Sunday, September 28, 2008
Saudi religious police in abaya crackdown
Saudi Arabia's religious police are cracking down on adorned abayas in the run-up to Eid Al-Fitr and have threatened shopkeepers with fines and even prison for selling the black robes with any form of decoration.
Shopkeepers in the kingdom's capital Riyadh said they are having to turn away customers, many of whom are looking to buy more fashionable abayas with patterned, beaded or colourful trim, the UK's Financial Times reported on Saturday.
Decorative abayas are becoming increasingly popular in the Gulf as women's dress codes are relaxed. However the liberalisation, though only slight, has angered some conservatives.
Women's rights activists slammed the latest crackdown by the religious police, or mutawa’a.
"They [the mutawa’a] want women to be faceless, nameless and shrouded in blackness," Samar Falan, a women’s rights activist and writer based in Jeddah, was quoted as saying.
"They should focus on fighting vices, not women," Buthaina Nassr, another activist, told the newspaper. "I do not understand why they force us to wear black in such a hot country while men can wear white."
I have no idea how to comment on the stupidity of these people