We can now add Saudi Arabia to the list of countries Father Scott could never call home (that list also includes Japan for height reasons and the principality of Razoria for its continuing blood fued with the neighboring state of Beardsylvania).
That’s because Father Scott loves cake. He loves it like a fat kid loves… cake. We once had an hour-long email battle about whether cake or pie was the superior dessert.
And in Saudi Arabia, cake-eating is against the rules:
The Saudi ban on birthdays is in line with the strict interpretation of Islam followed by the conservative Wahhabi sect adhered to in the kingdom. All Christian and even most Muslim feasts are also prohibited because they are considered alien customs the Saudi clerics don’t sanction.
The great Saudi cake ban came to light recently when a prominent cleric said on national TV that birthday parties were OK, as long as they didn’t pretend to be an official muslim eid, or feast. The Saudi religious establishment responded with predictable reserve and broad-mindedness:
There is no question that the television remarks by Awdah, who is not employed by the country’s religious establishment, contradicted several fatwas, or religious edicts, issued by senior Saudi clerics over the years.
One such ruling, by the previous mufti, Sheik Abdul Aziz bin Baz, said Muslims should not emulate the West by celebrating birthdays — even that of Muhammad, which is marked in most other Middle Eastern countries as a holiday.
“It’s not permissible to take part in them,” he said. “Birthday parties are an innovation . . . and people are in no need of innovations.”
He’s got a point. You know what else is an innovation? Bras. People should stop wearing bras all the time.
Don’t let them eat cake, Saudi cleric says [LA Times]