Warning! This post contains muttawa-friendly sections and reader-discretion is advised.
In previous posts I might have been a bit (but just a tiny bit) harsh on the members of the CPVPV also known as the muttawa or Hai’a. Okay well they deserved it.You can read more here or here. Check out a Saudi woman’s recent horror experience here.
But I thought this time around they would deserve some positive feedback since I happened to witness some exceptionally clever actions from them.
So what happened to change my mind? Well I must point out I haven’t actually changed my mind about the Haia’s concept of justice or their code of conduct and I still think they are dispensable.
So I was in Kingdom mall with my husband and saw a muttawa squad of three strolling around. As usual they sent some shivers down my spine but I continued my shopping without further disturbances.
As we were driving out of the mall however I had to rub my eyes to be sure I was seeing correctly. These three had parked their GMC at the main entrance of the mall where women usually wait outside to be picked up.
One automatically assumes the Hai’a would be so very busy herding all the women in, perhaps beating them (lightly) with their sticks and “kindly reminding” women to cover their hair/faces/eyes.
But to my amazement they were in fact holding the MEN accountable for their behavior.
One muttawa was busy keeping a bunch of Saudi teenage hooligans from entering the ramp at all and the other two were seeing to that the women were not bothered. Yes you read correctly. The muttawa did not bother the women at all. And we are talking about Saudi women with uncovered faces and flashy abayas here.
I watched in awe and heard myself saying hey this is smart, good for them! After all the harassement women have faced at this exact location it was about time they acted. It sure took them a while and to figure out the cause of the problem, the MEN!But better late than never. Earlier this year there was this incident and afterwards I’ve heard of many cases where women taking a taxi from that area have been followed by crazy Saudi guys.
My husband could not believe I had just said something so positive about the Hai’a and he had a good laugh.
So I guess miracles do happen! And I’m not ashamed to say thumbs up for the muttawa (this time).
Join the newsletter
Subscribe to get our latest content and updates from Saudi Arabia directly to your inbox.