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Saudi Arabia Bans Klingon Language for Phone Conversations

By Brian Briggs filed Thursday, August 5 3:00 AM ET

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Riyadh, Saudi Arabia - Shortly after announcing a ban on Blackberry phones in Saudi Arabia, the kingdom of Saudi Arabia announced a ban on the use of the Klingon language in phone conversations.

The Saudi Communications and Information Technology Commission said a dearth of Klingon speakers in the intelligence community made it impossible for the country to properly monitor phone conversations in Klingon.

The ban will go into effect at the beginning of October, and will be punishable by the removal of vocal cords with rusty ice picks.

Klingon, a constructed language of the Klingons in Star Trek, is the language of choice for anti-government groups in Saudi Arabia, precisely because of its indecipherability by government intelligence organizations. It's estimated that around 32,000 people speak Klingon in Saudi Arabia.

Mahmoud bin Aziz Abdul, a Saudi Klingon speaker, said, "This discrimination against the Klingon language only shows the backwardness of this regime. If we are ever to progress then we need to embrace the language of the Klingons, which will destroy all other languages for the honor of the Klingon race."

Large numbers of Star Trek fans voiced their displeasure at Saudi Arabia on social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. A group called "Speak Klingon for a Day to Support Saudi Arabia" on Facebook gathers 48,000 members in 24 hours. One Twitter commenter, worf48160, said, "It is a good day to die for our native tongue!"

Government officials said they were also debating a ban on other hard to decipher languages like Jive and Pig Latin, but have yet to reach a final decision.

 

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