Thumbs up for the muttawas!

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).

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Hello there, I'm Laura, the author of Blue Abaya, the first travel blog in Saudi Arabia established in 2010. I've been traveling around and exploring Saudi Arabia since 2008. Connect with me on social media with the links below!
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  • Om Lujain©January 17, 2011 - 1:26 pm

    I have also witnessed some great acts on their part, but sadly the bad acts overshadow them. Many of these ‘officers’ aren’t even educated, many have criminal backgrounds, and of course there are the ones who actually join to try to make a change.

    Anyway, I know that spot ur talking about, and the guys that pass by are annoying, they see women with children and they STILL try to hit on them! I have had numbers thrown at me out of nowhere from passing by cars, and I think they are sick! So great move to put a bit of pressure on these idiots!ReplyCancel

  • ipv6January 19, 2011 - 3:48 pm

    Dun jump to it, there’s a bigger picture which allude you all..the silly Internet license are around the corner!period.ReplyCancel

  • LaylahJanuary 23, 2011 - 11:17 am

    Om Lujain-you’re right they do so much more bad than good in my opinion anyways. I guess thats why when you see them doing something actually quite normal, it seems like a fabulous achievement!
    These guys also try to hit on pregnant women btw!ReplyCancel

  • LaylahJanuary 23, 2011 - 11:18 am

    oh yes the internet license, well let’s hope they don’t implement that one!ReplyCancel

  • AnonymousJanuary 25, 2011 - 2:22 am

    Once I was ask by muttawa politely ” Cover your head, please” in fact he asked me politely I don’t mind at all to obey him. So I reply ” off course Sir” and smile happly cover my head. As long as they treate us right I don’t mind to have them around.ReplyCancel

  • Life of MuslimaJanuary 27, 2011 - 12:06 pm

    Salam sis,where in Scandanevia are u from? I`m scandinavian too,from Norway :-)ReplyCancel

  • YunnanMay 28, 2012 - 10:10 pm

    It does say something that they are earning such high praise from you for doing that is just humanly decent and for just doing their job! What does this show about expectations of men and muttawas in general?ReplyCancel

  • […] said, there are some smart religious cops out there, I swear! Check this post for one example: Mr. Muttawa Gets It Right. There are just too many similar stories to mention in one post. Most evolve around women + […]ReplyCancel

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