Saturday, 23 June 2007

Saudi Arabia's Religious Police

"... the Haya's existence helps solve two pressing social problems: high unemployment and a very large surplus of graduates in religious studies."

(The Economist, June 23rd 2007)

'Haya' is Saudi Arabia's 'Commision for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice'. Different from the "regular" police their duties include making sure that shops close for the five daily prayers and enforcing modesty of attire. According to the article in the Economist, it consists of around 5000 agents.

Are they graduates in religious studies? Judging from the harsh impoliteness that they display I'm not quite sure they are, or maybe the module on character and good manners was optional.


Anonymous said...

That's a bit harsh. There are some people in KSA who need a good thorough whipping and even then mybe it wouldn't be enough. It's a real shame they don't have safer precautions here for foreigners or single women.

adil said...

Sub7aanaha-Allah, goes to show: reading right- (or left-) wing papers (or any kind of reporting behind which is an agenda, however hidden) skews one's thinking somewhat. One who argues to the contrary is somewhat deluded in my opinion.