A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Saudi Arabia to Recruit Women for Religious Police

Saudi Arabia last January named a new head for the Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice, known to Saudis just as the Hay'a or Commission (less formally as the mutawa‘in) and to outsiders as the Religious Police. Sheikh ‘Abd al-Latif ‘Abd al-‘Aziz Al al-Sheikh has told the Saudi Gazette that the Hay'a is seeking to employ women officers for the first time; excessive beatings of women for min9r infractions, often carried out by 'volunteer" enforcers, have drawn protests and Al al-Sheikh has pledged to end abuses.

I assume the women officers will deal exclusively with women's public behavior and not interact with men.

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