Sweet and Saudi

So I'm writing a quickie report on Saudi Arabia for work, and I've spent most of this week marveling at the towering fucked-upedness of this country that supplies one-quarter of the burning liquid we fill up our cars, boats and Segways with. Look:

Women are not allowed to testify in court for the following reasons:

1. Women are much more emotional than men and will, as a result of their emotions, distort their testimony.

2. Women do not participate in public life, so they will not be capable of understanding what they observe.

3. Women are dominated completely by men, who by the grace of God are deemed superior; therefore, women will give testimony according to what the last man told them.

4. Women are forgetful, and their testimony cannot be considered reliable.

Other depresslets include:

    • "Saudi Arabia also engages in capital punishment, including public executions by beheading and stoning. While some are also executed in private by firing squad, many executions are popular public attractions."
    • "In 2005 a severely injured Indonesian maid filed a complaint against her Saudi employers, claiming they had tortured her. The maid was subsequently sentenced to 79 lashes."
    • "Adultery can only be proven by the testimony of four reliable witnesses. It is punishable by death by stoning."
    • "In November 2005, a court sentenced Mohammad al-Harbi, a high school chemistry teacher, to 40 months in prison and 750 lashes after he reportedly discussed the Bible and praised Jews."
    • "Bars and nightclubs are illegal. Movie theatres are also illegal, although they may be permitted to exist on an oil company compound. Private parties are permitted but they often segregated by nationality, sex, or language in order to reduce the risk of being raided by the police."

But the real jewel in the 'I don't wanna live there' crown is the result of a 2006 investigation of Saudi Arabian textbooks. The Wall Street Journal and Freedom House found the following education-bites in current Saudi teaching materials:

    • "It is forbidden for a Muslim to be a loyal friend to someone who does not believe in God and His Prophet, or someone who fights the religion of Islam."
    • "A Muslim, even if he lives far away, is your brother in religion. Someone who opposes God, even if he is your brother by family tie, is your enemy."
    • "The apes are Jews, the people of the Sabbath; while the swine are the Christians, the infidels of the communion of Jesus."
    • "Activity: The student writes a composition on the danger of imitating the infidels."


And for the first-graders: Mad Libs!

"Fill in the blanks with the appropriate words (Islam, hellfire): Every religion other than ______________ is false. Whoever dies outside of Islam enters ____________."

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