Vice, Virtue and Saudi Arabia

Remember the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice? Well, Aadisht has an informative post on them, which informs us, to begin with, that the correct term for them is the Committee for the Propagation of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice. Aadisht then shares glimpses of their history with us.

It turns out that they once banned pets in Saudi Arabia because they were considered a Western influence.

“One bad habit spreading among our youths is the acquisition of dogs and showing them off in the streets and malls,” wrote Aleetha al-Jihani in a letter to Al-Madina newspaper. “There’s no doubt that such a matter makes one shudder.”

“Then what’s the point of dragging a dog behind you?” he added. “This is blind emulation of the infidels.”

This is harmless, but not what they did in 2002, when they “stopped schoolgirls from leaving a blazing building because they were not wearing correct Islamic dress.” Fifteen girls died.

I can just imagine the following scene:

Eight members of the Committee for the Propagation of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice are walking along the road. From the opposite side, a young man approaches. The young man is walking a dog. The dog is clad in a burqa.

The Committee goon stops him. “Hey boy,” he says. “How dare you walk a dog? Do you not know that is vice?”

The young man says: “I am not walking a dog, I am walking my sister. She is short. Being a good Saudi girl, she is all covered up. That is virtue.”

The Committee goons look at each other.

The young man continues: “Do you want me to prove it is my sister? I’ll have to remove her burqa for that?”

The Committee goon says, “Eh, no, no, no, continue. It’s okay. Have a good day.”

The young man moves on. The Committee goon’s sidekick looks at the Committee goon and says: “Did you hear his sister bark?”