Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Surprise: Saudis Hate the Cartoons 

I had thought the furor over Danish cartoons depicting the prophet Mohommed had already blown over with the start of the UN investigation into the Danish government's scandalous failure to restrict its citizens' freedom of expression. But now ArabNews has a shocking surprise: the Saudis held a meeting to announce they didn't like the cartoons either:

Saudi Arabia yesterday denounced European newspapers that published cartoons denigrating the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) (note: always have to be extreeemely careful to include the 'be' in that benediction, very important)  and said such spiteful actions would spread hatred and animosity among people of different faiths.
Apparently the Saudis would rather not have hatred and animosity spread among other faiths -- exemplifying in the very same meeting why they need to keep it all to themselves:

The meeting passed a law that prevents non-Saudis from handling accommodation of pilgrims. According to the new law, foreign Haj missions and travel agents should contact only Saudis to arrange accommodation for their pilgrims. It also bans non-Saudis from renting buildings for the purpose.
I'm sure this has something to do with protecting the holy pilgrims from contact with impure foreign racists and Zionists. Further, regarding who should be allowed to drive school buses:

Drivers of buses providing such services should be Saudis.
Saudi message to the world: please don't spread hatred and strife, we don't need your help.

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