Tuesday, 10 October 2006

Controversy in the Kingdom

Tash Ma TashThere is quite a debate raging in Saudi Arabia. A popular TV show, Tash Ma Tash, lampooned terrorists in a recent episode and they've stirred up quite a hornet's nest. Fundamentalists are praying for the deaths or the repentance of the actors - depending on their degree of rage, I suppose - while others are rushing to their defence.
From condemnation, to qualified support, to clear approval, these reactions demonstrate that the show has achieved its goal of getting people talking about the status of social and cultural issues that are often confusedly seen as "religion".
Something noteworthy: The Saudi government has not taken any action to stop the broadcast of this controversial program.

You can read all about it here and here and here at Crossroads Arabia, where John Burgess, an Arabist of considerable real experience, keeps a daily watch on Saudi Arabia and provides a much more fleshed-out, knowledgeable view than you'll find anywhere in the Western media. Any Westerner who wants to gain some insight into the country at the heart of Islam should make this blog part of their daily reading.

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