Saudi government bans Arabic sf novel HWJN, raids bookstores


Ouija boards? It’s remarkable how religious moral panics remain in effect long after the actual object of the panic is relegated to amusing nostalgia…


Is government action of this nature a rare occurrence in Saudi Arabia?

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jinni as science fictional beings that co-exist with humanity

Holy shit, no one tell them about the Marvel version of Thor.


Nah, usually they just keep girls locked in burning schools. This is probably a slow day.


Meh, beats having to stone them to death because they left the building immodestly.


Obviously, ‘corrupting the youth’, especially the ones who are supposed to be all virginal and stuff, is an all-purpose accusation; but does anybody know where jinni stand when the Official Jackboots of True Faith come knocking?

In folk Islam, they are certainly common enough, and go way back; but my impression was that their official doctrinal status was considerably shakier (either non-attested, or one of the oddball bits that isn’t officially proscribed but it’s not polite to talk about).

Are non-sexy jinn halal, or is it just not worth their time to hunt down every rustic and beat the (incorrect) superstitions out of him?


I’m not any kind of authority on Islam, but jinni do appear repeatedly in the Q’ran, and I think Mohammed was supposed to be a prophet to both humans an jinni.


A Sci-fi novel?


Wait for the Saudi government to discover Dungeons & Dragons and heavy metal, they will flip their keffiyeh out!!


I assume that the Saudi feds are total squares (at least on the clock); but if they do eventually discover heavy metal, Al-Namrood and Narjahanam should have them covered…

I guess I just made the best response I could think of by buying a copy.

Maybe we can teach the Saudi government about the Streisand effect.


Having gone to Amazon and having read the first couple of pps, it seems to me that the authors are just as obsessed with religion as are the Saudi Clerics.

If I’d come across the book on a shelf in a library, knowing nothing but that introduction, I would have put it down and walked away, thinking it was a miss-shelved religious tale.

This book sounds kind of awesome to me, especially as it doesn’t sound like sci-fi at all. Regardless, I think this is a situation where I’d be willing to throw down 5 bucks to make the Saudi government occasionally re-think its position on banning books, Maybe. Or maybe I can just help the author out a little.

The Saudis freak out about anything related to fortune-telling or the occult; they recently convicted some TV psychic charlatan from a nearby country (Lebanon, IIRC?) of sorcery and sentenced him to death.

Really. With allies like this who needs enemies?

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So where does this put the classic The Book of a Thousand Nights and One Night? Is that haraam now?

399 BC - Socrates was found guilty of both corrupting the minds of the youth of Athens and of impiety (“not believing in the gods of the state”) and subsequently sentenced to death by drinking a mixture containing poison hemlock.

Humans: not that good on learnig certain things.

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I think they are more familiar with Streusand. Though I can’t imagine what they need the stuff for.

Given the beliefs you need to maintain to find ouija boards inappropriate, it’s not that much of a stretch to believe they work.

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The last one was pretty much the major reason I bought the book.