France is up in arms today after learning that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is to introduce a ban against the wearing in public places of berets, stripy black-and-white tops and strings of pungent bulbs used for culinary seasoning.
‘Wearing this sort of dress only serves to emphasise the differences between members of our society,’ said King Abdullah today. ‘Those people who insist on stepping out with baguettes under their arm are undermining the basic standards of our shared society, and such nationalistic costume relegates the wearer to an inferior status. In Saudi Arabia we are proud to uphold the equality of all men, and nobody should be demeaned to the extent of being publicly identifiable as French.’
The ban is a reaction to a growing sense of Francophobia among the Saudi people, including anger at French women being forced to wear stylish couture against their will. There is also a fear that French nationals are seeking to impose Gallic values on the Saudi population by encouraging them to eat croissants and jam for breakfast and smoke unfiltered cigarettes all day.
‘These fundamentalist Francophiles need to adjust to our Muslim way of life and respect our society’s values,’ continued the King. ‘Those caught breaking the law will be given a fine and forced to attend citizenship lessons where they will be taught the rudiments of politeness, personal hygiene and military resistance. Repeat offenders will have their entitlement to drink wine with all their meals removed, along with their hands.’
The move has caused uproar in France where all public services have been brought to a standstill by an impromptu general strike against the Saudi government’s proposal. The strike started late in the morning and, after a three-hour lunch break in the middle of the day, is expected to go on well into the afternoon before everyone knocks off to play boules.
Critics of the ban have suggested that Saudi Arabia should first address its own problems, including the gender inequality deeply engrained in its culture. ‘We take a very progressive attitude towards women’s rights,’ said King Abdullah. ‘But we draw the line at French women insisting on going topless on the beach. The breasts are fine, but until they learn to shave their armpits they should all be made to wear the burqa.’
NewsBiscuit (with credit to rickwestwell who posted a similar one-liner)