Mutaween are the Saudi government religious police. The word Mutaween literally means “volunteers” in Arabic, while other translations render Mutaween using less flattering words, and the fashion-conscious just call them “Mecca Vice.” The Mutaween are a constant source of mirth and amusement to the local sand dwellers who wonder what those chaps will get up to next.
The Mutaween are notorious for being staffed by murderers and ex-convicts, whose only job qualification is memorizing the title of the Quran, in order to have their death sentences commuted from being executed to executing others.
More recently, the term has gained use as a threat or swear word throughout the Arab-speaking world to indicate religious police in several Muslim majority areas like Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Oman. The novel concept may have originated with Muslims themselves, based on a strict interpretation of Muslim Sharia Law, the entirety of which may be summed up in a single grand edict:
|“||Follow this or die!||”|
Mutaween or “Sharia religious police” was originally a casual synonym for the theological police of Saudi Arabia - also called the “god-cops“, as distinct from good cops). In Saudi Arabia, the informal short term for the Saudi religious police is the “Virtue & Vices Squad of the Blessed Kingdom of Arabia“ aka Mecca Vice. And they serve as the cruel-tool for enforcing Sharia laws of Islamic
sins virtues, as defined by the Prophet back in the dark ages. The Saudi Mutaween force currently consists of over 300,000 volunteers who regularly arrest, condemn and crucify sinners and other riff raff found in the holy land.
Mutaween have the power to arrest any males, females or shemales caught socializing, and to enforce Islamic codes and business closures during prayer times. They also enforce Muslim dietary rules which prohibit the consumption of alcoholic beverages or traditional Jewish fare like tongue, p’tcha, schav and belly lox. They also regularly seize - and divvy up - banned consumer products regarded as un-Islamic, such as Western music by groups like Stryper, Newsboys, Jars of Clay and AC/DC. Mutaween also confiscate films by Hollywood stars such as Mel Brooks and Peter North, as well as infidel shows like Fox TV's 24.
Imposition of punishments by the Mutaween
One of the main things that the Mutaween have been praised for is their policy of offering freedom of choice to violators of Sharia law: death by sword, death by flogging, or death by stoning. Mutaween justify this by pointing out that this is true theocrazy.
Common Sharia crimes and their punishment
Although there are innumerable Sharia laws, not all are punishable by death. The following are a few examples of crimes under Sharia law with more compassionate punishments:
- Failing Koran school is punishable by iPhone removal.
- Having a wet dream is punishable by sheet removal.
- Being female is punishable by freedom removal.
- Viewing Uncyclopedia is punishable by beard removal.
- Full-facial nudity is punishable by nose removal.
- Telling a joke is punishable by punch-line removal.
- Hearing a joke is punishable by sense of humor removal.
- Using the "F" word is punishable by tongue removal.
- Wanking is punishable by penis or clitoris removal.
Mecca Vice, aka “Mutaween“, is a popular TV series in Saudi Arabia that is based on the infidel 1980s weekly series, Miami Vice. However, the Saudi version is shown daily, and it is filmed in real-time using genuine sinners and real swords. The producers had no problem finding handsome actors with which to simulate the appearance of the American version, though they were stumped on how to reproduce scenes of hot babes on the beach in theirs. To solve the problem, they decided to scrap all female characters - an act which greatly pleased the censors as well as all male viewers, who avidly watch television to avoid their wives and subsequent conjugal responsibilities.
The Saudi version usually involves plots discussing the fine line between the overzealous interpretation of sharia law and the responsibility of the state to ensure safety, as well as the never-ending drama of religious family life in a changing desert culture. By the second season, the show was reduced to a montage of Mutaween officers arresting loose women without headscarves and foreign workers caught reading Playboy and beheading them all in the town square. After a mere three seasons, the ratings have soared and it is now the most watched show in the Kingdom.
Mutaween is also the Arabic name for blue-ringed octopuses, which are found in the sea along the coast of Australia. Born Muslims, blue-ringed octopuses are the only devoutly religious sub-human creature in nature. These pious creatures have an internal clock and compass that enables them to know the direction of Mecca and when to pray towards it. Blue-ringed octopuses do not require Mutaween supervision because they are the most devout Muslims on both sea and land.
In the Arab world, the more traditional meaning of Mutaween generally refers to any Muslim who volunteers to force others into following the Sharia laws of Islam. Consequently, many native Arab speakers use the term to refer to any real jerks, of which there is no shortage amongst the vaunted ranks of the Arabian Mutaween.
- Example: Some jerk walks by and one Arab says to another Arab: "مهلا ، أن ننظر إلى رعشة المطاوعة!" - "Hey, check out the Mutaween!"
A chapter of the Mutaween based in London is behind the campaign to establish Sharia as an official basis for British law, it being difficult to justify either stonings or clitoridectomies by recourse to the Common Law. The London chapter, however, is not known as the Mutaween but the Weetabix, and doubles as a way to add fiber to one's diet.
- Mutaween Arrest Christians For Spreading 'Poison' The New York Sun, May 2, 2005
References and notes
- The Raging Towers of Bullshit: Al Qaeda and 9/11, by Lawrence Wright, NY, Dopfman, 2006
- The Saudi media debates death by the Saudi Religious Police