THE BRAVE ONES.

Via the Arabist, it seems two Saudi women recently lodged a protest against their country's religious police:

Members of Khobar's Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice were the victims of an attack by two Saudi females, Asharq Al-Awsat can reveal.

According to the head of the commission in Khobar, two girls pepper sprayed members of the commission after they had tried to offer them advice.

Head of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice in the Eastern province Dr. Mohamed bin Marshood al-Marshood, told Asharq Al Awsat that two of the Commission's employees were verbally insulted and attacked by two inappropriately-dressed females, in the old market in Prince Bandar street, an area usually crowded with shoppers during the month of Ramadan.

According to Dr. Al-Marshood, the two commission members approached the girls in order to "politely" advise and guide them regarding their inappropriate clothing.

Consequently, the two girls started verbally abusing the commission members, which then lead to one of the girls pepper-spraying them in the face as the other girl filmed the incident on her mobile phone, while continuing to hurl insults at them.

The Eastern Province's head of the commission also revealed that with the help of the police his two employees were able to control the situation.

The two females were then escorted to the police station where they apologized for the attack, were cautioned and then released.

We can easily dismiss the claim that the religious police were "polite"¬Ě as these mutaween, many of whom are poorly educated ex-convicts granted early release because of their having memorized Qur'an in prison, are notoriously thuggish and abusive of women, Shi'is, and anyone else who they perceive as not conforming to their very strict Wahabbist interpretation of Islam. They essentially have a legal-religious sanction for bullying. Hooray for these women for politely advising and guiding them regarding the fact that a face full of pepper spray can ruin your whole day. Be on the lookout for the video.

--Matthew Duss

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