Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Saudi Vice, episode 5: What's ummah, Doc?

Dr. Mamdooh Fahmy was a surgeon at the Albyaan Menfhoh Medical Center in Riyadh. His colleagues noticed that he didn't seem to practice Islam and they started trying to convince him to become Muslim and practice a religion that despises coercion.

After some time of enduring their repeated invitations to become Muslim, Fahmy finally told them that he was a Coptic Christian, and he would not be changing his beliefs any time soon.

Soon thereafter, Dr. Fahmy received a friendly visit from our heroes, the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice. They insulted him in front of patients and staff, confiscated his car keys, cell phone and wallet, handcuffed him and shackled his feet, and dragged him to a car where they nicely drove him to his house. They then raided his house and confiscated all his written materials, took him to the police station and placed him in solitary confinement.

After five days of this Muslim hospitality, they started interrogating him and referring to him as an 'infidel'.

His crime: Fahmy was accused of missionary activity. It seems that not allowing oneself to be pressured into becoming a Muslim is equivalent to asking people to become Christian, in Saudi Muslim thought.

When the Muttawa finally released him and he tried to get back to his home in Egypt, the Saudi government refused to give him a visa.

Finally, after months calls and letters, Saudi Arabia allowed him to go to Egypt this week.

Once again, the Commission has shown its hatred for vice and its promotion of virtue. Saudis can sleep soundly at night knowing that such zealous defenders of their lifestyle are on constant watch, ready to pounce at even the slightest whiff of infidelism.

Last episode here.