Which is too bad. It should be. But what happened isn't a crime. It is the shame he brought about. The xesual exploits of a man, Mazen Abdul Jawad, who has been imprisoned for five years and will be given 1,000 lashes. [Although in actuality, if there was a crime, it was stupidity. Going on television and bragging about encounters you may or may not have had, in this part of the world, was just plain stupid.]
As this article states, "Before foreigners come to work or visit this country they are told to respect the Kingdom's religious and social traditions such as the conservative dress code pertaining to women, and the prohibition on dating, talking or even looking at a woman." Of course, that doesn't necessarily work both ways, as evidenced by the recent "directive" that was issued. Sure, it is a bit of a double-standard. No matter... Just don't do anything wrong, here. And for goodness sake, if you are going to do something that goes against the "religious and social traditions" do not put yourself on television! What were you thinking?!
Supposedly such rigid restrictions "naturally arouse the foreign media's interest and curiosity about everything in Saudi society." Umm hmm. Sure. Couldn't possibly be something else, could it? "Our own insistence that we are a 'unique' society and have a 'special' standing and that we consider ourselves religiously and morally above other Muslim societies tweaks that curiosity even more..." Bingo! [Emphasis, mine.] Well, that and the fact that women here are often treated as nothing more than chattel - they have little say in who they will marry, with some getting married when they are still just children to men old enough to be their grand-father's. That women cannot drive. That women are not allowed to make decisions for themselves. Etc., etc., etc. All of that... But, you don't think that that is what "tweaks" the curiosity of others?
What has upset so many, in this society, is that someone - Saudi's own "Casanova" had the audacity to go on television and speak out on a topic which is totally taboo, here. Xes. Shhhsh. No one must ever speak of it. It is the kind of thing that just does not happen here. If you sweep a pile of dust under a rug, it is gone, right? That is the mentality. What he did - was go "too far in exposing Saudi society." Many think that the man is getting his just punishment. Others think that the punishment is not severe enough. Regardless, the man and his lawyer still refuse to take into account any personal responsibility for what was done and continue to blame "the channel for manipulating and tricking him and his friends into participating and talking about his xesual exploits on camera without concealing his identity." Was there any sort of contract that was signed in advance that the man's identity would be concealed? [Has anyone seen the video of this? At one point it was posted on YouTube, but I never watched it. What was the man's demeanor while he was being filmed?]
A lawsuit has been filed by Mr. Jawad's lawyer against "LBC for allegedly editing and recontextualizing a long video shoot into a minutes-long segment aimed at portraying [Mazen Abdul Jawad] in the worst possible light." Interestingly enough, LBC had offices in Riyadh and Jeddah "for years." It was only after the subject show, "The Bold Red Line," aired the particular episode exposing Mr. Jawad that those offices were shut down by the Ministry of Culture and Information for "operating without a license." So, for the years prior, they were able to operate without a licensed, but not any longer. Why is that? Because a society could not handle that someone exposed "such abhorrent behavior." That is why.
I have never seen a single episode of the show, and have no idea how long it ran. According to this, the television program "encourages some young men and women to discuss highly sensitive issues such as h0m0xesuality and infidelity, etc." So, the show encouraged these men and women to discuss these issues? Were the participants involuntary? I highly doubt it. Were the participants forced to admit to doing things that are not allowed to be spoken of? Probably all did so under duress. So, just how is it then that the "program's producers shoulder the most responsibility socially for all the confessions made on the program and the subsequent impact they might have." Why are the individuals who participated not being held accountable? I am in no way saying that this is the only culture in which personal responsibility is absolved. It is no different here than in the States in some respects. But it is a concept I have a difficult time comprehending.
What irks me most, today, about this whole thing is reading this: "Part of the Arab youth is confused between Western conduct, portrayed by the Western media on the one hand, and the values of the society in which we live on the other hand." I know. It was written back in July. [I only just saw it today.] That is why there is no personal responsibility for those, here. Once again, and as usual, it is all the fault of Western society. We all know that, here, in the Sandbox, "these youths are deluded into thinking that by taking part in such television programs they will be considered modern and open-minded, so they make comments that do not necessarily reflect their reality and lifestyle." Oh, really? Pluheeze.