57 Arrrested for Flirting

24 02 2008

Saudi Arabia arrests 57 men for flirting at mall

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia – Saudi Arabia began interrogating 57 men Saturday who were arrested for flirting with women in front of a shopping mall in the holy city of Mecca, a local newspaper reported.

The country’s religious police arrested the men Thursday night for behavior that also allegedly included dancing to pop music blaring from their cars and wearing improper clothing, reported the Okaz newspaper, which is deemed close to the government.

Saturday’s newspaper report did not say what kind of outfits the young men were wearing, but T-shirts emblazoned with drawings or English writing are often an invitation for harassment by the religious police. Islamic radicals also consider pop music a corrupting force.

The Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice runs the fearsome religious police, which is charged with enforcing Saudi Arabia’s strict Islamic lifestyle. Its members patrol public places to make sure women are covered and not wearing make up, the sexes don’t mingle, shops close five times a day for Muslim prayers and men go to the mosque and worship.

The police, informally known as the muttawa (literally “enforcer”), don’t wear uniforms, but are recognizable by their long beards and their robes, shorter than the ones normally worn by Saudi men. They also shun the black cord that sits atop the headdress worn by most Saudi men.

Click for related content
Separated Saudi couple sues to reunite
Saudi king pardons rape victim
Video: Saudi rape victim’s husband speaks out

Women in Saudi Arabia are required to wear a long, enveloping black cloak called an abaya and cover their hair with a headscarf.

The newspaper report said the men who were arrested Thursday could be released if they could prove they did not flirt with any women. Otherwise, they will be transferred to court and stand trial, the paper added.




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: