Saudi Arabia is a very unusual country and there are rules and regulations for women that startle many from other lands. I lived in Saudi Arabia for 12 years and dressed modestly, covering my hair, and wearing the abaaya but not covering my face (unless I was doing research for myself to find out what it felt like to full veil.) I rarely had any problems although anytime I was in the souk I was glared at by the religious police but they only glared, thank goodness. They are angry faced men that rule by fear of what they “might do.” But one day after I had been in the kingdom for about 6 years, I was stopped at entrance of the mall and told that I could not wear nail polish. I very quietly asked to see the religious ruling on nail polish, which of course they could not produce. Those men (they were young, and obviously in training to become mutawa’s and we always noticed that the younger mutawa’s were always more aggressive — out to show their power, I guess.) I didn’t move, but kept inching inside the mall and kept telling them if they showed me the restriction about nail polish, I would take it off. I finally got in the mall but I remember how frustrated and angry I felt that SOME men of Saudi Arabia simply wanted to show their power over women and if they didn’t see anything about a woman that broke the moral/cultural laws, that they would simply make up something. When I was there, Saudi women were very shy about facing down authority and no Saudi woman would have become aggressive like the woman you are about to read about — I remember telling Saudi female friends that only THEY could bring change — that THEY must push back in order to gain any freedoms — and finally now it is happening. So things are changing in Saudi Arabia and the men need to change, too. There is no need in harassing women about nail polish, lipstick, uncovered faces… The tide is turning. Here is the story I am talking about — and, I would take with a grain of salt the way the men are describing this woman — most likely they want to discredit her and make themselves look good.
Last Tuesday a Saudi woman in Riyadh was followed at a major mall by the Commission for Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice (CPVPV). They demanded that she leave the mall because she had nail polish on. She in turn refused and started videotaping the incident on her cell phone and informed the CPVPV member that she’s also uploading it to social media. Then she called the police and in the second video you can see three police officers trying to calm the situation and hear her tell them that she’s afraid to leave the mall because the CPVPV might follow her in the car and purposely cause a car accident.
Before I go any further, I’m going to give the CPVPV statement to news organizations and a CPVPV sympathizer’s witness statement:
Informed sources confirmed to Sabq that the incident occurred last Tuesday evening, indicating that the Commission’s headquarters are in the process…
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