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June 10, 2003

Culture Jamming

When they aren't letting little girls burn to death, the Saudi religious police busy themselves by confiscating their toys.

The following are among the items seized by the mutaween, aka the Authority for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice.

Reuters has a story on the mutaween today, noting their roles as enforcers of the Wahabist version of Islam practiced in Saudi Arabia.

Answerable only to King Fahd and separate from ordinary police, members of the "Authority for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice" patrol with police escorts, ensuring that their strict interpretation of Islamic social customs remain the norm among a youthful, Westernised population with wide access to the internet and satellite TV.

They check that women wear the abaya, the all-enveloping black cloak, that men and women together in public are related, that drugs and alcohol are not being traded and that Muslims do not observe "frivolous" customs such as Valentine's Day.

Their website invites citizens to inform on those suspected of any manner of immoral behaviour.

In typical Reuters fashion, there's not a link anywhere on the site to the mutaween home page, or to the form where a cowardly Saudi could inform on his neighbors.

And that's why we're here. The mutaween home page is here. More pictures of dangerous plastic, glass and cotton threats to Mohammed are here, and the form is here.

The first text box is for your name.

The drop down list underneath it is for the name of city where the incident took place. The first four on the list are:
The City of Lights (No, not Paris. Give them time. For now, it's a Saudi City. )

The second text box is your email address.

The drop down list underneath it is for the particular sin you are reporting.
Note: These are general translations. More specific ones are welcome
1. Someone not attending daily prayers
2. Flirting
3. Loitering
4. Selling Stolen Goods
5. Immoral Observations
6. Engaging in Western Habits (Holding your wife's hand in public, kissing or hugging her would all be examples of this. Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness are others.)
7. Other

The big box is for a specific description of the activity being reported; say something along the lines of "Fraulein Gunter is hiding a family of Jews in her attic at 31 Hemmelstrasse."

Well, perhaps not that message exactly. The sentiment is the same.

So are the results. If it's possible for a website to be evil, this one is.

The button on the right is "Submit." The button on the left is "Reset."

Purely in a spirit of scientific enquiry, I wonder what would happen if everyone reading this post decided submit a false report, or multiple ones? Is it possible to file so many false reports that the ones turned in by the craven Islamists this site is aimed at get lost in the shuffle? Is it possible to crash the server entirely, or to drive it off the Net forever? How many people would be willing to file two or three false reports a day until that happens, possibly something along the lines of " I saw Prince Bandar Bin Sultan eating a dog sandwich."

How many people would send the Wahabists a little note letting them know that we remember the origin of 15 of the 19 despite the coddling Saudi Arabia has been given in the days since?

Purely in a spirit of scientific enquiry, of course.

Update: While I was looking for the site, I wrote the author of the story, John Bradley, asking for the url. He just got back to me with the url listed above. I'd already found it, thanks in large part from following links from Doctor Weevil and Memri, but it's nice to have confirmation.

Some of the translation was done at, who realy wanted me to pay for the service. If someone would like to do the blogosphere a service, come up with free online Arabic to English translation service.

More Update: A handy list of names to submit, as well as an example message, can be found here. Email addresses and other website info is here.

Posted by Bigwig at June 10, 2003 01:50 PM | TrackBack
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What would be absolutely perfect is if someone could come up with a sample message that's actually in Arabic. Presumably whatever evil drone reads the form submissions goes "huh? must be infidels again..." whenever he gets an attempted narc'ing in any other language.

Posted by: Ben Allen at August 22, 2005 08:41 PM
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