Broadcasters in Saudia Arabia Warned of Death Penalty For Showing Soap Operas

As the Supreme Court decides whether to reconsider its decision barring death as the penalty for sexually assaulting a child, the head of Saudi Arabia's Supreme Judicial Council, Sheikh Saleh al-Lohaidan, announced that television station owners could be put to death under Islamic Sharia law if they broadcast Turkish soap operas during the holy month of Ramadan.

[The soap operas became] popular in Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries this year, provoking a storm of anger among conservatives in Saudi Arabia who fear the spread of secular culture. They gained huge popularity partly because they were dubbed into colloquial Arabic and focused on a Muslim country whose culture many Arabs can relate to. The characters would fast in Ramadan but also drink wine.

[more ...]

The government's official advisor on religious affairs, Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdelaziz Al al-Sheikh, said in July it was not Islamically permissible to watch the Turkish serials.

Lohaidan advised the station owners that "those who promote corruption in belief and actions ... can be put to death through the judicial process." Like death penalty advocates in the United States, Lohaidan subscribes to a deterrent theory: if lesser penalties don't get the attention of offenders, death surely will. In the case of television broadcasters and Turkish soap operas, he's probably correct, but if a station manager in a moment of weakness couldn't help himself from broadcasting the latest episode of "Nour," should he really have to die?

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  • Display: Sort:
    You Just Gotta Love (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by kaleidescope on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 02:30:39 AM EST
    Abrahamic religions.

    Separation of Church and State! (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by mmc9431 on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 04:36:26 AM EST
    After reading stories like this, I can't believe that  there are millions of American's that want to incorporate more religion into our government.

    ya (none / 0) (#12)
    by connecticut yankee on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 09:56:58 AM EST
    Oh yes they do.

    Palins former pastor says he thinks the GOP is concealing the extent of her belief to court moderates.  And he's pro-palin.  

    It woud be like having Rick Santorum as VP.


    I can almost picture.... (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by kdog on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 08:57:16 AM EST
    Mohammed, Jesus, and Moses sitting on some bar stools at the great saloon in the sky crying their eyes out in their whiskeys over the crap thats been pulled in their names for thousands of years.  Mohammed just ordered a double.

    Must be one helluva burden to carry around for eternity...the poor guys.

    Killin' over tv shows...we are a hopeless breed sometimes.

    SCOTUS made that decision (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by kredwyn on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 09:20:46 AM EST
    this summer...

    They're really reconsidering their decision?

    Yeah, and (none / 0) (#1)
    by gentlyweepingguitar on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 01:57:32 AM EST
    does this surprise you, TChris? Not me. Doesn't surprise me a bit. Am I wrong in my thinking the only world leader types of friends Bush has made since he came into office are from the Middle East? Except for Tony Blair?

    Stone them! (none / 0) (#3)
    by Prabhata on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 03:02:22 AM EST
    Is that a rhetorical question? (none / 0) (#5)
    by wasabi on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 06:17:24 AM EST
    In the case of television broadcasters and Turkish soap operas, he's probably correct, but if a station manager in a moment of weakness couldn't help himself from broadcasting the latest episode of "Nour," should he really have to die?

    If we end our addiction to crude oil (none / 0) (#6)
    by steviez314 on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 06:42:25 AM EST
    we can start to ignore those crazy bastards.

    TChris, (none / 0) (#7)
    by cpinva on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 08:47:31 AM EST
    you neglected to note that a good many of those stations are owned by members of the saudi royal family.

    even in saudi arabia, money talks and religious rightousness walks, the mufti's opinion notwithstanding. what do you suppose the odds are of a saudi prince being executed, because his station broadcast some "B" grade soap opera?*

    if you answered "zero" or less, you are today's winner!

    * is there such a thing as an "A" grade soap opera?

    General Hospital = A+ (none / 0) (#11)
    by themomcat on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 09:36:45 AM EST
    Long Live Luke and Laura!

    Altho OT (none / 0) (#8)
    by domerdem on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 08:49:27 AM EST
    thought someone here may want to post about this later:

    An estimated 1,000 prisoners remained locked in the Galveston County Jail this afternoon, as the Hurricane Ike began battering the island city with flooding.

    Tell me again it isn't about oil (none / 0) (#13)
    by mmc9431 on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 09:59:53 AM EST
    I also read were they were banning the sale of dogs because guys were walking them in the parks to pick up girls! Until the people decide for themselves that they've had enough, I don't see how we can bring "democracy" to the region.

    If you learn about Islam and its doctrine (none / 0) (#18)
    by stefystef on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 03:25:03 PM EST
    and follow Islam as law, you would know democracy and Islam could never work together.  Even in secular Islamic countries like Turkey and Egypt, the religious movement is very very strong and they are having a hard time holding on to a semb

    If you really want to learn more of the mindset of this culture, read Robert Spencer's website, Jihad Watch.  It is very eye-opening.

    Thanks to the Constitution of the US, while the Christian fundamentalists think they can change this country into a theocracy, it won't happen.  The founding fathers had it right the first time, and that's our foundation.  Regardless of who is President, I believe this system will stand strong.


    Death for soaps! (none / 0) (#14)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 10:10:44 AM EST

    Is it then double death for reality/survivor shows?  

    I hope the Rapture takes Palin....soon (none / 0) (#15)
    by Semanticleo on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 11:15:18 AM EST
    Saudi religious extremists? Pfeh.

    We have our own domestic threat.  Speaking in tongues is the only foreign relations experience Sarhapsody can claim.

    Fahrenheit 451 MAY be on her wish list of thrice requested book banning inquiries, but we won't know until it's too late.  The Press is totally intimidated by her feigned feminine sensitivity, and cannot be counted on to provide anything instructive as to her executive intent.

    The Obama campaign is not much better at avoiding her stilleto heel stompings.

    They must re-focus on McCaine.  He is the target.
    She is just a decoy.

    BTW...Where is Hillary?????????????????

    Most of this comment (none / 0) (#19)
    by TChris on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 03:59:52 PM EST
    is relevant to the topic so it has not been deleted.  "Where is Hillary?" is not relevant.  Replies to that question have been and will be deleted as off topic.