Saudi Arabia’s feared Islamic police briefly arrested a national woman for defying local rules by walking in a public place without the traditional Saudi gown and head cover. The arrest made her even more defiant, when she branded the head cover a symbol of backwardness.
The 27-year-old Saudi wife was strolling at dawn on the sidewalk in the western town of Makkah when members of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice seized her and took her to their centre.
Sabq newspaper said a Saudi man had phoned the Commission and told them about a woman walking in tight pants and white tops without her gown or head cover. The man said he was worried the woman might be kidnapped by men.
The paper said the unnamed woman told Commission members at the centre that she went to stay at her family’s house after an argument with her husband but that they refused to receive her and told her to return home.
“The woman said she then decided to go for a walk at dawn to have some fresh air and release her pent-up feelings and deprivation,” the paper said.
“She said what she had done is normal and that the gown and head cover are symbols of backwardness….she also told the Commission members that man had reached the moon and ‘you come and tell me don’t drive….don’t go out shopping…cover you face…be careful…etc..”