Sunday, June 24, 2007

Your neighborhood religious policeman is coming soon

In Saudi Arabia it is the "ulema" and their religious police. We have our Emme Mathee Majlis. Efforts are undeway to create our own religious police. Candidates are plenty."

Members who work in the field wear badges but no special uniforms. As signs of piety, they sport scraggly beards and red-and-white checkered head scarves without black cords to hold them down. Their traditional white robes fall slightly above their ankles."

Here is an interesting article about the religious police. Can this be a reality in Maldives soon?

JIDDAH, Saudi Arabia - Three members of Saudi Arabia's religious police will stand trial this week for their involvement in the death of a man in their custody, an unprecedented action against the powerful enforcers of the country's strict moral code.
The death, the second in the custody of the religious police in the past month, has triggered calls for a reevaluation of the force's role and responsibilities, and generated a media uproar -- a first in a country where criticism of the religious establishment had until recently been off-limits.
"Things have gotten so out of hand that the commission has taken on the roles of policeman, judge and jury. Its employees exercise the right to suspect, accuse, detain and punish on the spot while they also enjoy immunity from any kind of accountability or questioning," Arab News columnist Abeer Mishkhas wrote this week.

But the establishment retains tremendous clout. Newspaper editors and writers have been fired or banned from writing for criticizing the Wahhabi ideology, and many remain wary about voicing an opinion about the commission.
"People hesitate to criticize the commission because they're afraid they'll be viewed as criticizing religion," said Sabria Jawhar, the Jiddah bureau chief of the English-language Saudi Gazette. "Having a commission is part of our religion."
Saad al-Sowayan, a professor of folklore and anthropology at King Saud University in Riyadh, said Saudis have lived in fear of the commission for decades but have finally started to speak out against it.

Read the whole article at

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