Saudi religious cops order woman to leave mall for wearing nail polish
Johannesburg, June 5 (ANI): The head of the Saudi religious police has come out strongly against one of his men who had ordered a woman to leave a mall because she was wearing nail polish.
The woman had defied the orders as she filmed her dispute with the policeman and posted it on YouTube, in a video that has attracted more than a million hits in the first few days after it went online.
"The world is manufacturing airplanes and we are still telling a woman 'leave the mall because you've got nail polish on your fingers'," News24.com quoted Sheikh Abdullatiff Abdel Aziz al-Sheikh, head of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, as telling local daily Al-Watan.
"I was very disappointed by what I have seen. The matter has been exaggerated and negatively exploited.
"The way the member of the commission behaved was not right, even if the girl had gone too far. He should have offered her advice and left instead of arguing with her and escalating the situation," he said.
The three and a half minute video that was posted on May 23 shows members of the notorious commission telling the woman to "get out of here [the mall]."
But she refused to obey and said: "I'm staying and I want to know what you're going to do about it."
"It's none of your business if I wear nail polish," the unidentified woman, who is not seen on the tape, is heard shouting at bearded men from the feared religious force.
"You are not in charge of me," she defiantly shouted back, referring to new constraints that were imposed earlier this year on the religious police, banning them from harassing Saudi women over their behaviour and attire.
"The government has banned you from coming after us," she told the men. "you are only supposed to provide advice, and nothing more."
At one point during the video, she cautioned the religious police that she has already posted the exchange online.
It has not become clear if the woman was eventually forced to leave the mall or not.
The video earned only about 2 775 'likes', while the number of 'dislikes' reached almost 8 400.
Sheikh said that any member of the religious police "who abuses citizens or attacks them has no place in the commission."
The religious police prevent women from driving, require them to be covered from head to foot in black, ban public entertainment, and force all businesses, from supermarkets to petrol stations, to close at prayer times, five times a day. (ANI)
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