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The Scoop
May 29, 2012

Saudi women tells religious police to get lost

Houriya Ahmed

Saudi religious police

“It’s none of your business” is the phrase one Saudi women repeatedly tells the country’s ultra conservative religious police in a video being widely circulated on social media and news websites. See the video here.

Her offence? Wearing nail varnish in a shopping mall.

The video shows the woman being told to leave the mall by the religious police, the Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice. She bravely defies them and instead posts the video she recorded of the exchange on twitter and facebook, where she reminds them that their job is to advise and ‘move on’, not ‘harass’ people.

Regulating female morality in public spaces is a contentious issue in Saudi Arabia; despite reforms, women still cannot drive and are required to wear the headscarf and abaya.

While the Saudi state limits and discriminates against female participation in the public sphere, this women points out that control can only go so far: she tells the religious police, “you are not the boss of me… I am free to walk around this mall as I like.”





Houriya Ahmed

About Houriya Ahmed

Houriya Ahmed is a Non-Resident Associate Fellow at the HJS.

Full profile  |  See all of Houriya Ahmed's work