Two Frenchmen were arrested today in Mecca, Saudi Arabia for wearing berets in a local park. The repressive religious Saudi regime recently introduced laws which forbid public displays of Frenchness.
As well as the beret ban, it is also illegal to wear a stripey vest or a string of onions around one's neck, or to be in possession of an outrageously Gallic moustache.
The ban follows strong anti-French feelings in much of the Arab world, where French people are seen to be open-minded, free-thinking, and to refuse to follow the strict rules which govern the rest of society.
One Saudi citizen said, "They come over here with their garlicky breath, drinking their fine wines and philosophising loudly. Recently a boulangerie opened near me, and 5 times a day now I hear the call for croissants. Why can't they lock themselves in the house and live in fear like the rest of us?"
Saudi Arabia is also considering a complete ban on Germans.