Saturday, February 05, 2005


By Stockton

President Bush's ambitious crusade to transform the Middle-East into American-style democracies is seeing its first glimmer of success.

Text Voting Banned in Reality TV Show
Tue Jan 11, 2005

RIYADH (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia's main mobile phone operator has banned its customers from voting by text message in a hit reality television show because it fails to "match the values" of the conservative Muslim kingdom.

State-owned Saudi Telecommunications Company (STC) said Tuesday it had blocked its 9.5 million mobile phone customers from texting votes for their favorite musical contestants on satellite show Star Academy 2.

"We feel the program does not match the values of the Saudi culture," said spokesman Saad Dhafer. "Our social and economic market research shows that our customers want us to operate in line with these values."

"We see it as a huge step forward," said White House mouthpiece, Scott McClellan. "When corporations can deny people the right to use what they've purchased, especially to uphold moral standards, we know Saudi Arabia is moving forward."

James Dobson, founder and Grand High Cleric of Focus on the Family, hopes the United States will use Saudi Arabia as a model for what is possible. "They're still going to fry in hell," said Dobson. "After all, they're non-believers. But, they have the right idea. If only more Americans were brave enough to let me, and others like me, decide what should be seen, heard and published. Then the dream would be fulfilled."

The television show, "Guess Who Cheated on their Husband and is About to be Put to Death" is the keystone in STC's Thursday Night "Must Jihad TV" lineup.

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