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Thursday, 4 September 2008

The obscenity of the obscenity police

Ophelia Benson over at Butterflies and Wheels asks us to spare a thought for the people of Yemen. And with good cause.

"They're getting their very own Saudi-style virtue squad," she writes, "which they didn't even ask for and don't actually very much want." Benson quotes the Guardian:

For many Yemenis, and for women in particular, this was another alarming sign of the growth of Salafi extremism — an unwelcome import from neighbouring Saudi Arabia where the "mutaween" religious police are part of the scenery. "These people scare the hell out of me," complained Nadia al-Sakkaf, the editor of the Yemen Times.

Benson adds, "Yeah they'd scare me too if they turned up where I live."

The first signs, the story tells us, appeared a few months ago in the Red Sea port of Hodeida. Young men and women there began to be accosted by "bearded vigilantes" demanding proof that couples were related.

Daoud al-Jeni, a self-styled "virtue activist", described his mission as being to curb "obscenity and prostitution". Anti-vice teams, some armed with sticks, have also been operating in Aden, the former British colony in the south.

But who is to know just what these deranged evil bastards deem obscene? It could be anything. How do people tolerate living under this sort of scrutiny?

Are we not in danger of finding this sort of thing ever closer to home, as Islamisation continues to creep in on other parts of the world? It may be a long time before such obscenities reach our shores here in the UK, for instance, but you need only look around you to see how they want to taint a twenty-first-century world with their seventh-century barbarism, censorship and squashing of rights and freedom of expression.

Our old friends at the Christian think tank Ekklesia carried a piece the other day about the oik – sorry, the OIC (Organisation of Islamic Conference) – and how it's trying to browbeat the UN into introducing what would amount to a worldwide blasphemy law, or at least strong recommendations that backward countries could interpret in whatever way allows them to oppress their people.

And here in the UK our MPs are getting shit-scared of offending Muslims by objecting to such horrors as forced marriages, lest they lose their votes. See my post on the Infidel Bloggers' Alliance site for more on this.

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