When some possibly overzealous question from one of Saudi Arabia’s religious policemen from the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice apparently caused a young man to collapse, the woman that he was with came to his defense. The resulting beating, in which the officer in question was repeatedly punched, left him in need of hospital treatment for bruises.
For her trouble, the woman may face jail time and lashings, but apparently resistance to the Wahabi religious enforcers is occurring with surprising frequency.
Wajiha Al-Huwaidar, a Saudi women’s rights activist, told The Media Line news agency:
To see resistance from a woman means a lot. People are fed up with these religious police, and now they have to pay the price for the humiliation they put people through for years and years. This is just the beginning and there will be more resistance.
The media and the Internet have given people a lot of power and the freedom to express their anger. The Hai’a are like a militia, but now whenever they do something it’s all over the Internet. This gives them a horrible reputation and gives people power to react.
The incident occurred at a theme park, which the religious police routinely patrol to look for males and females that are in each others company illegally. [Jerusalem Post]