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Arab countries

  1. Apr 16, 2008 #1
    If I go to some Arab country like Iran or Saudi Arab, will they put me in jail for doing anything that is not allowed in their religion (not necessarily against)?

    I read in news some people got prosecuted for religious based crimes.

  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 16, 2008 #2
    It's possible in some of them, be careful.
  4. Apr 16, 2008 #3
    Iran is not an Arab country.

    But, yeah, certain of them have fairly regressive laws about certain things. In Saudi Arabia, for example, it's illegal for you bring a Bible or other non-Islamic religious books into the country (also, no porno). That said, I have the feeling that they're willing to give naive Westerners a bit of a pass on this kind of thing, provided that it was a genuine misunderstanding, and you rush to act conciliatory about it (and maybe pay a bribe). Also, they tend to have exceptions to laws about drinking for foreigners inside the resort hotels, so as long as you stay in the designated areas, it's fine.
  5. Apr 16, 2008 #4


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    I have a friend who has spent time in Jordan. He said it was great, a lot more tolerant than most.
  6. Apr 16, 2008 #5


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    I can't remember where my friend went, or even if it was an Arab country but he was forced to wear long sleeves and trousers because he had tattoos of naked women on his arms and legs. I don't know why I share that. :tongue:

    I would certainly do a lot of research before going anywhere. Most countries now have tourist websites with all the relevant info. If you're still unsure see if there is anyone you can contact that can help answer your questions.
  7. Apr 16, 2008 #6
    oo no, I am not going there.
    Happy, while I am away from those countries!

    I was just thinking about the countries where I want to work in future (as an Engineer); Japan's at the top! :D - though their society is also not that good: issues like racism, cost of living .. (I haven't done much research, so not sure about this)

  8. Apr 28, 2008 #7
    depends on which arab country you're referring to, for example Saudi Arabia has strict laws regarding alot of things...on the other hand, Egypt is a very tolerant country you can probably do whatever you do in your country except for running around naked. Drinking is not forbidden, there's no racism, there's no sexual preference except in the south...Egypt is very tolerant and that's why its a major tourism country.
  9. Apr 28, 2008 #8


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    Or the other way round - Egypt needs tourism and thats why it's tolerant.
    The more oil-rich the other states, and the less they need visitors, the less tolerant they have to be.
  10. Apr 28, 2008 #9
    Egypt and Egyptians has always been known for tolerance friendliness and hospitality...
  11. Apr 29, 2008 #10
    an Arabs point of view:
    depending on the nation, you will find different levels of tolerance. in Saudi Arabia, for instance everyone (non Muslims and Muslims) are forced to live by Islamic law, which is actually not part of Islam since in sharia law religious minorities have the right to freely practice their religious beliefs and live according to their laws IF those laws do not harm society or are against other peoples rights.
    racism is non-existent in most Arab countries such as jordan, Syria, most of Egypt, Lebanon, UAE, and Algeria. others like Lebanon, Saudi and Iraq have more tribal or ethnic divides.

    to a certain point... since Saudi Arabia officially discriminates against non-Saudi nationals.
    and tolerance is not tied to oil, it is tied to social sensibilities. Saudi Arabia has an ultra-conservative society. others such as Syria and the UAE are more liberal.

    so to answer the main question:
    in most Arab Muslim countries: no. you are not a Muslim so therefore you do not have to obey most Islamic laws, but for the sake of decency try and obey social ones.
  12. Apr 29, 2008 #11


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  13. Apr 29, 2008 #12
    In Iran, it is against the law to be an agnostic or atheist.
  14. Apr 30, 2008 #13
  15. May 1, 2008 #14
    I think your confused my friend I am from the Netherlands and I think we have a different understanding about tolerance.

    First Egypt is NOT a democracy neither does it have free speech. Their main TV host just called for a boycott on Dutch products because one person in the Netherlands made a movie relating Islam with Terrorism. Also a Dutch children's movie was refused for showing at a festival held in Egypt. A not so smart move from a country that relies heavily on European Tourism. Or was this just a measure to please the Islamic radical for a short moment?

    The NDP has governed since 1978, or do you believe that running four consecutive times for 6 year term UNOPPOSED is democracy.

    Torturing of prisoners is also not uncommon practice by the SSIS [1-3], in fact Egypt is one of the most popular countries for US' special rendition program.

    Sorry to come down on you a little hard but I have this discussion more often with people from Egypt and they seem to have a skew view on their "Great Nation" with its dictator Mubarak.

    Since you are on a western site hear you might hear something else for a change.

    [1] http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2003/27926.htm
    [2] http://www.hrw.org/wr2k1/mideast/egypt.html
    [3] http://terrorism.about.com/od/humanrights/a/EgyptTorture.htm
  16. May 2, 2008 #15


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    I don't think one was talking here about the political system. I've been several times to Egypt and I have to agree with Ahmed that the people in the street are extremely friendly and helpful, in fact much more so than in many touristic places in Europe where you really have the feeling that you are just a money pump.

    I have to say that I don't think I will go again to Egypt, but for a totally different reason: each time, I was one or two months sick with a serious GI-trackt deregulation when I got back. I thought it would improve upon repeated visits, but it didn't: each time I got ill. There must be some virusses or bacteria over there that my body doesn't handle...
    Last edited: May 2, 2008
  17. May 2, 2008 #16
    Yes but the quote I countered was Egypt and Egyptians. Egypt as a country is not well known for its tolerance, even do Egyptians might be very friendly.

    I agree about Europe's largest tourist traps are atrocious, try to find the hidden places you will like it better. I am the first to amid that after living in the US for a while, I find the people in Europe (read Netherlands) are not always that friendly.
  18. May 2, 2008 #17

    please try and refrain from using swearwords. swearing in such discussions is not very friendly. and why would i want to go to Egypt and not go to the UAE?
    i do think that the UAE is a pretty free and tolerant country, although some laws need to be revised.

    yes, the Netherlands, notorious for lax drug laws. and a red light district that is envied by other nations. how tolerant.

    i agree.

    contradictory statements. mubaraks regime wants to please a popular movement? and the just started a deal with Israel to pump natural gas to Israel for 20 years?
  19. May 2, 2008 #18


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    Being Belgian, I can't but agree with you :rofl: :rofl:
  20. May 2, 2008 #19

    Pleasing a popular movement if you want to call radical islamist that does not contradict my statement at all. You see this in most dictatorial regimes where protests against the government is illegal. Staged demonstrations and US/Dutch/Danish "flag burnings' is a nice way to distract a lot of people from the oppression by their own government.

    There are still people in the West that think that these kind of protests are spontaneous.

    Yes we have a tolerant (soft) drug policy in the Netherlands. But we use far less of it than for instance France. Also legalized prostitution allows for better protection for the women although it is a industry that needs to be controlled better I agree. It does however not compare to female mutilation and torture.
  21. May 2, 2008 #20
    Your from Belgium? You must be from Walonie since many Flemish would not be against combining Holland and Flemingen(?).
    It would sure do your economy a lot of good!
    I do think most people from Belgium are friendlier than people in Holland because we have the tendency to take ourselves a little bit to serious.
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