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Sunday, April 05, 2009

Bahrain embarrassed over "Top Ten Sin City" award

From Al-Arabiya:
Making the list of the Top Ten "Sin Cities" around the world may not be good news for Manama, Bahrain's capital, as police launched a crackdown on prostitutes in the city last week following its listing by a western men's magazine as the party hub of the Middle East for its vibrant sex and alcohol industry.

Police in Bahrain rounded up 300 prostitutes and pimps in Manama last week as Bahraini religious authorities called for a crackdown campaign on debauchery after the capital made the cut as the eighth most sinful--and the only Arab--city in the world according to Askmen.com, which dubbed Manama "the party oasis of the Middle East."

Connected to Saudi Arabia by a causeway, Manama is the place to be for Saudis seeking to escape what is seen as the rigid laws of their country. The Bahraini capital offers a gamut of debaucheries from drinking and clubbing to prostitution, an illegal yet widely available industry.

Despite being a predominantly Muslim city with only one third of foreign residents, Manama enjoys a liberal culture well within the reach of rich Arabs who fill flights to the city every weekend.
The Kipp Report adds:

Indeed, Bahrain’s problem with prostitution is the stuff of legends.

”Prostitution is rampant in the hotels and nightclubs, and the streets are filled with “massage parlors.” Bahrain is a destination for sex tourism,” says an article on The New York Times published earlier this week.

Even as far back as 1937, the Bahraini authorities were aware of their burgeoning problem with prostitution. According to a local blogger, Babbling Bahraini, the country issued a government notice on February 8, 1937, which reportedly stated the following:

  1. All immodest prostitutes are ordered to live in prostitute places and they
    are not allowed to stay in honorable places in Manama and Muharraq.
  2. The places assigned to the immodest prostitutes is (fareeg madree waish) x
    district in Manama and x (madree waish) district in Muharraq.
  3. Owners of the honorable places are responsible in a court [of law]
    if they allow immodest prostitutes or gamblers.
  4. If within one month from this date, any immodest prostitute is found
    staying in an honorable place and hasn’t moved to the prostitute
    district will be prosecuted in court.
  5. Any foreign prostitute caught violating these orders will be banished
    from Bahrain.