Saturday, September 03, 2005

How To Eat Ice Cream in Saudi Arabia

Victor Hanson's Private Papers has a report (hattip TRP) on the thankless and unrespited activities of the muttawa (self-appointed religious cops):

A woman and her female friend were sitting on a bench in the Kingdom Mall, eating ice cream cones, when along came a muttawa, accompanied by a police officer...The muttawa approached the women, pointed a menacing claw, and hissed, "Don't lick it that way!"

Not being an authority on the subject, I can't with any confidence say there isn't a sura buried somewhere in the Qur'an covering the moral etiquette of licking ice cream. I suspect, though, the muttawa had wandered a bit beyond his moral jurisdiction.

"We just looked at each other," the woman told me. "I mean, how else are you supposed to eat an ice cream cone? You have to use your tongue, right? We just sat there and watched our ice cream melt until he wandered off. Stupid muttawa."

When the muttawa are not busy harassing women, ensuring unmarried men and women don't mingle, or using camel crops to whip sluggish pedestrians into mosques during prayer time, they are up to more sinister activities.

Check out the whole thing.

Alhamedi at TRP has some pretty funny comments about this. Check his cover of the Muttawa Guide To "Eating That Ice Cream".

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