Saudi religious police outlaw dog and cat sales

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All Jews and those Christians who practice their religion, democracy and free speech activists and now dogs and cats! All banned by our friends in Saudi Arabia. The Washington Times reports:

JIDDA, Saudi Arabia —— 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 because conservative Muslims despise dogs as unclean. But the cat ban befuddled many, since Islamic tradition holds that the Prophet Muhammad loved cats.

The religious police, known as the Muttawa, enforce Saudi Arabia's strict Islamic code. Its members prowl streets and malls, ensuring unmarried men and women do not mix, confronting women they feel are not properly covered or urging men to go to prayers.

But the government also gives the Muttawa wide leeway to enforce any rules they deem necessary to uphold the social order.

The decree —— which applies to the Red Sea port city of Jidda and the holy city of Mecca —— bans the sale of cats and dogs because "some youths have been buying them and parading them in public," according to a memo from the Municipal Affairs Ministry to Jidda's city government.

The memo urges city authorities to help enforce the ban.

Ed Lasky  9 09 06

All Jews and those Christians who practice their religion, democracy and free speech activists and now dogs and cats! All banned by our friends in Saudi Arabia. The Washington Times reports:

JIDDA, Saudi Arabia —— 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 because conservative Muslims despise dogs as unclean. But the cat ban befuddled many, since Islamic tradition holds that the Prophet Muhammad loved cats.

The religious police, known as the Muttawa, enforce Saudi Arabia's strict Islamic code. Its members prowl streets and malls, ensuring unmarried men and women do not mix, confronting women they feel are not properly covered or urging men to go to prayers.

But the government also gives the Muttawa wide leeway to enforce any rules they deem necessary to uphold the social order.

The decree —— which applies to the Red Sea port city of Jidda and the holy city of Mecca —— bans the sale of cats and dogs because "some youths have been buying them and parading them in public," according to a memo from the Municipal Affairs Ministry to Jidda's city government.

The memo urges city authorities to help enforce the ban.

Ed Lasky  9 09 06