, instead of talking about people maligning
    the religious police, why dont you put forth your argument as to why they are needed and what they offer Saudi society?

    Aside from letting little girls burn to death and following home young ladies asking for phone numbers?

  20. I agree with both Saudi Jeans and Abu Sinan. Anon, exactly! Highliting their shortcomings is just like highlighting those of others (police, ambulance, et cetera of whatever you listed). The problem with them is they are believed to be an “untouchable” themselves when they are only human. They make it seem as though it is ISLAM here and not them that is being criticized when it is NOT. They are NOT Islam and I’m glad SOMEONE is putting them in their place. Absolute religious authority combined with lack of proper manners, a salary at the end of the month and a troupe defending your every move, is the most toxic equation I’ll ever come to witness in my life.

    شاي, رغم أنفك أنا فروحة و لا تهمني تعليقاتك لأن كل هنا يعلم أنكم ممن تطلقون الأحكام التكفيرية اللا أخلاقية على الأشخاص بدون وعي أو تفكير أو حتى ضمير لذلك أستغني عن ذكر إسمي مرات عديدة لأني أشعر أوقات أنني لا أتعامل مع بشر بل…. انت كملها. اللي أحترمه, أترك له إسمي. يعني أنت و أمثالك و دوتسسن واحد, فهمت؟
    :)
    و رغم أنفك أنا -السنية بنت ديرتك النجدية- أتفق مع الشيعي الرافضي و أحترمه و أقدره و أدعيله أكثر من أي تافه متأسلم أمثالك
    إذا هذا اللي حارق رزك يا أخي قولها و بس و ريحنا

  21. Oh I’ve definitely been out of blogging for way too long…

    Anonymous: Most of the members of the hay’ah are criminals who couldn’t find jobs elsewhere. They were able to reduce their prison sentences by memorising the Qur’an and if that’s all I had to do to get the hell out of prison then I’ll have the Qur’an memorized overnight. If you want to criticise Ahmad for being a little too critical of the hay’ah that’s one thing, but to bring up irrelvancies such as him being Shi’ite is so very Saudi of you… Come on, you know you can can go lower than this, I bet you can even put g-tea to shame ;)

    g-tea: You’re the last to talk about moderation since you’re the biggest coward of ’em all, quit moderating your useless blog first and for the UMPTEENTH time ya5i get a life, get a bloody hobby or ANYthing and spare us your bull.

  22. اصابت فرح كثيرا في تعليقها.
    من حق كل فئة او جماعة ان تفعل ما تشاء شريطة الا ينتج عن تصرفها اضرار بالاخرين والا تنصب من نفسها وصيا على بقية المجتمع.
    الهيئة تمارس العكس وتفرض استبدادها على الاخرين بحجة انها وصية على الدين مع ان احدا لم يفوضها بفعل ذلك.

    وما نراه من تجاوزات الهيئة وحماقاتها وتدخلها الفظ في حياة الناس الخاصة هو نوع من القمع لا يجب السماح له بان يستمر لان فيه مساسا بكرامات المواطنين وحقوقهم.
    وعلى كل من يشكك في هذا الكلام ان يعود الى القصص والتحقيقات التي تنشر في الصحف عن مخازي وحماقات وحتى جرائم رجال الهيئة بحق بعض المواطنين.
    اما زواج المتعة عند الشيعة فمسالة لا تعنينا في قليل او كثير وهي ليست مشكلة ولا يترتب عليها الحاق الضرر بغيرهم.
    لا افهم لماذا يخلط بعض الناس الامور بهذه الطريقة التي تؤشر الى مزيج الجهل والتعصب الذي يعتمل في رؤوسهم ويعميهم عن رؤية الحقائق كما هي..
    يا جماعة اتركوا عنكم التعصب البغيض ومسألة وهابية وشيعة لاننا اذا استمرينا بهذه العقلية المتحجرة فلن نحل ايا من مشاكلنا وامراضنا.
    الشيعة جزء لا يتجزا من مجتمعنا وهم لن يصبحوا وهابيين وغير مطلوب منهم ولا من غيرهم ان يتوهبنوا لان هذا امر يتعلق بالقناعات والافكار المتجذرة عبر مئات السنين. ويبقى الوطن هو المظلة الجامعة التي يستظل تحتها الجميع بصرف النظر عن التمايزات المذهبية او الفئوية
    شكرا لكم وسامحوني على كثر الهذرة.
    سلام

  23. Farah has got it spot on. To use the words of the “wonderful” Donald Rumsfeld, these guys are really nothing more than “dead-enders.”

    In a marketplace economy they would be unemployed. They offer no real services, unless you call following young women trying to get a date services, or reminding women they need to get their legs waxed with they see those hairy legs under the short thobe.

    It is my experience that those who claim to be the most religious are usually those who in their real life, in practice, are the LEAST religious, and I think the religious police make this point perfectly.

    To me they fit right in with the offices at the airports in Saudi that take away the “dirty” dvds and music, only to use them at their own homes.

    Hypocrites one and all.

    For the Prevention Virtue and Promotion of Vice is a better motto for these dead-enders.

  24. See, Ahmed. Just so that you don’t blame me when i suspect your intentions. You didn’t answer my questions, because you know you can’t. That’s why i bring up the Shiite thing in first place, because i knew you wouldn’t say a WORD about them, but wouldn’t mind bashing anything Sunni.

    I don’t have a problem with Shiites themselves. I’ve knew some nice Shiites guys and they were fair even when criticising. Try to be like one of them instead of playing this game of yours.

    Farooha:
    So turns out you are really a coward. Even “Farooha” doesn’t count as a name by the way.

    Jo:
    How about you prove it? I can say “Most of them aren’t”, but it wouldn’t prove anything. So prove it.

    Prometheus:
    اسألك بالله كيف تستدل بالصحف على ما تفعله الهيئه؟ الصحف عندما تنشر قصص سيئه عن الهيئه تأخذها من طرف واحد, و اتحدى ان تجد قصه سيئه عن الهيئه يؤخذ فيها اقوال مسؤول في الهيئه مثلما يحدث مع الشرطه.

    المشكله ان كثير من القصص التي تنشر في الصحف من طرف واحد, ينشر بعدها بيان من الهيئه لتوضيح ملابسات القضية بالظبط, و يتضح ان من اشتكى للصحف قام بفبركة القصة لايذاء سمعتها.

    الهيئه ترتكب اخطاء, و لكن ما تفعلوه هو تجني بحقها.

    Abu Sinan:
    “wonderful” Donald Rumsfeld? i don’t blame you for whatever you say then. Even my American friends hate Rumsfeld, and you call him “wonderful”. How PATHETIC! :)

    Al Hai’a is staying as long as the goverment is. So i suggest you live with it, snobs.

  25. I don’t think this is some kind of interrogation where I am required to answer your questions word for word, officer. You got my response to your comment up there, and if you don’t think it answers your questions this is your problem not mine. From what I can see, anyone’s intentions are suspected when he talks about the Religious Police no matter who he is or on what grounds he stands. You said you don’t have a problem with Shiites, but somehow you had to bring them up when you wanted to comment on a post that has nothing to do with them. So, obviously you don’t have a problem with them! This conversation is so over.

  26. Anonymous,

    طيب ما علينا من كلام الصحف. تبي تصدقهم او ما تصدقهم بصرك.
    لكن خلني اشرح لك قصة حدثت لي انا شخصيا مع هؤلاء الناس واحلف لك بالايمان المغلظة ان ما ساقوله صحيح والله على ما اقول شهيد.
    والحقيقة انا ما كنت انوي التحدث في هذا الامر علانية لكن ما باليد حيلة.
    وكنت مثلك اتخيل ان ما يقال عن هؤلاء مضخم ومبالغ فيه الى ان اكتويت بنارهم وخبرت شرهم ومن ثم ادركت فداحة تجاوزاتهم واخطائهم الشنيعة.
    قبل ثلاثة او اربعة اشهر اتاني صاحب البيت الذي اسكن في عمارته وقال لي بالحرف: اعلم انك انسان طيب وانا لا اعتبرك الا واحد من عيالي. لكن هناك شكوى ضدك.
    قلت: والله انا اعرف اني انسان مسالم وطول عمري وانا حافظ خيري وشري. لكن من الذي اشتكاني وما هي طبيعة الشكوى حتى اكون في الصورة..
    قال: الجماعة اللي في العمارة اللي جنبنا. هاذولا من ربع الهيعة وقد ابلغوني بضرورة طردك من العمارة واتصلوا علي – وهم شخصين – في البيت اكثر من عشر مرات يلحون في طردك وفي النهاية ابلغت عجوزي – يقصد زوجته – ان لا ترد على مكالماتهم اذا عاودوا الاتصال وهذا ما حصل.
    قلت: زين ما السبب؟ هل قالوا لك انني اسأت الادب مع احد او صدر مني خطأ او تجاوز على اي كان يبرر طلبهم الغريب؟
    قال: يقولون انك ما تصلي جماعة في المسجد!
    قلت: انا اصلي في بيتي ولست بحاجة الى شهادة مثل هؤلاء الناس وما صدر منهم يدل على قلة ادبهم ووقاحتهم. لكن انت وش رأيك؟ تبيني اطلع من العمارة انا حاضر اليوم قبل بكرة وانت تامر امر.
    قال الرجل الطيب: لا والله انا اتمنى ان تظل في العمارة ثلاثين سنة والعمارة هي عمارتك في النهاية، لكن اتمنى من الله ان يهديك للحق!!

    طبعا القصة لها نهاية وسأرويها في مدونتي قريبا بالتفصيل. انا فقط قصدت ان اسرد جانبا من تجربة عايشتها شخصيا مع هؤلاء الذين تريد انت وامثالك ان تقنعنا بانهم ذوات مقدسة لا يخطئون ولا يجوز انتقادهم او التحدث عن تصرفاتهم الفجة وغير المسئولة.

    اختلافنا مع الهيئة منهجي اساسا اذ ليس من حق هؤلاء ولا غيرهم التدخل في امور الناس الشخصية ولا ايذائهم والتلصص والتجسس عليهم باسم الدين.
    الدين مسالة شخصية بين الانسان وربه وليس من حق اي شخص او جماعة كائنا من يكون ان يتدخل في هذه العلاقة او ان يسوق الناس بالعصا الى المساجد او يهددهم بالطرد من اماكن سكناهم وعملهم وملاحقتهم وتنكيد عيشتهم على نحو ما يفعله هؤلاء الهمج.
    والله ان ما يفعله فريق طاش من تعرية وفضح لممارسات هؤلاء مثل البرد على كبدي ويا ليت تكون كل الحلقات عن الهيعة وان شا الله من ذا وأردى.

  27. Prometheus,

    اسألك بالله انا وين قلت انهم منزهين عن الخطأ؟ بعض افرادهم يرتكبون اخطاء و اخطاء فادحه مثل ما قلت, حتى مثل ما ذكرت في تعليقي انا انا نفسي انمسكت منهم بس مجرد شبهه. كل اللي اقوله ان لهم جهود جباره باشياء ثانيا, ليش تتركون اللب و تاخذون القشور؟ ياخي لو بندقق على كل الاجهزه الحكوميه بتطلع فضايح.

    و بعدين هذولا اللي بعمارتك سواء من الهيئه او يدعون من الهيئه فهم في قمة الوقاحه صراحه. و انت تشاركهم في الخطأ لانك ما طلبت منهم اثبات انهم يشتغلون في الهيئه (معهم بطاقات الان) ولا رحت تشتكي عليهم. متاكد مليون بالميه لو اشتكيت عليهم بيجيك حقك, و اذا ما عطاك حقك مديرهم (مع اني ما اتوقع) تقدر تروح لرئيس الهيئه نفسه.

    Ahmed,

    “From what I can see, anyone’s intentions are suspected when he talks about the Religious Police no matter who he is or on what grounds he stands”

    No. As long as you’re subjective, you shouldn’t be suspected. You don’t even want to admit the positives of the religious police.

    I’ve been told previously that you tend to run away from discussions, but i never thought you’d do it so early , even though i asked very simple questions.

    You know, you’re not just any snob. You’re a pathetic one. :)

  28. Your blog says it all. I am an European. I have lived in Saudi Arabia for quite a few years and I have found out that Saudis are probably the most advanced minds and the most reprimed as well.

    Advanced because it’s a huge and diversified country, reprimed because clerics still wish to show that by forbidding alchool people drink less while I have been in Russia and I guess Russian may take drinking lessons from Saudis. Forbidding will only increase deside and addiction, it’s a true fact and not just a theory.

    If you go to some nudist beaches in France you will see no guy staring at naked women. In Saudi I have seen many stressed and overlooking at covered women.

    I agree 100% with you. Wealth and knowledge have some affinity with freedom and I guess Emiratis may teach a lesson in this respect. The wealthiest pro-capita people in the world with a place called Dubai living better than any other Gulf state and though it lives only by 5% of it’s GDP on Oil.

    Saudi it’s an extraordinary country and I have so many Saudi friends who do even visit me from time to time. People like you are our only hope for a brighter future in KSA. If they will only let King Abdulla continue the way he is I am confident one day we will complain about other things hopefully.

  29. Anonymous-“You don’t even want to admit the positives of the religious police.”

    You keep on talking about this. Can you point out these positives please? Can you also relate it to The Qur’an and the Sunnah and reference where either of those advocate the setting up of a police force to search for “moral” infractions?

    Did the prophet of Allah(PBUH) set up such a force? If not, does that mean that such a force is not Sunnah?

  30. Anonymous, obviously you need some work on your English. I think it was clear to all I waqs being completely rhetorical.

    You say “Al Hai’a is staying as long as the goverment is. So i suggest you live with it, snobs.”

    You said it, I didnt. Time for both of them to go, then all of the royal family can run here to DC and get drunk on a full time basis, not just on their visits.

    Dont you find it odd that those who support the Religious Police are those that are the most worthy of their “moral” attention?

  31. Thanks Fedo, and I have linked to it via my blog as well.

    “Ya Herma, cover your hair! Guard your modesty, and by the way, can I have your phone number”?

  32. The man criticises Al-Hay’ah and you go off on him, because he’s Shi’ite. You claim he’s criticising anything and everything Sunni. So, anonymous boy you bloody prove your allegations.

    Shi’ites like Sunnis in this country are ALL Saudi citizens and have every right to criticize what they feel is wrong.

    And this whole thing about “zawaj almut’ah” what on earth has it got to do with anything? This is part of the Shi’ites religious traditions, ent wesh d5alek fehom? What the Shi’ites believe in is not affecting Ahmad, nor is it affecting you and I so there is no need for criticising them, whereas the Hay’ah’s actions are affecting us daily so naturally WE (all Saudis) would criticize their wrong doing.

  33. Hello,
    Somehow I managed to find your blog on Reuters, and to be honest I’m very surprised of it. First of all, I’m very reliefed to see that not all Saudis are, as often portrayed, womenopressing fanatics that have no say in anything, whatsoever. I’ve been very harsch on my criticism of Saudi governmental rule, in other words, the dictatorship, also portrayed as a monarchy in your country. And I’m very happy to see that people from the inside actually dare standing up to the fools that make up the leadership in your country.

    However, to be fare, let’s not also be generalizingly judgemental. I’m not sure where you get the phraze ‘Islamist’, it’s often used wrongly, as something describing fanatism or religious extremism/orthodox, which is wrong. The right word to describe the extremist conservatives in your country would be fanatics, or actually religious extremists, not Islamists or Muslimists. That’s as if saying extremist believers or fanatics in christianity are Christianists, or in Judaism, Jewishists. See my point here?

    I will, with your permission link your blog to my own blog. And I’m very interested in reading more about your indepth analysis of Saudi society.

    By the way, I’m Ryan from Sweden. So you might get an increase in Swedish readers! :)

    http://ryanghadban.blogspot.com
    (My blog is in Swedish btw, so you will probably not understand anything, still I would like to mention it, since I speak alot about the necessity of free speech. “The greatest danger of freedom is not opression. It is silence”)

  34. The “zawaj almut’ah” are no different than the temporary marriages that are all of the rage in Saudi today.

    Anyone who contends otherwise is a hypocrite. A person who supports one form of temporary marriage is NO position to be critical of another type of temporary marriage.

    Once, again, I notice no defense of the religious police, or even an attempt to explain what they offer, or how it fits into the religion.

  35. If they showing something true and happening everday why they asked for banding
    cuz it’s coming in funny way
    well I think we need to be more honest and talk about our problems first laugh then solve

  36. Hi, Just a reader of blogs here.
    I am curious to learn if Tish Ma Tish has been translated- sub titled in English. nuthin like humor…..
    sheril in sacramento

  37. The religious police and their cronies are in attack mode, just like rabies inflicted animals who want to take everybody down with them (I feel sorry for the animals though). This is because they know that their position and stature in the society has been diminished tremendously and they will never get it back. Tash ma Tash is just another hit which will hopefully contribute to their downfall. Keep them coming.

  38. Dear All, I believe the arrgument on whether the Religious Police is nice or bad is irrelevant and goundless. Our disscussion has to be fouced on whether our soceity is need of such an institution or not, given the presence of regular police in every corner of our towns and cities. Police, like in any place in the outside world, should be empowered to take up such responsibilities. Dubbai, and many other Arab cities has proven without a doubt that good policing is enough to ensure respect to wormen and all other issues that Religious Police claims to be in charge of.

  39. Note to Green tea- aka, the munafiq: I see you are still enrolled in the saudiblogs.org. The site created by Saudi Jeans, whom you shamelessly attack. And if that isn’t the height of hypocrisy, I don’t know what is? With such standards, you are even a disgrace to your own wahabi religion. Bloggers with no morals or ethics should’nt be welcome on the Saudiblogs site.

  40. How ridiculous can a blog be? Criticizing the religious police and bitching about women not driving is absurd and short-sighted. I am sure that Ahmed is Shia, and probably secular too, and another one of the pundit contributors on this blog, Farooha, is Shia, because she says it quite openly on her site. Most of the Shia in Saudi are rafidi, which are not even considered to be Muslim since they call some of the companions of the Prophet (SAWS) disbelievers. And for people, like Aya, that think the problems in Saudi are all a ‘wahabi’ conspiracy, those people need to go back to read their history books and see who Mohammed ibn Abdul-Wahab was. Also, people should not use the term ‘wahabi’ since ‘Al-Wahab’ is one of the names of Allah, which should be respected and not used in a derogatory way. For Abu Sinan, you must have married into the most secular family in Saudi, because your thoughts are completely messed up about Saudi, government, and Islam for that matter, or possibly you have never lived in Saudi, or studied the religion – only politics. Saudis curse the government, the religious groups, etc., etc.; however, my suggestion would be to go back and learn your religion and forget about the movie theatres and TV programmes which are dishonest to some of the individuals in the government who are trying to make a difference, and the Ulema, like Sheikh Abdulaziz Bin Abdullah al-Sheikh and Sheikh Rabe’ Bin Hadi al-Medkhali, who are upholding the religion. By criticizing the whole and pointing out those things that are good, you are doing injustice and not providing an accurate view. – – – Go back and educate yourself Ahmed, because you are simply talking smack!

  41. wow there is a big war here like every topic about Tash ma Tash over the Internet
    come on ppl wake up plz
    لقد قرأت تقريبا جميع التعقيبات وبحقيقه لا أعلم كيف دخل موضوع الشيعة إلى الحدث ..
    لربما يكون أحد المعقبين شيعي وربما علماني .. ولكن ما علاقة هذا بالموضوع ؟؟
    ((( لكم دينكم ولي دين )))
    ماذا اتريدون الجميع أن يكونوا سواء ؟؟ حتى في عهد الرسول اللهم صلي وسلم عليه كان هناك يهود هل استطاع محمد ان يجعلهم جميعا مسلمون ؟؟ لقد تعايشوا بحب وسلام اليهودي وهو يهودي كان الرسول اللهم صلي وسلم عليه يحترمه رغم أذية اليهودي له بل وكان يزوره في مرضه تصوروا روعة هذا النبي روعة هذا الإنسان ؟؟ ألا يمكن ان نقتدي به بنقاشاتنا بمبادأنا ؟؟ مالي أراكم في حرب وكل منكم يريد ان يبدل من رأي الآخر ليكون مثل رأيه .. لماذا لا نتعلم قبول آراء الآخرين …
    لماذا لا نتعلم معنى الحريه …. والإسلام دين سلام وحريه ,,
    I just want to say the religious police have 2 sides that we can talk about good\and\bad
    coz they are not angels they are human .. they can do a lot for this country and they could destroy every beautiful thing
    لقد ذكرت ذلك في إحدى نقاشاتي حول هذا الموضوع ان وللأسف ((أغلب)) لاحظوا أغلب ولم اقل الجميع حتى لا أحد يضع حجه بالتعميم .. رجال الهيئة يحملون شهادات إبتدائيه أو متوسط أو ثانويه فقط .. وبعضهم لا يعرفون سوى العلوم الدينيه .. أن دور رجل الهيئه ليس الهمجيه والصراخ والإعتداء على الآخرين أو التضييق بهم وتكريههم بهم .. بل هو دور توجيهي نفسي يدعوا لأن يكون رجل الهيئه شخص مثقف ومتعلم ومطلع على كل العلوم وقاريء جيد له أسلوب خااص في التعامل مع الآخرين له إبتسامه وطريقه للدخول في أي موقف والتصرف الإيجابي حوله .. للأسف بعض هؤلاء الرجال الذين يعملون في الهيئة لا يدركون هذه الأسطر ومن الأسف المؤسف هو توظيف هؤلاء الأشخاص في وظيفه حسااااسه جداا يجب ان يحتلها شخص سليم العقل سليم اللسان يتمتع بالصحه النفسيه قبل كل شيء .. انا لن أقول هنا اني سمعت أو قرأت موقف .. بل انا شخصيا تعرضت لموقفين إجابي وسلبي مع رجال الهيئه .. الموقف الإجابي كان مع رجل هيئة محترم عاملني كإبنته بالضبط حينما تعرض لي أحد الأشخاص وأنا خارجه من الكليه حتى تعامله مع الشخص الذي تعرض لي كان جدا ((راقي)) ومهذب حقيقه لا أعلم ماذا سيحدث لو لم يكن هناك .. والموقف السلبي اااه يضيق بي كل ما اذكره واشعر حقا بشعور غضب ورغبه في سب هؤلاء يكفي اننا بالأمس خرجنا ومعنا خادمة خالتي المسيحيه حينما أتى أحد رجال الهيئة وصرخ في وجهها ان تغطي شعرها ؟؟ حسنا ولكن هي ليست مسلمه فآخذ يصرخ بها مره آخرى انتي تعيشين بدولة الإسلام و.. وو ..وهراء شخص جاهل .. الخادمه تقول اهذا دينكم؟؟ انا لا اريده اهكذا انتم همجيون؟؟ لقد كنا نتحدث لها كثيرا حول الإسلام وكانت في بداية التفكير بأمر إعتناق الإسلام حتى اتى احمق مثل هذا يرعبها .. واردت ان اضيف شيء لربما تكون معلومه إضافيه لدى البعض .. قريب إحدى صديقاتي العزيزات تعرض لحادث سياره في عامود كهرباء في أحد شوارع الرياض .. وقد تسببت الحادثه في خلل في دماغه حيث اصبح غير قادر للحصول على الوظيفه :) ولكن حاليا هو يعمل في الهيئه … وبهذا لن أستطيع أن اذم او امدح برجال الهيئة .. فإن كان هناك ذم وسب فأوجهه لمن يوظف هؤلاء .. اقول له انك شخص محاسب عند الله لما يتسببون رجال الهيئه للمجتمع من أذى نفسي واحيانا جسدي .. سينقلب قريبا عليكم .. وإن كان هناك مدح فالله يحفظ كل رجل في الهيئة اتقى الله وراعى الناس في الله ووضع تلك الوظيفه نصب عينيه وأداها بإخلاص وأمانه حقا هؤلاء هم درع لهذا البلد الأمين الذين عالجوا قضايا أخلاقية وفساد اصبح يغزونا يوما بعد يوم ..الله يحفظكم لهذه الأمه
    واعذروني على الإطاله ..

  42. Farah says she is Shi’a on her site? Really? Well, her site is no longer up and I think I read every post on it and she never said she is Shi’a. Why? Because she is not.

    I believe she said she had some ancestors who were Shi’a. But, I guess because she defends someone who is Shi’a, then that makes her Shi’a?

    In that case I am Shi’a as well because I have no problem with the Shi’a.

    Why do Muslims always feel the need to stab each other in the back? Maybe that is why the ummah is in the state it is! We are so into stabbing each other in the back that our societies are falling apart and everyone takes advantage of that.

    Have fun contributing to that!

  43. I guess missed the part about me. My wife’s family is the most secular in Saudi!

    LOL! I am sitting here laughing. Considering my wife’s family is a part of the waqf al-Zam Zam and her family(on her mother’s side) is well known as a very religious family from Mecca, including one uncle who was or still is the مؤذن mu’adhdhin at the mosque in Mecca, I would have to disagree.

    I would say that anyone who supports the Saudi government is secular as the governments actions are often completely against what is best for Islam and their actions certainly arent Islamic.

    I suggest you come to the DC area for awhile and you can see the princes and the big Saudi business leaders here as they troll for drugs, alcohol and white American women and ask yourself if they represent Islam!

  44. Wow. You are really popular.

    Thanks for speaking up and out.

    The stupid American media does not do world news justice. Nor do our institutions of education do enough to throw us out of our comfortable beds of ethnocentricity.

  45. This is random, I admit but I think that there are some people in the world that would care…

    “The Chinese version of Google links to at least 12,000 pages of United States government information that is illegal to disseminate in the U.S., and is thus not indexed by the American version of the search engine.”

  46. ahmed, they don’t attack you because your shi3i or that u criticized those hay2a freaks.
    they probably hate them more but they will never admit it.
    they do it because they are jealous. your blog rocks! you have the best Saudi blog ever. everybody knows that.
    just keep up the good work.
    o kel 3am o ent b5air :)

  47. anyone can tell me where i can download the episode.. youtube maybe? I am intrigued, and cant believe it can be that bad! Have people that are commenting actually watched it?

    links please..

    great site by the way!

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