Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Tempting eyes

Saudi moral police committee threatens to cover women’s “tempting eyes”

In Saudi Arabia, women with sexy, seductive, alluring, tempting eyes may be forced to cover them up, according to the spokesperson of the Committee for the Promotion(Ordering) of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice known as HAIA, in the ultra-conservative Gulf Muslim kingdom.

Spokesman of the Ha’eal district, Sheikh Motlab al-Nabet said the HAIA has the right to stop a woman whose eyes seem “tempting” and order her to cover them immediately. That is how dirty their “pious” minds are. Some of them probably drool from seeing a woman’s painted toe nails.

Legally, Saudi women are treated as minors without power to act on their own and must have a ‘guardian’ whose consent is necessary for all legal procedures, from marriage to contract, as well as driving, travelling or simply going to a hotel. The eyes were the only free part of a Saudi Wahhabi woman, the only means for her to assert her individuality, to assert that she is a sentient human being and not a sack of potatoes. Now even that is lost.

In the barren waste land that is the life of a Saudi woman, free speech is punishable with death and female servants hired from poor countries are more often than not, raped and forced into sexual slavery. They are severely beaten if they attempt escape.

HAIA, the Saudi Government religious bureaucracy is known to be the kingdom’s second most powerful political body after the ruling Al-Saud clan.

The HAIA employs the Islamic Police whose members known as the mutaween (plural; singular, mutawwa) are greatly feared on the streets of Saudi Arabia. The mutaween are robotic individuals who are nurtured and taught to spew out hatred and fear. Its approximately 3,500 members, and many more volunteers, patrol the streets enforcing dress codes, strict separation of men and women, salah prayer by Muslims during prayer times, and other behavior it believes to be commanded by Islam. The mutaween can and will approach and arrest anyone they deem as breaking their rules, even if they are as ambiguous as inciting "fitna," or temptation.

Saudi women are already forced to wear a loose black dress and to cover their hair and in some areas, their face, while in public or face fines or sometimes worse, including public lashings.

"tempting eyes"
The “tempting eyes” announcement came days after the Saudi newspaper al-Watan reported in 2010 that a Saudi citizen Atallah Al-Rashidi clashed with a mutawwa in Ha’ael when the mutawwa insisted Al-Rashidi’s wife cover her eyes. The scuffle ended with the mutawwa stabbing Al-Rashidi twice, leading to his hospitalisation. Why didn’t the mutawwa attempt avoid “fitna” or temptation and avert his “pious” gaze instead of lustfully staring into a married Saudi Muslim woman's tempting eyes! Perhaps it was the “pious” Islamic duty of the mutawwa to save other Saudi Muslim men from wiles of ocular temptresses!!

The case was taken to court and after five months the mutawwawas declared innocent of shedding Muslim blood while Al-Rashidi, who defended his wife, was sentenced to nine months in jail and 350 lashes for “arrogance”.

What is “arrogance”? Not being submissive to the whimsical Islamic Sharia Police. After all Islam means submission. And what is the opposite of submissive slavish acceptance of the dictates of the Islamic clergy? Arrogance, of course!).

What are “tempting” eyes? One Saudi journalist confides on condition of anonymity that they are “uncovered eyes with a nice shape and makeup. Or even without makeup, if they are beautiful, the woman will be in trouble.” For a religion which proclaims from roof tops or rather minaret tops that there is no compulsion in religion, what is the need for a moral police? One should not ask and risk being branded “arrogant”!

Saudi Crown Prince Nayef can now rest assured that the “pious” Saudi Muslim men are now saved from the temptations of Saudi eye whores!

In 2002, the mutaween refused to let girl students out of their burning schools in Mecca. The mutaween prevented the firemen and policemen from rescuing the girls from being burnt alive as “it is not okay for girls to be seen without their full Islamic dress in front of strangers.” Fifteen young girls died in the fire and dozens more were injured. Despite wide-spread condemnation, the Saudi Government was unmoved.

A Wikileaks document released last year mentioned that “wild Western-style parties” are regularly held at royal palaces in Jeddah, away from the reach of the HAIA, who stands helpless against any royal violations of the stringent prescriptions of Wahhabi Islam. It was reported that the parties had alcohol, drugs, dancing and sex, according to American consulate wires published by the whistle-blower organization.


Additional reading:
“Princess: A true life story of life behind the veil in Saudi Arabia” by Jean P. Sasson. Pub; William Morrow & Co, NY, USA.

List of things that offend Muslims