carnegie logo

Babylon & Beyond

Observations from Iraq, Iran,
Israel, the Arab world and beyond

« Previous | Babylon & Beyond Home | Next »

SAUDI ARABIA: Swinger's sexual confessions get him arrested by morals cops

Picture 6Mazen Abdul Jawad learned the hard way that in Saudi Arabia, a guy shouldn’t kiss and tell. 

While appearing on “The Bold Red Line," a Lebanese television program last week, Abdul Jawad detailed his sexual exploits, beginning with when he had sex with a neighbor at the age of 14, according to the English-language Arab News.

On the program, Abdul Jawad discusses foreplay, sexual encounters with women and even gives a recipe for an aphrodisiac.

The 32-year-old Jeddah resident shows off his room as the theme song from the movie "Swingers" plays in the background. The red-themed room contains perfumes and an Arabic book, “101 Questions About Sex." 

At one point, Abdul Jawad whips out a sex toy.

Saudi authorities were not pleased. He was later arrested.  Saudi authorities said they received 100 complaints about the segment. 

The director of the religious police (officially the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice) in Mecca condemned the program and held everyone involved culpable: 

“The program presents anomalies and deviancy in society that are unacceptable and immoral and should be punished according to Shariah.”

Many are accusing Abdul Jawad of not only breaking Islamic law, but also of having bad taste. 

Following the tour of his room, Abdul Jawad has a conversation about sexuality with his male friends. He gets into his red Mini Cooper and rides off into Jeddah. 

Abdul Jawad told the program that while he cruises, he contacts women via Bluetooth as a loophole around khilwa, the offense of a unmarried couples associating unsupervised.

Below is a segment from the show, in Arabic.

Message boards online are alight with criticism.

One viewer from Oman wrote: "This man is ignorant and loves fame and appearing on television."

Still, online clips featuring the segment have gotten more than 150,000 views, making Abdul Jawad, who works for Saudi Airlines, a YouTube sensation in the Arab world.  The disparity testifies to how young people increasingly are able to circumvent the taboo on sexuality online.

Shariah, or Islamic law, provides the basis for Saudi Arabia’s legal system. Though Shariah makes up large segments of civil law in many Muslim countries, the Saudi religious police enforce an especially literal interpretation of Shariah. 

Abdul Jawad could be prosecuted for propagating vice but also could be charged with having premarital sex. Saudi courts could sentence him to jail time, flogging or both. 

Abdul Jawad claims his quotes were taken out of context and has contacted a lawyer to file suit against the Lebanese Broadcasting Corp., which carries "The Bold Red Line."

The program is not unfamiliar to controversy. Earlier this year, the program was criticized for its depictions of gays and lesbians in the Arab world.

-- Jahd Khalil in Beirut

Photo: Mazen Abdul Jawad shows off perfume. Credit: Los Angeles Times

Comments () | Archives (12)

There are clubs like this in every major city. We love to go there meet new friends, drink and have some fun. I’ve always fantasized about exploring my bi-curious side, and after I tried it I feel great.

I have heard stories of abduction and rape of non-Muslims in Saudi. This done by relatives of the House of Saud! Not just hearsay, but almost first hand (relatives of victims). About "private flogging", believe me, if thats all that happened, the world would have been a safe place.
About the dude who is comparing this child molestation, I have these words of advice, "Get a sense of proportion"

It is hard for an outsider to understand how this offends our society. But let me give and example and think of it this way: What if some guy comes on American TV and brags about how he seduces and have sex with children (something is considered by your public -as well as ours- very wrong, offensive and illegal). Would you have just switched off your TV and claimed that this is just freedom of speech?? of course not. He did not only broke the law and bragged about it, he is also encouraging all other child sex-offenders therefore making it unsafe for your children.
That is exactly the case there. The guy broke the law, bragged about it and encouraged other guys to go and sexually harass girls in public places thinking that they might get some! If he wanted this life-style he could've moved to another country. No one is forcing him to stay in Saudi. I hope he does go to jail for this, that will teach him to respect his family and community.

Prostitution is unacceptable in all parts of the world
I have heard the video, this young fool he speaks of the house founded by the practice of prostitution and the prostitute, how to broadcast a television channel that such a speech?

I am sure that this type of propaganda features are financed by sick people who has anti sentiments about Islam. I wish if these people understand the true values of Islam and what it stands for.

What happens in the bedroom should stay in the bedroom.

It is soooooo sad that free speech and the first amendment have yet to reach this part of the world. There is a huge difference between expressing your ideas and graphically depicting them. If you want to have a stricter definition of obscenity than the US, that's one thing. But if you want to torture a man for saying he has sex, you are clearly being repressive. Go listen to oppression by Ben Harper. Peace. Love is Great.

This man looks like Jeremy Piven.

This guy's an idiot! He knew he could get into trouble, yet he chose to tell the world what he does.

I would not be surprised if the House of Saud does a bit of flogging in private, themselves!

The man is a loud mouth lout, that likes to brag and nothing more. Why are people in such an uproar. Word can not hurt you only people with unclean minds would listen to that kind of garbage anyway. When it came on you should have turned the TV off. It is your fault if you were offended there is a button on your TV that allowed you to switch it off and thank God in America we are allowed both women & men to turn that dial. Dee

The oddest thing about this is the stuffed animals and mickey mouse dolls in a grown man's bedroom.


Recommended on Facebook


In Case You Missed It...

Recent News
Introducing World Now |  September 23, 2011, 8:48 am »



About the Contributors