Home > Uncategorized > From the Absurd to the Inane: Saudi Bans Valentine’s Day and Pets to Guarantee Chastity

From the Absurd to the Inane: Saudi Bans Valentine’s Day and Pets to Guarantee Chastity

The Saudi religious police, known as the muttaween, today launched its annual nationwide crackdown on Valentine’s Day by going after shops that sell anything red or Valentine-like.

(I know I write about this every year, but it never ceases to make me giggle.)

According to the Associate Press:

Members of the feared religious police were inspecting shops for red roses, heart-shaped products or gifts wrapped in red, and ordering store owners to get rid of them, an official said. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to reporters.

The muttaween released a statement in Saudi newspapers warning shop owners against any violations. “Those who don’t comply will be punished,” the statement said, without spelling out what measures would befall the offenders.

While news agencies like the AP claim the crackdown is because Valentine’s Day is a Christian-based holiday, the reality is even more ridiculous than that: banning Valentine’s Day – a day focused on love and affection – will stop people from being lascivious and to remain chaste.

As a matter of fact, in their noble mission of keeping people pure and pious, the religious police in 2008 imposed a ban on selling cats and dogs as pets, or walking them in public in the Saudi capital, because of men using them as a means of making passes at women.

Violators found outside with their pets will have their beloved poodles and other furry companions confiscated by agents of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice, the official name of the mutawa.

The commission’s head at the time, Othman al-Othman, said the ban was ordered because of what he called “the rising of phenomenon of men using cats and dogs to make passes at women and pester families” as well as “violating proper behavior in public squares and malls.”

I’m sure we can all agree that these are the living embodiments of the impure and lecherous:

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