RP: OK. So we'll allow single men and bona-fide married couples in. But they already go to places like Dubai in hundreds of thousands, it's a major international resort. Why should they come to Saudi Arabia instead?
M: Well, we have lots of sun.
RP: So does Dubai. Can they sit under a sunshade and have a drink, like in Dubai?
M: Certainly not, and if there's any drink in their suitcase, they'll go to prison. But we're not like Dubai, we offer a unique cultural experience.
RP: So they can go and see a show with folk dancing, the sort of thing Greece is good at?
M: How long have you been in Britain? You know we don't have theatres or cinemas or concert halls. No, what I meant was, there are 6,366 heritage and antiquities sites in the Kingdom.
RP: But aren't we knocking these down as quick as we can drive the bulldozers?
M: That's only for the non-Islamic sites and sites that could be associated with idolatry - so just old monuments and fortresses, historic buildings, houses of famous people, things like that. Certainly not the mosques.
RP: So they can go and look round the famous mosques, like they can in Bahrain for example?
M: Well they can certainly look at the outside.
RP: But not the inside? After all, that's where they'd see the beautiful decorations, get a sense of stillness and reverence.
M Oh no, if they go inside we'll put them in prison.
Wednesday, August 17, 2005
The Religious Policeman has posted a rather funny interview with the Saudi Minister of Tourism. An excerpt:
Posted by LaurenceJarvik at 11:12 AM