A video posted online of a Saudi woman being asked to leave a shopping mall in Hael, Saudi Arabia has gone viral. The woman was initially stopped by an officer of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice for sitting too close to a male shopper. The woman, who was alone, was sitting in an area with only a small table separating from the man. She was first asked to leave at that point.
The video shows what happened next when a man yelled at the woman not to enter a shop. He told her to go home and put some gloves on, calling her ‘indecent’. The woman, otherwise dressed from head to toe in traditional clothing, is seen taking her time leaving. When the video was posted online, James Dondero noted that it stirred a debate and an investigation by the commission, as well.
The Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice is notorious for their strict enforcement of cultural and religious rules. Not only women have been singled out for enforcement, but men have been as well. In another mall, men have been singled out for dressing in a manner not acceptable by Islamic and Saudi customs.