11 September 2006

No barking, no meowing, no women

Muttawa, the Saudi religious police, is expanding its activities from the humans to the animal world.

Saudi Arabia's religious police, normally tasked with chiding women to cover themselves and ensuring men attend mosque prayers, are turning to a new target: cats and dogs. The police have issued a decree banning the sale of the pets, seen as a sign of Western influence. The prohibition on dogs may be less of a surprise, since conservative Muslims despise dogs as unclean. But the cat ban befuddled many, since Islamic tradition holds that the Prophet Muhammad loved cats - and even let a cat drink from his ablutions water before washing himself for prayers.

Being a cat person myself, I am leaving the dog issue to Andrew Ian Dodge, not feeling up to the task of defending dogs. Regarding cats - I am flabbergasted. Really, to defy the words of the Prophet (PBUH)? I say!

A number of hadiths - traditional stories of the prophet - show Muhammad encouraging people to treat cats well. Once, he let a cat drink from the water he was going to use for his ablutions before prayers. Another time, Muhammad said a woman who kept a cat locked up without feeding it would go to hell.

So where does Muttawa get off with their sudden enmity to cats, I ask you? Unless the whole population of Saudi mice was persuaded to convert to Islam, I do not see any reasonable explanation of this mysterious act. Anyhow, this is how our tomcat responded to this story:

And I cannot agree with him more. Stupid bores.

In related news: Officials are considering an unprecedented proposal to ban women from performing the five Muslim prayers in the immediate vicinity of Islam's most sacred shrine in Mecca. Some say women are already being kept away.

I can say only this: somebody do the Saudis a favor and tell Muttawa that them women are quite ornery folks, and pushed into a corner they may decide to stop all procreation-related activities altogether. Where will you be in a few years?



maryt said...

Thanks for the Noam Chomsky gnome... Is that redundant, Snoopy?

SnoopyTheGoon said...

I didn't mean the Noam gnome to replace the Ibama brothers, just to complement them from time to time. He is so lonely in the rarified strata where only a genius like him dare...