Pepper Spraying the Vice Commissioners

23:53 Tue 25 Sep 2007. Updated: 03:04 26 Sep 2007
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This story about two Saudi Arabians “indecency monitors” getting pepper sprayed by a young girl they reprimand strikes me as too hilarious not to share.

I have no sympathy for telling anyone how they should dress, and do not look kindly on those who enforce those dress codes. Granted, I could be completely mischaracterizing the situation—the two girls might have been spoilt rich brats with political connections who simply abused the poor monitors… but I don’t think so. (Although the girls might well have had political connections, of course, to get away as they did). My reading is that the two members of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice decided to reprimand these girls, and received insults in return (good for the girls!), at which point the enforcers became belligerent—at which point the girls pepper spraye them, which is just fantastic.

Sadly the girls were taken to the police station, and so probably had to go through an unpleasant experience there, but still, pepper spraying them and then capturing this on a mobile phone is quite an achievement in my opinion. Maybe the fact that something like this can happen is a sign of progress in Saudi Arabia.

Those enforcers deserve to encounter resistance of this kind, as would all of their equivalents through history. I would have loved to have seen this happen to Irish priests in the 1950s, or the agents of Savonarola in the 1490s.

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