A Saudi Arabian judge has reportedly sentenced 20 foreigners to be lashed and imprisoned for several months after convicting them of attending a party where alcohol was served and men and women danced.

The defendants were among 433 foreigners, including some 240 women, arrested by the kingdom's religious police for attending the party in Jiddah, the state-guided newspaper Okaz reported yesterday.

We in the West know that “our friends” the Saudis follow a strict interpretation of Islam under which it bans alcohol and meetings between unrelated men and women. -- That is their law, and people who are guests in their country should respect it. -- That is, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do”

Yet, is amazing when we are friends with countries considered to be “moderate” mainstream followers of a religion are practicing laws so alien to our culture, at least in the twenty-first century, contrary to democracy as we know it.

We are also told that only “ the religious extremists” and their practices are incompatible with our way of life and that is the main reason for the terrorists activities against the West.

The religious extremists surely must have tremendous influence over the “moderate mainstream” and somehow that is quite likely if one looks at our “moderate” friends’ laws and their application as described above.