Sunday, November 30, 2008

Saudi Arabia


I am not an apologist for religion, as anyone who ever reads this blog will know. So this is more a puzzled entry than an opinion piece.

Yesterday, a lovely, leisurly Saturday afternoon I watched an episode of No Reservations, a show presented by Anthony Bourdain. This is a travel show that looks at food culture as much or more than other tourist information. He asked viewers to submit ideas about locations he could visit for the next program. He selected 4 and interviewed each person. In the end he chose Danya Alhamrani and her idea of a visit to Saudi Arabia.

It was a good show which showed a lot about Saudi Arabia that I did not know. The one section that interested me most was when they went to the local takeaway chicken chain. There were two doors Tony asked Danya which door should they enter, one was marked family one single. Danya explained that according to Islamic law single men could not go into the family area. Single women, families and groups of freinds could enter the family area.

She then explained that as a women she had never felt excluded, she had always seen it to be the men who had to do things seperately. Personally I don't get it. Religious laws never made much sense to me, but it did make think.

How well do we in the west really understand some of these Islamic laws?


Although the world would be better off without them.

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