The Commision for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vices

I was pretty busy this past two months. But no matter how busy I get I cannot pass up a PVPV commission headline and these two months were full of those. First let me update you on the guy, AttaAllah Al Rasheedi,  who was stabbed twice by a PVPV member for not ordering his wife to cover her eyes. Seventeen days after he was admitted to the hospital he was taken into custody and imprisoned for 28 days. Outrageous I know but not unexpected especially coming from the same people who wanted to imprison and whip a rape victim. It turns out that the unnamed PVPV  member, 20 days after the incident obtained a medical report that states that his nose was broken and thus the case has now changed from assault to altercation, conveniently removing Al Rasheedi from his previous victim stance. And so now the judge after releasing him gave him the parting gift of a sentence of 30 lashes across the back for “strolling amid women” regardless of the fact that it was not a gender segregated mall and that he was accompanying his wife. Al Rasheedi is a soldier in the National Guard and obviously his training has had an influence on his spirit because the guy just won’t back down. Now he is appealing the 30 lashes ruling and he plans to take to court the sheikhs who spoke badly about his character in their Friday sermons. He also plans to object to his 28 day imprisonment.

On the other hand, the likelihood of his success is not promising. The Qatif girl could not get anything from our courts and her only salvation was a royal pardon from the King himself. No PVPV member was charged for the 2007 murder of Sulaiman Al Huraisy, a 28 year old man accused by the PVPV of making and selling alcohol. He was taken to one of their centers for questioning and then beaten. According to the postmortem he lost his right eye, he had a 6 cm break in his skull and he had no traces of alcohol in his system. His family tried to appeal the case too.

Even PVPV members aren’t immune once they step out of the ultra-conservative mold. Shiekh Dr. Ahmed Al Ghamdi, the head of the Makkah PVPV division is hated by the ultra conservative community because he says that women can uncover their faces and there is no gender segregation in Islam. They tried to get him removed but couldn’t. So instead they decided to marginalize him by not inviting him to their meetings, and showing his sons no mercy. One of his sons was involved in what was originally reported as defending his house when a group of men tried to break in to “mingle” with Al Ghamdi’s wife and daughters. However the whole incident magically changed into an altercation about car parking and Al Gamdi’s son was sentenced with 50 lashes. It’s also been going around that the same son or another was fired from his position in the PVPV.   Then the Al Ghamdi tribe issued a statement that they are innocent of Dr. Al Ghamdi and his unGodly opinions.

Finally last week, it was reported that a barefoot young woman was seen running across a major street in Riyadh while being chased by two PVPV cruisers. According to the PVPV they had spotted her in a taxi flirting and exposing herself. Note that “exposing herself” does not necessarily mean nudity according to their standards because to them even regular clothes without an abaya is exposure. They did not elaborate on what it was that she was doing or what she exposed except that it was immoral. Eye witnesses say that she was running crying and begging people in their cars to help her. Eventually the PVPV caught her and took her to a holding center for women and girls until her family picked her up from there a few hours later.

And if you would like to read a first hand account of a PVPV incident, I highly recommend this post from fellow blogger Omaima Al Najjar.

For all their trouble the PVPV were rewarded with a whole fleet of new cruisers, six hundred in Riyadh alone. And these cruisers are all linked to a control center and are all outfitted with what looks like a scanner/printer/fax machine. Don’t ask me what a patrol car would need those for! They are very proud of their high tech new look and equipment and posted these photos on their website at this link:


Filed under Informative, Injustice

40 responses to “The Commision for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vices

  1. Sorry,all countries except Saudi and Iran have religious police.I don’t think wee need them at all.Some say,they need to be more professional,I say we DON’T need them(period)

  2. Thanks for the post.

    The current practice of PVPV is totally unacceptable on many levels , some day would come and the Saudis will be free as other countries

    I hope that day isnt far


  3. I would just like to say the brutality of these people is mind boggling. Though I sit very far away it seems to me your laws are made to encourage the very worst in humanity. And for those that protest such laws and behaviours…well…top honours to you

  4. I am just SO angry reading your follow up about what they are doing to that poor man who was stabbed by a lunatic!!!!
    Total evil insanity!
    Satan is laughing in hell I bet!

    And that poor girl! What a nightmare! Those pictures! They hurt the heart just to look at them!

    Kafka couldn’t make it up!!!!

  5. what it is with the high tech stuff there..!!?
    fancy truck.. laptop.. printers!!??
    I wonder if they have 3D plasma tv there??!!
    those pics reminds me of CSI Maimi..!!

    why would a religous police need all that fancy stuff??
    this is a SHOW OFF!!

    • Ahmed Fouad

      I wonder more if the police have such hi-tech equipment..

      • i doubt it!!!
        and I hate how PVPV are taking up more and more responsibilities that are non of their business. I mean where is the line between their duties and the police’s????
        if Saudi insists on keeping PVPV than they should be a sector within the police like “vice departments” in other countries.

    • ali

      Like I said, this Vehicle is an excellent mobile office, I wish I had one of these.
      I think that Jawazat should have these and they should go around the city renewing IDs instantly… 😀
      I also think that all this scanning and printing is for “INSTANT CONFESSIONS”..LOL!..

    • ali

      @Omaima, really.. they are for Instant Confessions and recording acts to back this. Had you been an expatriate woman that does not speak Arabic in that incident that happened with you – you would have ended up signing a confession.. ensuring a sentence and deportation.

  6. Erica

    I was curious about those guys following the girl. Were they just onlookers or trying to help?

  7. mahine

    Where in Islam does it tell you to beat people or harass women? Who can decide who is virtuous and who is not?

  8. Hafsa

    the tone of ur posts have changed. before, it seemed like u loved ur country and wanted to explain about how it was different to other people and how many saudis wanted reforms. now u just seem really frustrated, angry and it seems like u hate your country and want to make it look bad to your readers.

    • thats like saying everyone in the united states who hates bush hates the US!

    • Just because you speak up about wrong and opression in Muslim societies and countries does not mean you hate yor country of birth, Muslims nor Islam… People (Muslims) have to start realizing this, the sooner the better. Black is black, white is white, wrong is wrong and right is right. The sky can’t be purple just because people say so.

      • ali

        I think the posts on this blog reflect the intense love of the writer for her country. Why else would she care to write about all this? She is openly pointing out faults. Real faults that others totally overlook. She is also taking risks, being a Saudi. I wish more people had these guts and such an ability to write here. I wish more MEN could be as brave as this lady.
        She gives the correct analysis of events and I do feel that her writings will play a MAJOR role in the positive growth of this country. May Allah protect such GOOD and LOYAL Citizens.

  9. nasaki bineshe


    This has nothing to do with your latest posting. I told you that it was inevitable. The waves of freedom and equality are sweeping across your region right now. They are teaching the world. Your burden just got picked up.


  10. Sameena

    Eman, what do people in Saudi Arabia think about the protests in Tunisia, Egypt etc.? Do they support the people agitating to throw Mubarak and the rest out? Please share. I am really curious to know the response of the Saudi public to the wave sweeping the arab world.

  11. Alan Noronha

    Wow, that is really shocking. We have a woman as the president now, for the first time in Brazil, and she said she would fight for women’s rights. I wish you all good luck in your predicament, and that one day you Arab women may be treated with dignity and equality. We are all people after all.

  12. trae

    is there no facebook support page for him, or petition to help him. he needs the backing of the saudi people as well as the world. please publish any support pages for him, thank you

  13. ali

    Nice cars.. could use one of them as my mobile office.. very cool. I do not think, however, that it suits the purpose of PVPV.. they should have taken hummers with Machine Guns installed .. 🙂

    • Sandy

      That’s probably what they asked for! I guess we should be glad this is all they have. (hmmmffff) Seems a drainage system for Jeddah would have been more beneficial to society.

  14. ali

    You mean Distribution of Wealth should be FAIR? Highly unlikely and virtually impossible in our ” Pious” and “Islamic” Society of True Believers that fear the upcoming wrath of God….

  15. Yassin

    Salam to all…

    I hope I don’t offend anyone and I also hope that what I say is taken in the right way.

    I find amongst many different faiths and sects within faiths (religious and non-religious) a common trend of a ‘pot calling the kettle black’. How I relate it to this thread and other threads/links is that; I seem to see that the same thing people are accusing PVPV’s of, those accusers are doing it themselves and those who read their accusations are also falling into the trap. That is ‘you’ are accusing the PVPV’s of being unfair and accusatory without hearing the other side… and yet very few seem to be trying to confirm or hear the other side of the story.

    Do you realise that by not hearing the other side of the story is a sin in Islam? Do you realise by not hearing the other side of the story you are actually and oppressor to you brother/sister?

    I do marriage counselling (amongst other things) and it is amazing how when you hear the husband’s or wife’s complaints… it seems so believable that you naturally start forming an opinion (a negative one) about the other person before you have even spoken to them. I have to really watch myself and hold back any opinions until I hear the other side of the story as well. And then when I do hear the other side of the story… it’s like..whoah!!?!? are you sure I’m matching the couple correctly? And I am so grateful to Allaah that I obeyed His commands and waited till I heard the other side first…. because I could have oppressed that man or woman.

    Please bear this in mind… whether you are the person writing about accusations or whether you are reading it. We know that newspapers and news outlets are sensationalist and ultimately want to make a business out of selling news, so you always have to take their news with a ‘pinch of salt’. It is times like these I marvel at the system of the Shariah and how it protects the weak and the oppressed. We all know that we have to verify news… this protects people from being oppressed and it protects us from becoming oppressors. We all know that we should be patient until evidence is established…. look at the story of ummul mu’mineen Aisha radiallaahu 3anha… when she was accused of a horrible accusation…

    So please… everything I have seen and read in these accusations seem to be based on hearsay and really that is unfair. By doing it you are no better than those you accuse IF it is true and established that they do the same. Remember a time when you were once accused of something yet no one had come to ask for your side of the story. How unfair was that? Please don’t do the same.

    Your brother in Islam


  16. Abdullah

    Asalaamu alaikum, I think your views are incorrect and I believe that this may even be backbiting so be aware of this. Also I think you should stop trying to become westernised and following the unislamic western culture. May Allah guide you and us, ameen.

    • turkishwoman

      Which views do you think are incorrect? Unless I am going blind, the article consists of information rather than views. Also, can you explain the westernised element that we should avoid? I guess you meant the hitec cars of PVPV whose every component is obviously of Western origin (or Far Eastern, same difference). Or else, opposing to injustice, violence, ruthlessness and tyranny, supporting the victim, the injured, and the oppressed is what exactly Islam commands.

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  18. emeye

    looks like a Chevrolet, to me

  19. emeye

    so perhaps a dislike of things Western, should extend to their rides.

  20. Md Azad Ali Shah

    Salam All,

    What a shame!! how these sick people defame Islam.. its really painful that such lunatic, fanatic legal terrorists defame Islam and Muslims in all over world. And world see their actions as Islam.

    What abt the sin of torturing this helpless woman who run for help in public? Is this their iman to insult a helpless woman? My heart is shattering.

    Even Islam says “there is no compulsion in relgion” in Quran. These so called moral police should learn what is Islam first before dictating what will others do.

    Time has come for Saudis to fight against so called hypocrite rulers who do everything they like by using ISLAM. Need to follow what happend to Egypt and Tunisia.

    Yes, give some other jobs to these illeterate, jobless people so that people can live freely.

  21. Md Azad Ali Shah

    Pakistan’s former president was a Muslim woman, Bangladesh’s current Prime Minister is Muslim women and opposition leader is also a Muslim women. Since Independence, Muslim women have been Prime Minister in Bangladesh. Former President of Indonesia was Muslim woman. There are women judges in Malaysia’s shariah courts.

    And our Rasool SAW wife was in war field and a great businsee woman.

    When Australia and Brazil just got first president, Muslim women have been ruling in these countries.

    And here we see in Saudi where so called sick men are agaisnt ISLAM and women.

  22. Pessimists, you really make life interesting, not always in a good way, but you really do. Meh, I guess everyone is allowed to have their own opinion, right?

    Regardless of these incidents and whether it actually happened as told or not, I hear that the PVPV is doing a great job in many other fields. Choosing to only believe the negative feed and disregarding positive ones, as many usually do, would make me prejudiced and that is something I try hard not to be.

    Are they evil or good? do they have their own agenda? I seriously don’t know and cant possibly tell, but I like to think that they are righteous and pray for that.
    I really don’t think that anyone in this country has the potential to plot something, umm deep, and that’s good I guess.

    Anyway, leave the creations to the creator, see the big picture or whatever rocks your boat so that you would be less gloomy, more productive.

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  24. I’m a regular reader of your blog and just suggested that other people read it too on my own blog:

    I’m so glad that you are able to share with us these stories that don’t make it into the Western media. Thank you for sharing.

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