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Why Do We Support A Morals Police?

Posted by spritzophrenia on February 10, 2011

A fascinating article reminded me of Saudi Arabia’s morals police. The rest of the article lists some nutters in our own society lest we feel too self-righteous. However, Saudi’s morals police are state sanctioned. How come we make official outcries over torture and human rights violations in countries like China, yet remain remarkably quiet on our Saudi ally?

The religious police in Saudi Arabia are employed in direct order of command from King Abdullah. They are tasked with enforcing Sharia as defined in Saudi Arabia. In addition to having the power to arrest anyone engaged in homosexual acts, prostitution, fornication, or proselytizing of non-Muslim religions, they can also arrest unrelated males and females caught socializing, enforce Islamic dress-codes, Muslim dietary laws (such as the prohibition from eating pork) and store closures during the prayer time. They prohibit the consumption or sale of alcoholic beverages and seize banned consumer products and media regarded as un-Islamic (such as CDs/DVDs of various Western musical groups, television shows and film). They also actively prevent the religious practices of other religions within Saudi Arabia. (Wikipedia)

western music

At the time of writing, various Middle Eastern governments are nervous that democratic protests in Egypt and Tunisia might spread to their countries. (Jordan has already had protests.) I wonder what it would take for something like that to happen in Saudi? I wonder what it would take for our Governments to stand up for justice there?

In May of 2007, a 28 year old man in Riyadh named Ali Al-Huraisi had a run-in with the Saudi CFPVPV. Because they believed that he possessed alcohol, they broke into his house, arrested his entire family, handcuffed him, and then beat him to death. In August 2008, a member killed his own daughter for converting to Christianity. These are just two examples of what is an extremely conservative and brutal organisation– I say again: Sanctioned by the Saudi Government.

Why do we consider these people allies?


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Sepultura | Under Seige
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9 Responses to “Why Do We Support A Morals Police?”

  1. SugarPop said

    I’m saddened and horrified by this. I feel sick to my stomach.

    How many of us actually KNOW about the kinds of national positions other countries make? How many of us fully know about the stances of our own countries? I think most of us are blissfully ignorant, be it through our daily struggles and chores, or through not caring enough to want to know.

    How many of us have the time, inclination and access to information to become educated about this stuff?

    The fact that this is REAL troubles me deeply. The fact that the majority of the people in the world will never ever really know about it sends me into despair.

  2. I met a lovely Saudi man on a course some years ago. There are good people everywhere.

  3. I was aware of this and there are far worse horror stories to tell from Saudi. We tolerate this regime and its disgusting barbaric Wahabi version of Islam because they have lots of oil and because they are willing to ignore Israel’s misbehaviours, both of which facts are important to US and UK governments among others.

  4. Lydia said

    I wonder why the religious extremists/terrorists in our cultures have not yet been successful in policing us in the same manner? It frightens me to think of what life would be like if they ever did push through their ideas of a “Christian” nation (I’m thinking mostly of the US here. I don’t hear as much about extremists here in Canada…but that doesn’t mean they aren’t around. 🙂 )

    Oil is the only reason for us to consider Saudi Arabia an alley that I could come up with. They have it and we as westerners are addicted.

  5. Iain said

    I’m not saying anything that hasn’t already been said by commenters above. Money is why they are allies.

    Money talks, apparently, and western democracy is also implicitly capitalist. I would wager that they probably own a decent portion of the U.S. National Debt, too, as well as the vast billions that their trade is worth. People in the U.S. talk about moving to alternate energy sources so that they can move away from a dependency on “foreign oil” and I suspect that is a quite real U.S. infrastructure consideration.

  6. leesis said

    I agree with all above…another country we ignore is China but another thought comes to mind.

    I think in a way the western worlds silence towards Saudi Arabia also relates to the some what sensible avoidance of a full out religous war. To openly confront Saudi will be to say their laws are wrong. To say their laws are wrong is to say at the very least their interpretation of their theology is wrong. We dont need a Islam verses Christianity verses… argument that no one can win yet everyone can act badly in.

    I have followed http://saudiwoman.wordpress.com/ for some time and reading her take on things and the many varied and passionate commentators I have come to think that because the religion is not seperatable from the political structure only those within can truly bring about change. I think we’ve had direct evidence of that since 9/11. Having said that I think we in the west can help by promoting human rights, walking our talk and demanding our elected leaders lead the way.

    Of course I’ve been known to be wrong so above could all be wrong…’cept the sentance directly above…I stand by that one :).

    • SugarPop said

      Hi Leesis – I agree with you about promoting human rights etc. It is too easy to sit and commentate without actually taking any action.

  7. Tracy Fitzgerald said

    It’s about money and power. Human rights make for good rhetoric, but standing up for the oppressed in word and action doesn’t put money in the campaign treasuries. Not to mention the vast amounts of money to be made selling weapons to repressive regimes in the name of “stability.” The US is currently working on the largest arms sales in US history – to the Saudis (not to mention our arms sales to Egypt, Israel, etc… as if arming the world makes it more “stable.”). I am disgusted by my governments role in the spread of oppression across the world. Even more disgusting? We supposedly have a government by, of, and for the people, which makes me and everyone else complicit in this blatant hypocrisy. In fact, I would say that America’s form of government – which we constantly claim we wish to bequeath to the world – is not democracy, but hypocrisy. And don’t even get me started on the religious angle (I’m “Christian”). For my part, I’ve been speaking about this in my circles every chance I get. I will keep doing so. Thanks for the post.

  8. Tracy Fitzgerald said

    BTW … dig the Sepultura!

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