Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Saudi Vice, episode 16: The blasphemous barbers

A number of weeks ago a Saudi man went to a barber shop and heard something that made his skin crawl.

At least, he claims that he did. It is possible that he was in a bad mood, or that he got into an argument with the barber, or that he just didn't like his haircut.

At any rate, he knew that he had legal recourse. He immediately contacted our heroes at the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, and told them that his Turkish barber had blasphemed Mohammed (PBUH.)

The Muttawa sprang into action. They immediately went to the barber shop and arrested the suspect, named Ersin Taze.

By an amazing coincidence, some 15 months ago another Turkish barber, Sabri Bogday, was arrested in Saudi Arabia by our same heroes for exactly the same offense.

In this case, the Turkish Embassy intervened and asked the Saudi justice system to expedite the trial, and the case against Mr. Taze was dismissed for lack of evidence.

Mr. Bogday, on the other hand, remains in jail, convicted and sentenced to death, as his appeals have not all been filed yet. Bogday got into an argument with his neighbor, an Egyptian tailor, and he was arrested after the tailor told the police that he had sworn at God. While Bogday has been in prison for over a year, the Egyptian who made the allegation has disappeared.

Mr. Taze is using his newfound freedom to get out of Saudi Arabia.

Our heroes at the Muttawa have therefore managed to get one blasphemous creature off the streets and another one out of the Kingdom.

A job well done, boys!