The flesh-pots of Jeddah

I’m in two minds about Mazen Abdul Jawad, the 32-year-old Saudi who has been arrested after bragging on TV about his sexual conquests. He does come across as appallingly sexist. On the other hand, that’s no reason for the religious police to swing into action and have him flogged.

Abdul Jawad, a Saudia airline employee, was seen on Lebanese television (LBC’s controversial Bold Red Line programme) describing his first sexual experience – with a neighbour at the age of 14.

“After discussing sex and foreplay in graphic detail and providing a recipe for an aphrodisiac,” Arab News reports, “Abdul Jawad is seen getting into his vehicle at night on a Jeddah street” to go cruising for women.

The Crossroads Arabia blog discusses exactly what crimes he might be charged with under the kingdom’s arcane legal system, but basically the case is yet another example of the moral muddle the Saudis have got themselves into. Only a fool would pretend that philandering men are a rarity in the kingdom. And, in an age of satellite television, the internet and so on, any hope of keeping up that pretence is rapidly disappearing out of the window.

Posted by Brian Whitaker, 24 July 2009