Excuse You?

The cartoon in my previous post from al-Riyadh daily has apparently caused some controversy and attracted many angry comments from their readers who thought the cartoonist has crossed a red line. Today the newspaper published an apology, and said the cartoon did not attempt to mock the religious police. “We would like to stress that the point of the cartoon are those who invade people’s privacy and question their behavior without a justification in a conservative society,” the paper added.

Invade people’s privacy and question their behavior without a justification in a conservative society? I’m sorry, but isn’t that what the religious police exactly do? Hmmm…

21 thoughts on “Excuse You?

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  2. LOL. So my interpretation of the cartoon, based on false misrepresentation of Hay’a hemlines in other cartoons, was politically, editorially, culturally, and philosophically correct, though not fully sociologically accurate. Ignorance, or misinterpretation, can be bliss! LOL

  3. The rabid conservatives won’t back until we stop constantly apologizing to them! It’s sad that a newspaper that carried an extremely topical cartoon has to apologize for speaking the truth.

  4. I don’t see why there was a need to apologise. From what I’ve heard, the religious police are a tad over-zealous.

    Backing down and apologising was a mistake

  5. But they didn’t really ”back down” didn’t they? They put up a lame comment that the cartoon was only aimed at those who ”invade people’s privacy and question their behavior without a justification”.

    And who are the ones doing that actually as part of their job in KSA???
    The muttawa.
    So basically they apologised with telling everybody that the cartoon was only aimed at the muttawa.

  6. I think they balanced an “Explanation and apology” “توضيح واعتذار “,
    rather than an abject apology, with the need to stay free from harassment and so keep on, keeping on… ie publishing, and being critical in an elliptical, but well understood, way (even to non-Saudis once the hemlines of the Muttawa have been better established and rendered LOL :) ).

  7. hi saudi jeans guy – do u think what’s going in iran is inspiring average saudis to want to band together and demand reforms for privacy and free speech and women’s rights, etc?

  8. How regrettable that the religious police are not being mocked.

    Their actions too often bring opprobrium on the teachings of our religion.

    How regrettable that the notion that the religious police might be subjected to mockery requires an apology by a newspaper. Should not newspapers have the ability to ever mock the clerical establishment’s forces?

  9. I like Virtue committee to crack down unreligious things going on, to put society in right path, they should do some investigation b4 punishing anyone….??? islam says also like this…

  10. I’d recommend the cartoonist to draw a dig on the Saudi journalism policies before trying anything else. : )

  11. Unfortunately yes it is what the religious police exactly do & some of them doing worse !!
    i agree with the last cartoon i won’t apology 4 saying the Truth

  12. Some do advocate pushing boundaries by acting first and apologizing later if necessary and only so as to keep on being able to push the boundaries. In fact journalists do this routinely in how they get information, interview others, or establish their presence on a reporting scene.

    It is too bad it (any form of apology, sincere or not, explanatory or not, publication saving or not) is required, but perhaps it is a deliberate strategy or useful tactic until more fundamental journalistic reform takes place.

  13. brother Ahmed, can’t agree more :) this is indeed what they do so the apology of the newspaper is all nonsense!

  14. How very annoying.

    Really. Everybody knows that is precisely what they do, they know it, they know everybody knows it. Nobody can live in the KSA for any appreciable amount of time and not hear a story from somebody they know about such encounters and invasions of privacy. Or even experiencing it themselves.

    But as long as nobody talks about it or even, gasp, DRAWS it, it doesn’t exist. It was not ever, ever, ever a problem at all, until the artist drew it. They are so self-serving. It’s downright embarrassing.

    I am so sorry for the people of KSA. The religious police treats the population like they are made up of idiots and children, instead of adult people capable of thinking, “Hey, your rules are not fair at all and you do this only to annoy us and use religion as an excuse for your meddling.”

  15. Hey evreryone,
    I think everyone is underestimating how powerful the religious police is and how many diehard fans it has. There are so many people who are benefitted from the current situation and want it to stay the way it is.
    I was so happy when the carton published because it gave me a hope that in this country one day no wrong doing would go by without a criticism but I think the apology stated that this day is too far to come anytime soon.

    Thank you.

  16. I was sorry to see that the leading newspaper should apologize to the ruling party ( fundementalists). KSA is more or less in the same situation as Iranians except that in the magic kingdom, most people are brain washed into this “herd” culture. cartoons or no cartoons I see no hope for this society.

  17. @Mohamd

    Change takes time. It’s often slower where religion is a major force because people who dare to criticise established norms are smeared as morally or religiously corrupt.

    Don’t think about about the enormity of the task, just take one day at a time and keep pushing boundaries.

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