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Mon 7 Jun 2010 08:16 AM

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Saudi council mulls legal action against MTV

Controversial documentary showed distorted version of council - statement.

Saudi council mulls legal action against MTV
SAUDI CITY: Jeddah is considered the most liberal city in Saudi Arabia. (Getty Images)

Jeddah Municipal Council is considering taking legal action against MTV Networks for showing some of its members in a recent documentary without their consent, it has been reported.

The controversial documentary followed three Saudi youths and a heavy metal band as they challenged strict cultural and religious rules in the kingdom.

In a statement, quoted by Arab News, the council said that broadcasting images of council members was “an aggression against the rights of others”.

It said footage, which showed a young Saudi man discussing the lack of women council members, was distorted and misleading, the paper reports.

MTV's "True Life - Resist the Power, Saudi Arabia" also followed Aziz, a young Saudi man searching for love in the kingdom where the mixing of the sexes is forbidden, and Fatima, a Saudi woman who has started a business selling colourful abayas rather than the traditional black that is meant to represent a woman's modesty.

The kingdom’s religious police have been reported to be trying to bring the youths to court for challenging the country’s austere lifestyle.

An official at the Jeddah court confirmed the filing of a lawsuit for the crime of "openly declaring sin" and told Reuters it would take at least one week for the Islamic sharia court to decide whether to proceed with a trial or dismiss the case.

Lawyer Sulaiman Al-Jumaie, who defended Mazen Abdul Jawad, the Saudi sex braggart, said he would defend the youngsters, the paper reports.

Jawad was sentenced to five years in jail and 1,000 lashes of the whip for revealing intimate details of his sexual exploits on an LBC television programme.

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Mohammed Abubaker 10 years ago

We as muslims are to respect laws of other countries when we go there. The same is applicable to others when they visit our countries. Seems like a fair deal. Most of people are aware of such laws when entering the country, hence should be prepared to pay the premium of entering the country.

Kevin Mascarenhas 10 years ago

One is bound to find laws being broken if they are based on some narrow minded vested interest. I do not think any religious human can have a grasp of what the "ALMIGHTY" really thinks about sin. We are still evolving. Denying rights of sexes or restricting movements etc. are not based on logic but vested interest. I view it as a socio-logical problem that needs to be addressed(not by religion) It is time people of faiths stop referring to as 'US' and 'them' and open your eyes to the fact we are all just 'mortals' going to die one day and answerable to one "GOD'

Habeeb 10 years ago

The only problem I find in Muslim countries like Saudi, UAE, Kuwait, etc. is that they have not implemented Islamic Law in its totality. This law was sent to us in completion and it does not make sense if some rules are followed and others not. Every rule has to be implemented so that it counter balances the other. For example, Hand to be dismembered if caught stealing more than once. This punishment, according to the Sharia'a, cannot be implemented until the government makes proper arrangement of a common man to live comfortably i.e. removing the reason to steal, if the crime is committed then this law could be enforced. The issue here is the judicial structure is based on Sharia'a laws but the socio-economic structure is not. The Law of the country has to complement this structure as in this case they are totally opposing each other and hence the conflict of interest and uneasy feeling from its citizens.

Kevin 10 years ago

I agree with habeeb as it makes sense if you want to follow religious laws then make the society equal. First and foremost there should be no Kings on "the Almighty" should be the King. Society has some working hard for a pittance and those who sit back and repa the riches preach from airconditioned chanbers.