Islam in Saudi Arabia

The Muezzin’s call at four disrupts your sleep.
The serious work day ends with prayers near noon,
With three more sets of prayers that shutter shops
For 20 minutes each while workers smoke.

Women are kept at home, prone to abuse.
Muhammed chided men who told their sins,
Said if God kept it hidden, do the same.
Said going to Friday prayer forgives all sins.
Under the veil abuse cannot be seen.

Streets are left filthy, risky, no one walks -
Women can’t walk on those sidewalkless streets,
Women can’t drive, so are controlled by men,
Women are idled by the idle men.

The warrior’s ethic undercuts free speech,
With pride and power trumping rights to truth.
Respect for family corrupts all trade,
Protects the lazy and incompetent,
Pads inefficiency with tribal ties.
Eight thousand Princes, swimming in their oil.
High status is immaculate white robes.
High status is to be seen to not work.
The other millions try to not work too.
A culture of attempting not to strive,
Idolatry replaced with idleness.
The idols gone, the idlers take charge.

Most active, most destructive: Ramadan,
Swings like a wrecking ball around the year,
Foucault-like, ten days earlier each year.
Demolishing the summer, then the spring,
The academic cycle and exams,
Preferred vacation times, habits of work,
And relegating Muslims down the leagues.

With laziness, incompetence and fear
Ramadan swings wrecking round the year.

Robin Helweg-Larsen

If you have any comments on this poem, Robin Helweg-Larsen would be pleased to hear from you.