Passport

Saudi religious police get beat up by a girl… again

This very amusing story has been making the rounds:  When a Saudi religious policeman sauntered about an amusement park in the eastern Saudi Arabian city of Al-Mubarraz looking for unmarried couples illegally socializing, he probably wasn’t expecting much opposition. But when he approached a young, 20-something couple meandering through the park together, he received an ...

This very amusing story has been making the rounds

When a Saudi religious policeman sauntered about an amusement park in the eastern Saudi Arabian city of Al-Mubarraz looking for unmarried couples illegally socializing, he probably wasn’t expecting much opposition. But when he approached a young, 20-something couple meandering through the park together, he received an unprecedented whooping.

A member of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, the Saudi religious police known locally as the Hai’a, asked the couple to confirm their identities and relationship to one another, as it is a crime in Saudi Arabia for unmarried men and women to mix.

For unknown reasons, the young man collapsed upon being questioned by the cop. According to the Saudi daily Okaz, the woman then allegedly laid into the religious policeman, punching him repeatedly, and leaving him to be taken to the hospital with bruises across his body and face.

This is not the first time this has happened. Back in 2007, Passport blogged the story of a religious cop who was pepper-sprayed in the face by a young woman while her friend filmed it on a cellphone. These are still isolated incidents, but could also be signs that women are starting to take the once-feared Mutaween less seriously after a series of government measures to curb their power and prosecute abuses. 

This very amusing story has been making the rounds

When a Saudi religious policeman sauntered about an amusement park in the eastern Saudi Arabian city of Al-Mubarraz looking for unmarried couples illegally socializing, he probably wasn’t expecting much opposition. But when he approached a young, 20-something couple meandering through the park together, he received an unprecedented whooping.

A member of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, the Saudi religious police known locally as the Hai’a, asked the couple to confirm their identities and relationship to one another, as it is a crime in Saudi Arabia for unmarried men and women to mix.

For unknown reasons, the young man collapsed upon being questioned by the cop. According to the Saudi daily Okaz, the woman then allegedly laid into the religious policeman, punching him repeatedly, and leaving him to be taken to the hospital with bruises across his body and face.

This is not the first time this has happened. Back in 2007, Passport blogged the story of a religious cop who was pepper-sprayed in the face by a young woman while her friend filmed it on a cellphone. These are still isolated incidents, but could also be signs that women are starting to take the once-feared Mutaween less seriously after a series of government measures to curb their power and prosecute abuses. 

Joshua Keating was an associate editor at Foreign Policy  Twitter: @joshuakeating

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