Παρασκευή, Σεπτεμβρίου 14

Fun & Games

Got in to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia just last night. Just had the delightful spectacle this morning at the breakfast buffet - religious police came and took away some Arab tourists for eating during daylight hours. The Arabs were kicking and screaming and protesting that Arab custom permits travellers to eat. The Malay religious police answered that since they were doing it in full headscarves, they were insulting the religion, and that Malaysian law makes no provision for travellers - all Mahometans must fast in this land.

They'd had a little scene with the manager of the hotel, who said that they had to remove their headscarves before eating in public, 'please don't make it so obvious'. They refused. The manager offered to bring breakfast up to them so they could eat in their rooms. They wanted to buffet. He warned them that if they ate in full headscarves in public, he was obliged to call the police. They did, and so did he. Whee.

The fine for first-time violators of the fast (both those eating/drinking/smoking and those non-Mahometans who supply them) is 1000 Malaysian Ringgit (roughly 280 USD) and up to 6 months jail. Second-time violators get a fine of 2000 Ringgit and up to a year's jail.

What fun.