I’ve tried to be mellow about the Saudis. My all-American training in moral relativism has allowed me to find excuses for the misogyny that makes women 54th class citizens, and for the antisemitism that makes it illegal for Jews to travel to Saudi Arabia, and for the censorship that makes possession of a Bible punishable by death, and for the stoning of adulteresses, and for whipping and hanging gays, and for funding the world-wide Madrassas that train boys to kill Jews and Americans. Each of those was just a by-product of the unique Saudi culture and, really, who am I to criticize them?
But today, for the first time, the Saudis went too far — they’ve banned dogs!
Saudi Arabia’s religious police have announced a ban on selling cats and dogs as pets, or walking them in public in the Saudi capital, because of men using them as a means of making passes at women, an official said on Wednesday.Othman al-Othman, head of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice in Riyadh, known as the Muttawa, told the Saudi edition of al-Hayat daily that the commission has started enforcing an old religious edict.
He said the commission was implementing a decision taken a month ago by the acting governor of the capital, Prince Sattam bin Abdul Aziz, adding that it follows an old edict issued by the supreme council of Saudi scholars.
The reason behind reinforcing the edict now was a rising fashion among some men using pets in public “to make passes on women and disturb families,” he said, without giving more details.
Othman said that the commission has instructed its offices in the capital to tell pet shops “to stop selling cats and dogs”.
Somebody had better get the big guns on this one and call PETA, ’cause you just know that an edict like this will swiftly be followed by street-corner beheadings of dogs (and maybe their owners, too).