TWO young women were walking along the parking lot of the ‘Al-Nakhil Mall’ in Riyadh looking for some form of transport to take them home.
A ‘patrol’ affiliated to the Public Authority for the Enforcement of Virtue and Prevention of Vice arrived at the scene and ordered the women to cover their faces.
Although the women obliged a ‘patrolman’ got out and tried to force one of them into the car. At this point the other woman made a clip of this ‘uncivilized’ behavior, fled into the shopping mall and posted it on the social media.
The ‘Director-General’ later issued a decision to replace the Director of the Riyadh Directorate. The story did not end there. The Riyadh Security Authority last Monday suspended the patrolmen who were found guilty.
There are a series of incidents involving this disgusting authority. A few days ago we saw a member of this bullying authority rushing to the stage of the annual Al-Janadriyah Festival where an Emirati band was performing and in a vain bid tried to stop the show.
Securitymen had to intervene and drag the man — who as usual was wearing a short bisht and an equally short dishdasha, sporting a long beard and a ghutra without iqal — away from the stage.
Another incident involving the members of this authority is about two youths, who last month were chased inside a tunnel in Riyadh. In the midst of confusion, the chase led to the deaths of the two youths.
Following this incident the parents of the youths filed lawsuits and the court ordered their suspension from work followed by imprisonment.
Dear readers, all these unfortunate incidents there reveal the ‘other side of midnight’ of this public authority which does not conform to the provisions of our constitution which guarantees individual freedoms.
The extremist fundamentalists belonging to the Salafist and Brotherhood movements have attempted to import this behavior into our country from its roots — into the country where freedom, law and order take center stage.
However, we have joined hands with some noble people in this country to stand firm against such behavior and cut to size their activities.
We are Muslim Arabs who by nature are religious but these people have invaded us with destructive ideologies born of the Brotherhood and Salafist movements.
We have been saying this over a period of time and we will continue to say so in a crystal clear voice as loudly as possible ‘No to trampling on our freedom and invasion of our privacy’.
We say no to the operatives of your groups and committees of your negative phenomenon, because you are the only negative phenomenon in our society.
By Ali Ahmad Al-Baghli
Former Minister of Oil